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  1. ITV Report

Pope Francis creates 17 new cardinals of Roman Catholic Church

The new cardinals come from around the globe with three from the U.S. Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis has created 17 new cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church in a time-honoured ceremony.

The cardinals come from around the world with three of them from the United States.

Others come from corners of the globe where the Catholic Church needs a boost.

Pope Francis said people should not be seen as enemies just because they were different Credit: Reuters

During the ceremony at the Vatican Pope Francis said an "epidemic of animosity" against people of other races or religions was hurting the weakest in society, as he struck a note of caution against the rise of populist nationalism.

"We see, for example, how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant, or a refugee, become a threat, take on the status of an enemy," Francis said.

Pope Francis gives the traditional biretta hat to new cardinal Aguiar Retes of Mexico Credit: Reuters

Several countries that have never been represented before are now entering the college of cardinals, including Central African Republic, Malaysia, Lesotho, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Mauritius and Albania.

Thirteen of those being elevated to the position of cardinal are aged under 80, meaning they will have the right to vote for the pope's eventual successor.

Francis has now named 44 cardinal-electors, slightly more than a third of the total of 120 allowed by Church law.