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Pope Francis says to create 19 cardinals in Feb

Published on Jan 12, 2014 8:39 PM

VATICAN CITY (REUTERS) - Pope Francis said on Sunday he will next month elevate 19 prelates to the rank of cardinal, his first appointments to the elite group of men who advise him, including 16 who can one day elect his successor.

Sixteen of the new cardinals are under 80 and are "cardinal electors", meaning they can enter a conclave to choose a new pope after his death or resignation.

They are from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Haiti.

Only four of the cardinal electors are Vatican officials, chief among them Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Francis's new secretary of state, and Archbishop Mueller, the head of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation.

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