Pope Francis appoints 20 new cardinals

London, Feb 15
Pope Francis has appointed 20 new cardinals, boosting the number of men from developing countries in the group, which would elect his successor.

The new cardinals include prelates (a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary) from Myanmar, Tonga and Ethiopia, BBC reported Saturday.

Fifteen are under 80, making them eligible to vote for the next pope.

For the first time, there are more non-Europeans in the electoral body as the Pope seeks to reflect the the global diversity of the Church.

With the appointments, made during a celebration at the Vatican Saturday, the Pope has underlined his determination to change the balance of power in the Church and make it more representative.

When he announced the appointments in January, the Pope said the naming of cardinals from 14 countries across the world showed the Vatican's "inseparable link" with Catholics around the world.

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