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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

How the College of Cardinals will change after this consistory

2016-11-19

The appointment of new cardinals is crucial, because with it the pope is shaping the choice for his successor. The cardinals he has appointed will be amongst those who will have to choose the next pope. 

It is a true VIP club. One does not get tapped because of merit; it is a personal decision of the pontiff. 

According to the conclave laws, only 120 cardinals -those under age 80- are allowed in the Sistine Chapel. That is why popes appoint new cardinals when there are enough openings in the College. 

This time, there were 12 empty seats, and Pope Francis decided it was time to fill them up.

At the moment there are 228 cardinals. 121 are under 80. However, Cardinal Sarr from Senegal will turn 80 at the end of the month. 

21 cardinal electors were picked by John Paul II, 56 by Benedict XVI, and 44 by Pope Francis. 

Pope Francis has celebrated three consistories. His choices reflect his intentions of giving weight to distant regions of the world in the next conclave. This means there are now less cardinal electors from Europe and North America, and more from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. 

Italy still tops the list with 25 cardinal electors. The United States is second with 10. France and Brasil both have 5, and Mexico, Spain, Poland and India have 4.

Pope Francis has chosen bishops from churches that have suffered either natural disasters, war, or hunger (such as Cardinal Nzapalainga from the Central African Republic or Baltazar Porras from Venezuela); bishops that have helped those who suffer (such as the nuncio in Syria, Mario Zenari); or people that have proven their ability to garner consensus by leading important Church institutions (such as Mexican Carlos Aguiar, former president of the Latin American Conference of Bishops.)


Incidentally, Pope Francis has named both the oldest and the youngest in the College of Cardinals: Colombian José de Jesús Pimiento, age 97, and Dieudonné Nzapalainga, from the Central African Republic, age 49.