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Vatican

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.
World

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.
Vatican

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.
Vatican

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

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.