Pope Francis announced a new cadre of cardinals, naming 19 men from Africa, Asia and North and South America, from countries as far-flung as the Ivory Coast and the Philippines to reflect his focus on global poverty.
Besides fulfilling administrative duties and acting as counsel for the pope, cardinals’ main function is to elect a pope when the Holy See becomes vacant. Of the 19 cardinals Francis named, 16 are younger than 80, meaning they are eligible to elect the next pope, the Associated Press reports.
A spokesman for the Vatican said that the Pope’s selection of men from some of the world’s poorest nations, including Haiti and Burkino Faso, reflect Francis’ attention to the destitute as a central part of the church’s mission. The men hail from Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, Great Britain and Germany, among other countries.
The cardinals will be formally installed Feb. 22.