Pope to appoint 21 new cardinals at consistory on Sept 30

New appointments include 18 cardinal electors.

(ANSA) – ROME, JUL 9 – Pope Francis is to create 21 new cardinals at a consistory, or formal meeting of the college of cardinals, at the Vatican on September 30, The pope made the announcement himself during his Sunday Angelus address to faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square.
“Now I would like to announce that next September 30 I will hold a Consistory for the appointment of new cardinals,” said Francis.

“Where they come from expresses the universality of the Church, which continues to proclaim God’s merciful love to all people on earth,” he continued.
“In addition, the insertion of the new cardinals in the diocese of Rome manifests the inseparable bond between the See of Peter and the local Churches spread throughout the world,” added the pope.
Each new cardinal will be assigned a church in the diocese of Rome, called a ‘titular church’.
Of the 21 cardinals to be created at the upcoming consistory, 18 will be cardinal electors, meaning they will be eligible to participate in a papal conclave to elect a new pope.
Under current rules cardinals must be under the age of 80 on the day the Holy See becomes vacant in order to be able to vote.
The new cardinal electors will include the prefects of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez; of the Dicastery for Bishops, Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost; and of the Dicastery for Oriental Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti.
The pope has also named as cardinal Bishop Stephen Chriw Sau-yan of Hong Kong, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and Apostolic Nunzio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
Pope Francis invited the faithful to pray for the new Cardinals, “so that, confirming their adhesion to Christ, the merciful and faithful High Priest, they might help me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome for the good of the entire Holy People faithful to God”.
Pope Francis has so far created 110 cardinals of whom 81 electors and 29 non-electors at eight consistories, the last being on August 27, 2022, according to Vatican data updated to June 22, 2023. The college of cardinals currently comprises 222 members of whom 121 are electors and 101 are non-electors.
Of the current cardinal electors 46 are from Europe (of whom 15 are Italian), 16 are from North America, 5 are from Central America, 14 are from South America, 16 are from Africa, 21 are from Asia and 3 are from Oceania.
Also on Sunday, Pope Francis called for an end to the new escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
“With sorrow I have learned that once again blood has been shed in the Holy Land,” said the pope during the Angelus.
“I hope that the Israeli and Palestinian authorities can resume a direct dialogue in order to put an end to the spiral of violence and open paths of reconciliation and peace,” he added.
Separately, the pope also singled out the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans for special mention for its work of rescuing migrants and refugees in distress at sea.
“I would also like to remember with gratitude those who work with Mediterranea Saving Humans to rescue migrants at sea. Thank you so much, brothers and sisters!” said the pope.
Francis has made defending the cause of migrants and refugees a central part of his ministry and he has often spoken out about the imperative to save lives at sea.
On July 8, 2013 he made a landmark address on Lampedusa after a migrant boat went down, drowning scores of people.
It was his first trip outside Rome since his election earlier that year.
Mediterranea Saving Humans head of mission Luca Casarini, a former leader of Italy’s no-global protest movement, is among the ‘special guests’ invited to attend the XVI General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of the Bishops in October. (ANSA).