Pope Benedict XVI has named 23 new Roman Catholic cardinals, 18 of whom are under the age of 80, making them eligible to elect his successor.
The pope made the announcement to pilgrims and tourists Wednesday during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
The new cardinals include two Americans - Archbishop John Patrick Foley, a former top Vatican official, and the archbishop of Galveston-Houston in the southern U.S. state of Texas, Daniel DiNardo.
Others include archbishops from Mumbai, India, Oswald Gracias; Dakar, Senegal, Theodore-Adrien Sarr; Nairobi, Kenya, John Njue; and the Iraqi Patriarch of the Chaldean rite, Emmanuel III Delly. The list also includes a number of Europeans.
Five of the new cardinals are over 80-years-old. Because of their age, they will not be able to enter the conclave that will choose the next pope.
The list also includes four Latin American churchmen - the archbishops of Monterrey, Mexico, Francisco Robles Ortega, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, Odilio Pedro Scherer, and two from Argentina, Vatican official Leonardo Sandri and the retired archbishop of Parana, Estanislao Esteban Karlic. The Europeans include two Spaniards - the archbishops of Barcelona, Lluis Martinez Sistach and Valencia, Augustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente - as well as the archbishop of Paris, Andre Vingt-Trois.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.