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Saturday, 23 January 2021

Pope installs 13 new cardinals

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Pope installs 13 new cardinals
Pope installs 13 new cardinals

Pope Francis on Saturday installed 13 new cardinals, including the first African-American to hold the high rank, further expanding the pontiff's impact on the group that will one day elect his successor.

Fred Katayama reports.

Pope Francis installed 13 new cardinals at the Vatican on Saturday in a ceremony that was slimmed down because of the pandemic.

Among them: Washington D.C.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who became the first African American to hold the high rank.

Francis placed upon him and the others the traditional red hat known as the biretta.

Gregory had made headlines in June when he blasted President Donald Trump's visit to a Catholic shrine after police and soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters so that the president could be photographed in front of a historic Washington church holding a Bible.

Gregory told Reuters this week he wants to seek common ground with President-elect Joe Biden despite disagreements on issues such as abortion.

With each ceremony, Francis has boosted the odds that his successor will be a non-European.

He has so far appointed 18 cardinals from mostly far-flung countries that never had one.

Nine of the 13 confirmed Saturday are eligible to enter a secret conclave to choose the next pope.

Francis has appointed more than half of the 128 cardinal electors.

Most of them share his vision of a more inclusive and outward-looking Church.

After the ceremony, Pope Francis and some of the new cardinals paid a visit to former Pope Benedict.


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