Vatican City

Pope Benedict XVI to appoint six new cardinals

College will reach 120 members

Pope Benedict XVI to appoint six new cardinals

Vatican City, November 23 - Pope Benedict XVI is to create six new cardinals on November 24, putting a more international face on the ecclesiastical body that is called to elect a new pope. The new members of the college of cardinals are the current Prefect of the Pontifical Household, 63-year-old James Harvey from the United States; the Patriarch of Antioch, 72-year-old Bechara Boutros Rai from Lebanon; the Archbishop of Trivandrum, 53-year-old Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal from India; the Archbishop of Abuja, 68-year-old John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan from Nigeria; the Archbishop of Bogota' in Colombia, Ruben Salazar Gomez, 70; and the Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle, 55. The new appointments take to 120 the members of the college of cardinals and the only member of the Roman Curia is Harvey. With the November 24 consistory Pope Benedict XVI said he wanted to "complete" the consistory held in February in "a gesture of the Church's universality, in demonstration that the Church is the Church of all people, that it speaks all languages, that it is the Church of Pentecost, not the Church of one continent but the universal Church". The February appointments drew criticism for being largely European and from within the Vatican establishment.

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