Archbishop Vincent Nichols is the only cardinal chosen from a European church, Father Christopher Jamison told ITV News.
Mr Jamison, who is a friend of the newly appointed cardinal, said that Pope Francis was putting a stronger emphasis on being "a poor church for the poor".
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has been created a cardinal by Pope Francis.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, received the symbolic red hat at a consistory ceremony in Rome.
The Archbishop was one of 19 cardinals created during the ceremony this morning at St Peter's Basilica.
Former Pope Benedict made a surprise entrance into St. Peter's Basilica to attend a ceremony at which his successor, Pope Francis, was elevating 19 prelates to the high rank of cardinal.
Benedict, who resigned a year ago, sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row along with other cardinals.
It was the first time he has attended a papal ceremony since his resignation, although he and Francis have met several times.
The Archbishop of Westminster The Most Rev Vincent Nichols has said the Pope was appointing cardinals from a wide range of countries, including members of the clergy from cities with experience of "abject poverty".
Delivering the Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said:
Some are drawn from places of real poverty: Burkina Faso, Haiti and the Philippines. The voice of those who live among and care for the poor is a voice Pope Francis wants to hear in his counsels.
He also wants around him those whose role is to lead communities of Catholic faith in the mega-cities of our world: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seoul and, in my case, London.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, will be made a cardinal today - who exactly is he?Read the full story ›
Archbishop Vincent Nichols will be made a Cardinal by Pope Francis on today.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales will join 18 others being elevated to the rank of cardinal in a consistory ceremony at the Vatican.
Sixteen of them are under 80 - meaning they will have the right to vote for the pope's eventual successor.
A report by United Nations has attacked the Vatican for covering up decades of sexual abuse of children.
The report demanded the Vatican "immediately remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and hand them to the authorities.
ITV News diplomatic correspondent John Ray reports:
The Vatican has said it will give "thorough study and examination" to a UN report that has accused the Catholic Church of failing to act on, and even covering up, child sex abuse.
The Holy See made no comment on its suggested culpability but said the Church remained committed to protecting children from abuse.
However, it accused the UN committee responsible for the report of interfering with its teachings on abortion and contraception after the report recommended a change in the approach to sexual education in Catholic schools.
The UN committee on the Rights of the Child has said the Catholic Church has not yet taken measures to prevent a repeat of cases of forced labour such as Ireland's Magdalene laundries scandal.
A separate official report, published in February last year, found the Irish state was responsible for sending many women and girls to the now-notorious laundries, where they were subjected to a harsh regime of intimidation, prayer and unpaid work.
Today's UN report has called for the Vatican to begin an internal investigation of the laundries and similar institutions to lead to appropriate prosecutions. It has demanded that "full compensation be paid to the victims and their families" upon its completion.
The Vatican is expected to issue a statement on the damning UN report later today.
A scathing United Nations report has demanded the Vatican "immediatedly remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and hand them to the authorities.
In its most far-reaching criticism of the Church hierarchy to date, the UN watchdog for children's rights said it is "gravely concerned" the Holy See "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed".
It accused the Vatican of adopting "policies and practices" which led to abuse continuing and ensured "the impunity of the perpetrators".
The UN body said the Church must hand over its archives on sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children so that culprits, as well as "those who concealed their crimes", can be held accountable.