Pope Francis cements legacy with new cardinals
STORY: Pope Francis further cemented his legacy on Saturday (September 30), elevating 21 prelates to the high rank of cardinal.
It significantly raises the percentage of electors chosen by him who will have the right to vote for his successor.
And therefore increases the possibility that the next pope will share his vision of a more progressive, inclusive Church.
The ceremony, known as a consistory, took place in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
The new cardinals come from 14 different countries around the world.
Eighteen of the 21 newly elected cardinals are under the age of 80 and thus eligible under Church law to enter a secret conclave to elect the next pope after Francis' death or resignation.
They are known as cardinal electors.
There are now 137 cardinal electors and about 73 percent of them were chosen by Francis.
The red-hatted "princes of the Church" are the Pope's closest advisers at the Vatican and around the world.
Each new cardinal received a ring of office and the red, three-blade hat known as a "biretta."
It was the pope's ninth consistory since his election in 2013.
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