Pope Francis announces plans to hold a meeting of the Church’s top council to appoint new cardinals

Pope Francis has announced that he will hold a meeting of the Church’s top council to appoint 14 new cardinals next month, including from Iraq, Pakistan, Madagascar and Japan.

Reports say 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.

Pope Francis, the first head of the church from Latin America is 81 and was named in 2013 after his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI stood down, citing the effect of advancing age on his ability to carry out the exacting duties of the office.



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