Pope Francis has announced his first batch of cardinals, choosing 19 men including representatives from Haiti and Burkino Faso, to reflect his attention to the poor.
The pope made the announcement as he spoke from his window to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square.
Cardinals, who wear red hats and robes, are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church under the Pope.
Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they’re eligible to elect the next pope, which is considered as the cardinal’s most important task.
The ceremony to formally appoint them as cardinals will be held next month at the Vatican.
Some appointees were expected, but some names were surprising.
A few of those named are well-known, established people at the Vatican. But among those chosen are among the world’s poorest countries such as Haiti, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
The Vatican spokesperson said that this was in keeping with the Pope’s drive to put the poor at the core of the Church’s mission.