Pope Francis is going to name his first batch of cardinals in a few months, a move seen as part of the slow and methodical process of reshaping the church’s hierarchy more or less in the new pope’s image. The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said today that the pope will preside over a consistory to create the cardinals on Feb. 22. The consistory is expected to be preceded by a separate meeting of the College of Cardinals, presumably to discuss impending changes in the Vatican bureaucracy. By February, there will be at least 14 “openings” for cardinals under the age of 80, who can vote in a conclave. It’s always impressed me how quickly a pope can put his mark on the College of C
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