Pope Benedict XVI named 24 new cardinals Wednesday, putting his mark on the body that will elect his successor and giving a boost to Italian hopes to regain the papacy.
Among the new cardinals are two Americans and prelates from key posts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Benedict said the new “princes of the church” will be formally elevated at a ceremony in Rome on Nov. 20, making the announcement “with joy” at the end of his weekly public audience.

The new cardinals include Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former La Crosse, Wis., bishop who now leads the Vatican’s supreme court. Burke has been sharply critical of the U.S. Democratic Party for its support of abortion rights.

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