SINGAPORE: Cardinal William Goh, the leader of Singapore's Catholic Church, was appointed as a cardinal on Saturday (Aug 27).
At a ceremony known as a consistory in St Peter's Basilica in Rome, head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis inducted 20 cardinals from around the world, including Archbishop Goh.
The ceremony marked the eighth time Pope Francis has put his stamp on the Church's future with a new intake of cardinals who will serve as his top advisers and administrators at the Vatican and around the globe.
Those under 80 - 16 among the 20 newcomers - can enter a conclave to elect a new Pope from among themselves after Pope Francis dies or resigns.
Cardinal Goh, 64, who is the fourth leader of the Catholic Church in Singapore, is one of the 16 who meets the cut-off age.
He was also assigned a titular church in the diocese of Rome - the Church of Santa Maria Regina Pacis in Ostia Lido.
In a statement issued by the Catholic Church in Singapore, it said: "The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore is jubilant and rejoices! From our very own, has risen one who is now appointed to the Sacred College of Cardinals."
The other new cardinals come from Britain, South Korea, Spain, France, Nigeria, Brazil, India, the United States, East Timor, Italy, Ghana, Paraguay and Colombia.
Pope Francis, who chose men who mostly agree with his vision of a more progressive and inclusive Church, told the new cardinals to show concern for ordinary people despite the high rank that will bring them into contact with the powerful of the earth.
"A Cardinal loves the Church, always with that same spiritual fire, whether dealing with great questions or handling everyday problems, with the powerful of this world or those ordinary people who are great in God's eyes," the Pope said.
Sitting before the main altar of St Peter's Basilica, Francis asked them to remember "poor families, migrant and homeless persons".
He read his homily in a strong voice, often going off script, even to joke about a Rome priest who was so close to his parishioners that he knew not only all their names, but also the names of their dogs.
Francis, elected as Pope in 2013, has now chosen 83 of the 132 cardinal electors, or about 63 per cent.
With each consistory, Francis has continued what one diplomat has called a "tilt towards Asia", increasing the likelihood that the next Pope could be from the region that is a growing economic and political powerhouse.
With the latest August 2022 consistory, Asia will have 21 cardinals.
The 85-year-old pontiff told Reuters in an interview last month that if he does resign in the future for health reasons - instead of dying in office - he has no plans to do so anytime soon. This means he could name even more cardinals as soon as next year.