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Pope Francis named 15 new members of the College of Cardinals today, with his selections reflecting his desire to include leaders from all over the world in the church’s hierarchy. The Pope focused less on members from large, metropolitan areas and more on those from smaller, developing countries. Among the group are representatives from 14 different countries including: The Island of Tonga, Cape Verde, Panama, Spain, Uruguay, Italy (2), Thailand, Myanmar, Mexico, Viêt Nam, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Portugal,and The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

Group spokesman Vittorio Bellavite said Francis had gone “outside the traditional logic” of the hierarchy. The Pontiff’s choices seem to reflect his efforts to reach out to the developing world, where Catholicism has experienced the majority of it’s recent growth. Not only will the new Cardinals become the Pope’s close advisers, all 15 are under 80 years old which will qualify them to vote for his successor in the future.

Many of the new Cardinals are champions of issues which are also dear to the Pope’s heart. Among them are Monsignor Francesco Montenegro of Italy who joins the Pontiff in his quest to eliminate the evils of human trafficking and Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of New Zealand who shares the Pope’s views on reaching out to homosexuals and divorced Catholics.

The Pope announced that he would preside over the ceremony during which the new Cardinals would receive their hats on Feb. 14 at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. He then continued with another surprise announcement.

“On Sunday February 15 I will preside at a solemn concelebration with the new Cardinals, while on February 12 and 13 I will hold a Consistory with all the Cardinals to reflect on the orientations and proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia.”

The Curia is the Vatican’s administrative apparatus and the central governing body through which the Pontiff conducts the business of the entire Catholic church. Since his appointment in 2013, Pope Francis has made the rooting out of corruption and other problems in the Curia one of his priorities.