For a faith that has seen it’s share of bad publicity in recent years, the Catholic church seem moving in the right direction on at least one front. Today Pope Benedict XVI has officially named six new non-European cardinals to the body that will elect his successor, saying the move underlined the Catholic Church’s diversity.”
This the total number cardinals (of a total of 117) from outside Europe to 47 percent. Al Jazeera reports that “The 85-year-old pontiff presided over the ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica that elevated the six prelates to the Church’s College of Cardinals on Saturday.
The body “presents a variety of faces, because it expresses the face of the universal Church”, he said in a development that has been welcomed by critics concerned that the college has become increasingly Euro-centric under Benedict.
“In this consistory, I want to highlight … that the Church is the Church of all peoples,” he said during the ceremony during which the new “princes of the Church” received scarlet red birettas and gold rings.
The new cardinals come from Colombia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and the US and join the elite body that advises the pope and elects his successor upon his death.