Pope Francis will hold a meeting of the church’s top council to appoint 14 new cardinals from across the globe next month.
In the event of a conclave of cardinals to name a new Pope,11 of the new 14 being under 80 years of age would be eligible to take part.
“I am happy to announce that on June 29 there will be a consistory meeting to appoint 14 new cardinals.Their origins reflect the universality of the church ,” Pope Francis said in an address in saint peter’s square.
Among the new cardinals will be Iraq’s Louis Sako who has often met Pope Francis to discuss the situation in the war-torn country and the plight of its christian community.
From Pakistan comes Joseph Coutts of Karachi with desire Tsarahazana from Toamasina in Madagascar and Thomas Aquiinas Manyo from Osaka in Japan.
As well as having the key role of choosing a new pope,cardinals often also hold the highest administrative offices in the church.