By Paul Obi in Abuja with agency report
Nigeria was again omitted as Pope Francis 1 on Sunday appointed 17 new cardinals across the world, fourteen of whom are likely successors to the Papal throne.
Announcing the new cardinals at the Vatican, Pope Francis harped on the need for the church to restore mercy, particularly in the southern hemisphere where the Catholic Church is expanding astronomically.
The Catholic pontiff explained that the new promotion of Archbishops to the rank of cardinals will in the long run show “the universality of the Church which proclaims and bears witness to the Good News of God’s Mercy in every corner of the earth,” he said.
The 17 new cardinals include 13 electors who are under 80 years and eligible to participate in the election of a new Pope, while four are above 80 and not eligible to vote in the selection process of a new Pope.
Out of the 17 new cardinals, only Archbishop Dieudonne’ Nzapalainga of Central Africa Republic and Archbishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai of Lesotho made the list from Africa. Nzapalainga, at 49, will now be the youngest cardinal in the Catholic conclave.