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85yrs old Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday officially named Nigeria’s
Archbishop John Onaiyekan and five other non-European cardinals to the
body that will elect his successor, saying the move underlined the
Catholic Church’s diversity.
68-year-old Onaiyekan of Nigeria,
archbishop of Abuja, he is now a “papabile”, or potential pope. He is
believed by many to have shown courage in the face of inter-faith hatred
at a time when Nigeria faces deadly attacks against Christians by the
Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
“In this consistory, I want to
highlight … that the Church is the Church of all peoples,” the Pope said
at the ceremony during which the new “princes of the Church” received
scarlet red birettas and gold rings.
The six new cardinals are
from Colombia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and the United
States. They’ve join the elite body that advises the pope and elects his
successor upon his death.