VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis said Sunday he plans to create five new cardinals from five different countries at a special ceremony next month, all of them under the age of 80.
The new cardinals — from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, Spain and Sweden — will form part of an elite group within the Church.
The ceremony to elevate the five, known as a consistory, will take place on June 28, the pontiff said after prayers at the Vatican.
All those selected were born in the 1940s. Cardinals over the age of 80 are not able to take part in the conclaves that elect new popes.
The five are Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako; Archbishop of Barcelona Juan Jose Omella; the Bishop of Stockholm Anders Arborelius; Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse in Laos and Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador.
Last November, Francis created 17 new “princes of the Church,” 13 of whom are under 80 and therefore eligible to take part in the next secret conclave to elect or become the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.