Cardinals created by Francis
Pope Francis (r. 2013–present) has created cardinals at annual consistories in February or June beginning in 2014. In his four consistories, he has created a total of 61 cardinals from 43 countries, 15 of which had never before had a cardinal. He has only allowed the number of cardinal electors to exceed the maximum of 120 for brief periods.[a]
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI attended the first two of these consistories. Pope Francis and the new cardinals visited him after the others.
22 February 2014
On 31 October 2013, Pope Francis announced plans to name new cardinals in a consistory on 22 February 2014. In December 2013, he said that rumors that he might name a woman cardinal were not to be taken seriously. He announced the names of 19 new cardinals on 12 January 2014. Sixteen were under the age of 80, eligible to vote in papal conclaves. Observers attempting to interpret Francis' approach to naming cardinals noted the absence of certain names, including the heads of the dioceses of Venice and Turin and the Vatican Librarian and Archivist. Others noted a preference for clerics with pastoral experience and only a single theologian, Müller. John L. Allen said the choices made the February meeting the "Consistory of the Periphery", noting the "broad global distribution" of the new cardinals. Of the nomination of the archbishop of Perugia rather than those of more prestigious dioceses like Turin and Venice, La Stampa said: "Any career planners in the Church who had the path from the seminary to the cardinalship set out very clearly in their minds will have to think again."
Pope Francis sent a letter to each cardinal-designate that said:
The cardinalship does not imply promotion; it is neither an honour nor a decoration; it is simply a service that requires you to broaden your gaze and open your hearts.... Therefore I ask you, please, to receive this designation with a simple and humble heart. And, while you must do so with pleasure and joy, ensure that this sentiment is far from any expression of worldliness or from any form of celebration contrary to the evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety and poverty.
Those made cardinal at the consistory were:
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI attended the consistory. He doffed his zucchetto when Pope Francis came down the nave of St. Peter's Basilica to greet him, and took a seat in a row with several cardinals using a chair the same as theirs. Loris Francesco Capovilla was granted a dispensation and did not attend the consistory.
Prior to this consistory, there were 106 cardinals under the age of 80 and eligible to participate in the election of a pope, and the addition of 16 new cardinals under age 80 brought the total to 122, although another 10 were due to turn 80 in the remainder of 2014. Because the maximum number of cardinals allowed to participate in a papal conclave is set at 120, the number of cardinals below 80 is usually limited to 120, although that limit has occasionally been exceeded.
14 February 2015
On 11 December 2014, the Vatican announced that new cardinals would be created at a consistory on 14 February 2015. On 4 January 2015, Pope Francis announced the names of 20 cardinals-designate, including 15 who were under the age of 80. Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the list "confirms that the pope doesn't feel tied to the traditional 'cardinal sees'", like Turin and Venice, "which reflected historic reasons in various countries. Instead we have various nominations of archbishops or bishops of sees in the past that wouldn't have had a cardinal." The selections continued the pattern Pope Francis established the previous year, showing a "preference for diocesan bishops" and for the southern hemisphere. Of those under the age of 80, only one is a member of the Curia (Mamberti); three are bishops rather than archbishops; four are the first cardinals from their countries (Cabo Verde, Myanmar, Panama, Tonga) and others from a diocese that has not had one for decades (Agrigento, Italy, not since 1786; Ancona, Italy, not in more than a century; Montevideo, Uruguay, not since 1979; Valladolid, Spain, not since 1919) or never had one (Morelia, Mexico). Nine have been elected by their peers as president of a national or regional episcopal conference.
On 23 January 2015, Pope Francis advised each nominee how to respond to his appointment: "Accept it with humility. Only do so in a way that in these celebrations there does not creep in a spirit of worldliness that intoxicates more than grappa on an empty stomach, disorienting and separating one from the cross of Christ."
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI again attended the consistory and was greeted by Pope Francis before and after the ceremony. The only new cardinal unable to attend was Archbishop José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez, whose health prevented him from traveling to Rome.
19 November 2016
On 9 October 2016, the pope announced that he planned to create new cardinals at a consistory on 19 November 2016, including 13 cardinals under the age of 80 and four over the age of 80. His selections continued to demonstrate his preference for the peripheries and places not previously represented in the College of Cardinals. Several are the first named cardinals from their countries. Of those who are under the age of 80, only Farrell is a member of the Roman Curia. In choosing Simoni, Francis named his first priest to the rank of cardinal.
Asked a year later at a meeting with Jesuits in Bangladesh why he named a cardinal from "a nation where there is such a small Christian community", Francis said:
Naming the cardinals, I tried to look at small Churches, those that grow in the peripheries, at the edges. Not to give consolation to those Churches, but to launch a clear message: the small Churches that grow in the periphery and are without ancient Catholic traditions today must speak to the universal Church, to the whole Church. I clearly feel that they have something to teach us.
All the new cardinals attended the consistory on 19 November except Lesotho Bishop Khoarai, who was 87 and unable to travel. For the first time since his retirement Pope emeritus Benedict XVI did not attend. The new cardinals were given the rank of Cardinal Priest except for Zenari, Farrell, and Simoni, who were made Cardinal Deacons. Cardinal Nzapalainga became the youngest member of the College of Cardinals and the first born after the Second Vatican Council. Following the consistory ceremony, Pope Francis and the 16 new cardinals present visited the Pope emeritus as a group at his residence in Mater Ecclesiae Monastery and received his blessing.
28 June 2017
On 21 May 2017, Pope Francis announced a consistory for the elevation of five new cardinals on 28 June. He adhered to his established pattern of appointing cardinals from the peripheries, including the first cardinals from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, and Sweden, the latter of whom will also be the first cardinal from Scandinavia. All five are under the age of 80. According to the National Catholic Reporter, Rosa Chávez is "believed to be the first auxiliary bishop to have been made a cardinal in at least the modern era." It has also been claimed that Rosa Chávez is the first parish pastor to be named cardinal in decades.[better source needed]
|Name||Title when named cardinal|
|1. Jean Zerbo||Archbishop of Bamako, Mali|
|2. Juan José Omella i Omella||Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain|
|3. Anders Arborelius, O.C.D.||Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden|
|4. Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun||Vicar Apostolic of Paksé, Laos|
|5. Gregorio Rosa Chávez||Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador|
- The February 2014 consistory brought the number of cardinal electors to 122, but the 80th birthdays of Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Phạm Minh Mẫn and Karl-Josef Rauber reduced the number to 120 in less than two months. The June 2017 consistory brought the number of cardinal electors to 121, and it would have declined to 120 when Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò turned 80 in February 2018 had not Cardinal Carlo Caffarra died in September 2017.
- Tobin was appointed Archbishop of Newark on 7 November 2016, but was not installed there until 6 January 2017. He was nevertheless identified as Archbishop of Newark in the consistory service booklet and on the day following the consistory by L'Osservatore Romano.
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