Pope names new cardinals from poorest nations
Pope Francis put his first stamp on the group at the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchy yesterday, naming 19 new cardinals from around the world and emphasising his concern for poor countries.
Sixteen of them are “cardinal electors” under the age of 80 – and thus eligible to enter a conclave to elect a pope.
They come from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Haiti.
Half of them are non-Europeans, indicating the importance Francis attaches to the developing world.
The Vatican singled out his decision to give cardinal's hats to clerics from two of the world's poorest nations – Haiti and Burkina Faso.
Some commentators were surprised by the absence of any figures from the United States.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis continued to break down the stiff protocol in the Vatican as he baptised 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel, telling their mothers to feel relaxed about breastfeeding them.
The Pope said in December that women should feel comfortable about breastfeeding during his ceremonies, a trend that could alarm conservatives in the Vatican.
Breastfeeding in public is rare in Italy. And it is almost unheard of during Catholic Church services. (© Daily Telegraph, London)