Pope Francis has named the Bishop of Ekwulobia in Anambra State, Peter Ebere Okpaleke, as a cardinal.
Bishop Opaleka is amongst 20 others drawn mostly outside of Europe who will receive the prestigious red cardinal’s hat from Francis in a consistory ceremony at the Vatican on Aug. 27.
The Pope read out the names of his choices after delivering traditional Sunday remarks from an open window of the Apostolic Palace to the public in St. Peter’s Square.
The new cardinals are Jean-Marc Aveline, archbishop of Marseille, France; Peter Okpaleke, bishop of Ekwulobia, Nigeria; Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, archbishop of Manaus, Brazil; Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastao di Rosario Ferrao, archbishop of Goa and Damao, India;
Robert Walter McElroy, bishop of San Diego, California; Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, archbishop of Dili, East Timor; Oscar Cantoni, bishop of Como, Italy; Anthony Poola. archbishop of Hyderabad, India;
Paulo Cezar Costa, archbishop of Brasilia, Brazil; Richard Kuuia Baawobr, bishop of Wa, Ghana; William Goh Seng Chye, archbishop of Singapore; Adalberto Martinez Flores, archbishop of Asuncion, Paraquay; and Giorgio Marengo, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
In addition to those churchmen, also under 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave are three prelates who work at the Vatican: Arthur Roche of Britain, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments;
Lazzarro You Heung-sik of South Korea, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; and Fernando Vergez Alzaga of Spain, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Vatican City State’s Governorate.
Pope Francis in his choices kept up a tradition of naming some who are too old to vote in a conclave, but whose long decades of dedication to the Catholic church is honoured by bestowing cardinal’s rank on them.
In this latest batch of nominations, they are Jorge Enrique Jimenez Carvajal, emeritus archbishop of Cartagena, Colombia; Lucas Van Looy, emeritus archbishop of Ghent, Belgium.
Others are Arrigo Miglio, emeritus archbishop of Cagliari, Sardinia; the Rev. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a Jesuit professor of theology; and Fortunato Frezza, canon of St. Peter’s Basilica.