Pope Francis Selects 15 Cardinals to Reflect a More Diverse Church

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(Photo Credit: College of Cardinals/L’Osservatore Romano)

The last time we heard news of Pontifex’s College of Cardinals, he was demoting one for being a touch too conservative…or for comparing the present-day church to “a ship without a rudder.”

Pope Francis’ commitment to inclusion and diversity has been a running topic since his appointment; consider it an act of “sprucing up the joint” that may be a few centuries overdue. In case you missed it, Pope Francis most recently made headlines by selecting 15 Cardinals and promoting them from the global Archbishopric.

His choices are surprising to some and revealing for many. 

According to this AP report (via Yahoo News), the Pope’s new Cardinals literally come from the furthest corners of the globe, including such remote locales such as Tonga, New Zealand, Cape Verde, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Pope even selected a Cardinal from Sicily — as in “leave the gun, take the canoli” Sicily. It was a strategic appointment since the Church has been “galvanizing public rejection of the Mafia,” an organization this Pope formally excommunicated in 2014.

Referring to the Vatican, Francis told faithful in St. Peter’s Square that the churchmen come “from every continent” and “show the indelible tie with the church of Rome to churches in the world.”

In addition to the 15 new cardinals who are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for the next pope, Francis also bestowed the honor on five older churchmen.

He said they distinguished themselves for their work in the Vatican bureaucracy, in diplomatic service in giving witness to their love of Christ and God’s people. Those included men from the pope’s native Argentina, Mozambique and Colombia.

For a great definition of “diversity” in 2015, look no further than this group.

The patron saint of PR is back. See you at St. Peter’s Basilica.