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New cardinals announced

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI has named 23 new cardinals, including grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, United States Archbishop John P Foley.

The Pope announced the names at the end of his weekly general audience on October 17 and said he would formally install the cardinals during a special consistory at the Vatican on November 24.

Naming 18 cardinals under the age of 80, the age limit set for voting in a papal conclave, Pope Benedict said he was setting aside the limit of 120 potential papal electors established by Pope Paul VI and confirmed by Pope John Paul II.

After the new cardinals are installed in late November, there will be 121 potential voters.

The 23 new cardinals will bring the total membership of the College of Cardinals to 202.

The new cardinals represent 15 countries on five continents.

Eight of the new cardinals are current or retired Vatican officials, 13 are current or retired heads of archdioceses around the world and two are former rectors of the main pontifical universities in Rome.

Continuing a papal custom, among the new cardinals were five churchmen over the age of 80, whom Pope Benedict said he wanted to honor because they were “particularly deserving because of their commitment to the service of the Church”.

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