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Pope Names 21 New Cardinals, Including an American and His Envoy to the U.S.

Pope Francis speaks with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for the Angelus July 9, 2023. The pope also named 21 new cardinals, including U.S.-born Archbishop Robert F. Prevost, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, and French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

by Elise Ann Allen

ROME (Crux) — Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will hold a consistory for the creation of 21 new cardinals at the end of September, with the recipients including several key allies and two figures of special interest to the United States. 

Pope Francis announced the names during his July 9 Sunday Angelus address, saying the consistory will be held Sept. 30 and saying the provenance of the new cardinals “expresses the universality of the church.” 

Among those on the list are American Archbishop Robert Prevost, the new prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Bishops, a native of Chicago who spent much of his career in Peru, and French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who since 2016 has served as the Vatican envoy to the United States. 

Other names of note on the list, which sticks with Pope Francis’s knack for naming cardinals from all over the world who hold various titles and positions, include several important papal allies.

Among them are Italian Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Eastern Churches; Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, who just days ago was named as the new head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and who will take over that position in mid-September; Jesuit Bishop Stephen Chow of Hong Kong; and Jesuit Archbishop Ángel Sixto Rossi of Córdoba, Argentina.

The list also includes prelates from Italy, South Africa, Colombia, Malaysia, Tanzania, and South Sudan, where he visited earlier this year in a bid to promote peace in the war-torn nation. 

The list includes 18 cardinal electors and three non-electors, meaning they are above the age of 80 and therefore not eligible to the conclave to elect the next pope. 

With the new names announced by Pope Francis, the number of cardinal electors currently stands at 137, a solid 17 prelates above the traditional limit of 120 set by Pope Paul VI, though that limit has routinely been surpassed by popes since. As of Sept. 30, Pope Francis will have named just under three-quarters of the cardinals who will elect his successor.

The consistory is scheduled just days after the pope is expected to make a Sept. 23 visit to Marseille, and it also falls just days before the beginning of the Oct. 4-29 Synod of Bishops on Synodality, the first of two major Rome gatherings closing a multi-year global consultation on how to make the church a more welcoming and inclusive place. 

Pope Francis’s new cardinal picks reflect both his desire to prioritize the global peripheries, and to cement his legacy in the Catholic Church. 

Below is a full list of the 21 new cardinals named by Pope Francis:


  1. Bishop Robert Prevost, Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops
  2. Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Prefect of the Dicastery for Eastern Churches
  3. Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith
  4. Archbishop Emil Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio to Italy
  5. Archbishop Christoph Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
  6. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Patriarch of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  7. Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, South Africa
  8. Archbishop Ángel Sixto Rossi S.J. of Córdoba, Argentina
  9. Archbishop Luis Rueda Aparicio of Bogotá, Colombia
  10. Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś of Łódź, Poland
  11. Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, South Sudan
  12. Archbishop Jose Cobo Cano of Madrid, Spain
  13. Coadjutor Archbishop Protase Rugambwa of Tabora, Tanzania
  14. Bishop Sebastian Francs of Penang, Malaysia
  15. Bishop Stephen Chow of Hong Kong
  16. Bishop François-Xavier Bustillo of Ajaccio, France
  17. Auxiliary Bishop Américo Manuel Alves Aguiar of Lisbon, Portugal
  18. Father Ángel Fernandez Artime, Major Rector of the Salesians


  1. Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, apostolic nuncio emeritus
  2. Archbishop Diego Padron Sanchez, archbishop emeritus of Cumaná, Italy
  3. Father Luis Pascual, confessor in the shrine of Our Lady Pompei in Buenos Aires

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