IN a surprise move today Pope Francis announced the creation of five new cardinals – including Archbishop Juan José Omella of Barcelona, Spain.
The “red hats,” as they’re often called because of the color of their zucchetto, or skullcap, also serve as papal advisers.
The other new cardinals are: Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador in El Salvador; Archbishop Jean Zerbo, of Bamako, Mali; Bishop Anders Arborelius, of Stockholm, Sweden and Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun Apostolic Administrator of Vientiane, Laos.
The fact that the five cardinals come from “diverse parts from the world,” expresses the “Catholicity of the church, diffused throughout the earth,” Pope Francis said.
The ceremony to induct the cardinals will take place on June 28.
All of the new cardinals are under 80 and therefore eligible to vote for the next pope.
Including these five, Francis has created 60 new cardinals, 49 with voting rights, in a four-year pontificate.