Pope Francis names 19 new cardinals

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis today named 19 new cardinals, 16 of whom will hold voting rights in the conclave that elects the pontiff.



The 16 new cardinals all under the age of 80 include four Italians, two from other European countries, five from South America, one North American, two Africans and two Asians.



This is according to Agence France-Presse (AFP),  a French news agency,  monitored by ZANIS in Lusaka today.



With the geographical division of his first batch of cardinals, the Pope appeared to place a greater emphasis on what he terms the periphery of the Roman Catholic Church at the expense of the Centre.



The cardinals will be officially appointed next month on February 22, bringing the conclave up to 122 members.



The pope also baptized in the Sixteen Chapel 32 children including one from a single mother.