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Feb 27, 2024  |  
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Jenny Goldsberry, Social Media Producer


NextImg:Pope Francis announces 21 new cardinals to seal voting majority for successor


Pope Francis named 21 cardinals Saturday, further increasing the eligible voting cardinals he has appointed as head of the Catholic Church.

The youngest of the cardinals was Bishop Américo Emanuel Alves Aguiar, at 49 years old, from Lisbon, Portugal. Another 17 cardinals are under the age of 80, which is under the voting age limit in the church, and thus will be electing Francis' successor.

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Three cardinals appointed Saturday were over the age of 80, with the eldest being Capuchin Father Luis Pascual Dri of Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the age of 96. Dri was not present Saturday, citing health concerns. Another two cardinals who are currently eligible to vote will cross the age limit in less than five years from now.

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As of Saturday, Francis has named 99 of the 137 cardinal electors. There are 29 from the time of Pope Benedict XVI and nine from Pope John Paul II. Paul still holds the record with the most electors appointed at 135 between 2001 and 2003.

"The College of Cardinals is called to resemble a symphonic orchestra, representing the synodality of the Church: diversity is indispensable," Francis posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. "However, each sound must contribute to the common design. This is why mutual listening is essential."