Pope appoints new cardinals to cement legacy

Pope appoints new cardinals to cement legacy

Video: Reuters

Pope Francis has shaken up the Vatican in his Sunday address.

In a suprise announcement the Pontiff said he would promote 14 churchman from five continents to the rank of cardinal.

Putting his stamp on the group that will elect his successor.

His candidates work with the poor or are from countries where Catholics are a minority, such as Japan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Appointing new cardinals is one of the Pope's most significant powers, allowing him to steer the future of the 1.2 billion member Catholic Church.

Cardinals are his closest advisers and can only enter the closed-door conclave if they are under 80 years old.

Some conservatives say the Argentinian is destroying the Church with his liberal theology and lambast Francis for being too lenient on divorce, gay rights and migrants.

The process known as a consistory would happen on June 29.

After that ceremony, Pope Francis will have named 74 cardinals since being elected in 2013.

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