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Pope Benedict XVI Elevates Diverse Group to Cardinal Rank

Pope Benedict XVI elevated six new cardinals, bringing a more diverse group into College of Cardinals which is dominated by Europeans. They join the elite group that will help choose the pope’s successor. It is required that there are 120 cardinals who are under the age of 80.

The selection reflects the expansion of the Catholic Church to the Global South. Lauren Green reported that the six hailed from Columbia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and the United States.

There is some controversy surrounding the American chosen.

Archbishop James Michael Harvey was in charge of the Papal Household for the last several years and was the direct superior of the former butler to Pope Benedict XVI. The butler was recently jailed for stealing the pope’s private papers. Some Vatican insiders see Harvey’s elevation as a lateral move away from the pope’s inner circle.

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