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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

30 Cardinals Named

VATICAN CITY () -- The ageing Pope John Paul has named 30 new cardinals from 24 countries, seeking to influence the choice of his successor and leave his conservative stamp on the Roman Catholic Church into the next millennium.

The Pope, 74, has now appointed 100 of the 120 cardinals -- some 85 percent -- who would be eligible to choose his successor, stacking the odds that the next pope will be a man in his own image who will not tamper with the fundamentals of his papacy, including a strong reaffirmation of bans on contraceptives and women priests.

The naming of new cardinals also appeared aimed at strengthening the Church in places where it was or is still suffering such as Sarajevo, Vietnam, Cuba, Lebanon, Belarus and Albania.