Singapore’s William Goh among 20 new cardinals inducted by the Pope in Rome

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.