Pope John Paul II has created 31 new cardinals, 26 of whom are under 80 and therefore eligible to join the papal electoral college. Eighteen of the new cardinals are from Europe, five are from North America, there are three each from Africa and Asia and one from South Asia. One has not been named. A total of 70 countries are now represented in the papal electoral college, including four new ones: Croatia, Guatemala, Sudan and Ghana.
The latest appointments will be confirmed at a special ceremony known as a consistory on 21 October, and will take the number of electoral cardinals to 135, only 10 of whom have not been appointed by the current pontiff. Almost half - 66 - are from Europe, with Italians forming the largest block. Twenty-four members of the college are from Latin America, 14 from North America, 13 from Africa, 13 from Asia and five from Oceania. Only cardinals under the age of 80 can vote on the popes successor when he dies.