World

Pope Francis taps new cardinals, including bishop who defied Mike Pence

Pope Francis waves to faithful as leaves at the end of a jubilee mass he celebrated in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. Pope Francis has named 17 new cardinals _ 13 of them under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect his successor. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis named 17 new cardinals Sunday — three of them American moderates, including Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich and Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin — in a clear signal to the conservative U.S. church hierarchy that he values pastors focused more on mercy than morals. Tobin's nomination also carries a political message ahead of the U.S. election next month, given that he openly opposed a request from Indiana Gov. Michael Pence, now the running mate of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, to not settle Syrian refugees in the state.

I am shocked beyond words by the decision of the Holy Father. Please pray for me.

Tweet from Archbishop Joseph Tobin

Thirteen of the new cardinals, including all the Americans, are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a future conclave to elect Francis' successor, the key job of a cardinal. As is Francis' tradition, the new cardinals hail from some of the most far-flung and peripheral corners of the globe, with Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania getting far more representation in this round than Europe, which has long dominated the College of Cardinals.

Their provenance from 11 nations expresses the universality of the church that announces and is witness to the good news of the mercy of God in every corner of the world.

Pope Francis during a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica
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Cardinal (Catholic Church)

A cardinal(Latin: sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalis, literally cardinal of the Holy Roman Church) is a senior ecclesiastical leader, considered a Prince of the Church, and usually(now always for those created when still within the voting age-range) an ordained bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III, who died in 741.Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technologist and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies.