Twenty new cardinals have been named by Pope Francis, including churchmen from Tonga, Ethiopia and Myanmar.
Fifteen of the new appointees are under 80, making them eligible to enter a conclave to elect the Pope’s successor.
The pontiff said the appointment of cardinals from 14 countries from every continent in the world showed the Vatican’s “inseparable link” with Catholic Churches around the world.
They will be formally installed on February 14.
Pope Francis also announced on January 4 that he would lead of meeting of all cardinals to discuss reform of the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s administrative body, on February 12 and 13.
The list of names includes five retired bishops who will join the College of Cardinals but are over 80 and so cannot take part in a papal election.
It is the second time Pope Francis has announced the appointment of new cardinals from a wide variety of countries.
Last January Pope Francis named 19 new additions, including churchmen from Haiti and Burkina Faso, which a Vatican spokesman said reflected his commitment to the poor.
He has now chosen over a quarter of all cardinals able to vote for the next Pope.
With his appointments, Pope Francis appears to be trying to reflect the diversity and growth of the Church in developing nations.
In his a pre-Christmas address to cardinals, Pope Francis sharply criticized the Vatican bureaucracy, complaining of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and “the terrorism of gossip”.
List of new cardinals:
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti (France)
Archbishop Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente (Portugal)
Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel (Ethiopia)
Archbishop John Atcherley Dew (New Zealand)
Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli (Italy)
Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon (Vietnam)
Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda (Mexico)
Archbishop Charles Maung Bo (Myanmar)
Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij (Thailand)
Archbishop Francesco Montenegro (Italy).
Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet (Uruguay)
Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez (Spain).
Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan (Panama)
Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado, (Capo Verde).
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafia (Tonga)
Archbishop emeritus Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodríguez (Colombia)*
Titular Archbishop Luigi De Magistris (Italy)*
Titular Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber (Germany)*
Archbishop emeritus Luis Hector Villalba (Argentina)*
Bishop emeritus Julio Duarte Langa (Mozambique)*
* Cardinal emeritus, without voting rights
[youtube BnuyYnFSFh4 650]