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Pope Names 15 New Cardinals


Pope Benedict XVI has named 15 new cardinals to help run the Roman Catholic Church, marking his first appointments to the church elite since he became pontiff last year.

Benedict read out the names Wednesday during his weekly audience at the Vatican.

The new cardinals include Hong Kong Bishop Joseph Zen. The bishop said he believes his elevation is a sign of Benedict's concern for China.

Another new cardinal is the Archbishop of Krakow, Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was a long-serving private secretary to Pope John Paul II.

Other new cardinals are based in various cities around the world, including Caracas, Seoul, Manila, Boston, Bordeaux, Toledo and Bologna.

Twelve of the 15 cardinals are under the age of 80 and will be eligible to elect Benedict's successor.

The new cardinals will be formally elevated at a Vatican ceremony on March 24.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.