VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is often referred to as the “Pope of surprises” for many reasons. One of them is the unexpected churchmen he chooses to elevate to the rank of cardinal, as he will do with 16 bishops and an elderly priest on Saturday (Nov. 19) in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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MANILA, Philippines – Close friends and associates of Cardinal-designate Anthony Soter Fernandez, retired archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have been waiting for years for the 84-year-old prelate to receive a red hat.

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OXFORD, England – Papua New Guinea's first cardinal believes his appointment highlights the pope's wish for Catholics to be treated equally from all parts of the world.

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Cardinal-designate Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela, is known throughout his country, and his appointment as a cardinal gave the people something to celebrate, said a woman who has worked with him for 20 years.

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VATICAN CITY – Being named a cardinal along with the nuncio who refuses to leave war-torn Syria, an Albanian priest sentenced to death and tortured by an atheist regime and a young African archbishop who put his life on the line to sow peace and reconciliation in Central African Republic has made Cardinal-designate Renato Corti pray and think hard.

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VATICAN CITY – In choosing 17 new members of the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis has once again looked to countries and dioceses that had never been represented in the body that advises the Pope and will elect his successor.

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VATICAN CITY – The former secretary to a saint and the oldest member of the College of Cardinals died May 26 at the age of 100.

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CHICAGO - Cardinal Francis E. George, the retired archbishop of Chicago who was the first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, died April 17 at his residence after nearly 10 years battling cancer. He was 78.

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VATICAN CITY - In a Valentine's Day ceremony to create 20 new cardinals, Pope Francis offered a meditation on Christian love and, especially, what it means for those who guide and minister in the church.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for a Vatican that operates with “absolute transparency” as he gathered more than 165 cardinals in Rome for high-level meetings aimed at tackling one of the toughest challenges of his reformist papacy: overhauling the dysfunctional bureaucracy of the Roman Curia.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis began what could be a key week for his reformist papacy Feb. 9, starting with meetings with his hand-picked kitchen cabinet of nine senior cardinals who are developing plans to overhaul the Roman Curia, the papal civil service that has been plagued with crisis and dysfunction.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis reinforced his radical reshaping of the Catholic Church by naming 20 new cardinals from countries as far afield as Ethiopia, Tonga, Thailand and Panama.

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VATICAN CITY - Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis named 15 cardinal electors "from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world."

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DETROIT - Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, who rose from poor beginnings to reach the highest levels of service to the Church, died Aug. 20 at Providence Park Hospital in Novi. The cardinal, who was 86, died of natural causes.

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VATICAN CITY - An Indian cardinal who had been the editor of a Catholic weekly newspaper before coming to Rome to serve as head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches died in Rome at the age of 90.

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