With Eye to Poor, Francis Picks 19 New Cardinals
Some surprises among pope's first round
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2014 6:37 AM CST
In this April 5, 2013 file photo, Pope Francis meets with Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, one of the 19 new cardinals that Francis announced Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

(Newser) – Pope Francis has named his first batch of cardinals, choosing 19 men from Asia, Africa, North and South America and elsewhere, including Haiti and Burkino Faso, to reflect his attention to the poor. Francis made the announcement today as he spoke from his studio window to a crowd in St. Peter's Square. Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they are eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal's most important task. The ceremony to formally install them as cardinals will be held Feb. 22 at the Vatican.

Some appointments were expected, including that of his new secretary of state, the Italian archbishop Pietro Parolin, and the German head of the Vatican's watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. But some names were surprising. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the pope's selection of churchmen from Haiti and Burkino Faso, which are among the world's poorest nations, reflects Francis' attention to the destitute as a core part of the church's mission. Francis also chose Mario Aurelio Poli, who serves in Francis' old post as archbishop of Buenos Aires. His selections also came from Managua, Nicaragua; Santiago, Chile; Rio de Janeiro; Seoul, South Korea; and Britain's archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols. In a sentimental touch, the three men too old to vote for the next pope include 98-year-old Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, who served as personal secretary to Pope John XXIII. The AP has a complete list of the 19 men here.

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Jan 13, 2014 4:49 AM CST
The Pope also announced Indulgencies will now be sold at half price.
Jan 12, 2014 1:51 PM CST
1. ....but none from America, the place that gives tons of money to all the other ones. 2. ...strengthen church presence -- and authority -- in EXACTLY the places that need greater access to birth control measures and women's empowerment. Up to now, I thought this pope was pretty.....thoughtful. This latest move, however, indicates consolidation of control more than anything else.
Jan 12, 2014 11:38 AM CST
So the people who elect the Pope are the Cardinals and the man who names the Cardinals is the Pope... How convenient for them.