Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis named 15 new cardinals from 14 countries on Sunday, continuing his efforts to diversify the church hierarchy and extend the global reach of the church, the New York Times reported.

"Many of the new bishops and archbishops come from the developing world, including countries like Myanmar, Tonga and the Cape Verde islands that have never had a cardinal, Vatican officials said. In all, nine of those named Sunday come from developing countries," the Times stated.

Of the new nominations, only five were European. Breaking with tradition, Francis bypassed many dioceses — mostly European — that traditionally have been selected for a seat in the College of Cardinals.

North American dioceses were also overlooked, "because they already have a significant number, and that number has remained stable during the past year," the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said in a note published Sunday.

The pope also named to the College of Cardinals five retired archbishops and bishops who he said were "distinguished for their pastoral charity in the service of the Holy See and of the church." Because they are over 80 years of age, they cannot take part in the secret conclave that elects popes. Including these five, the number of countries represented rises to 18, Father Lombardi said.

Francis will now have chosen 31 of the 125 cardinals who will elect the next pope, including 16 cardinal electors of 19 cardinals named just under a year ago. They, too, came predominantly from countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 20 new cardinals:

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti (France)

Archbishop Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente (Portugal)

Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel (Ethiopia)

Archbishop John Atcherley Dew (New Zealand)

Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli (Italy)

Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon (Vietnam)

Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda (Mexico)

Archbishop Charles Maung Bo (Myanmar)

Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij (Thailand)

Archbishop Francesco Montenegro (Italy).

Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet (Uruguay)

Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez (Spain).

Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan (Panama)

Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado, (Capo Verde).

Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafia (Tonga)

Archbishop emeritus Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodríguez (Colombia)*

Titular Archbishop Luigi De Magistris (Italy)*

Titular Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber (Germany)*

Archbishop emeritus Luis Hector Villalba (Argentina)*

Bishop emeritus Julio Duarte Langa (Mozambique)*

  • Cardinal emeritus, without voting rights