Vatican City, October 24 - Pope Benedict XVI is to name six new cardinals, Benedict said in an unexpected move during his general audience Wednesday. There are no Italians among the six, reversing a recent trend towards upping the number of Italians among the prelates who will elect Benedict's successor. The new high-ranking Church officials, in their current roles, are: James Michael Harvey, Prefect of the Pontifical House; Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Syriac Maronite Patriarch of Antioch; Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, India; John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja in Nigeria; Jesus Ruben Salazar Gomez, Archbishop of Bogota; and Luis Antonio "Chito" Gokim Tagle, Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines. The pontiff said Harvey, an American, was "in mind as archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls". They are to be officially appointed to their new role at a November 24 consistory. Following the death of Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli on September 20, the College of Cardinals has been made up of 116 members eligible to vote in a conclave for a successor to Benedict. His predecessor, John Paul II, named 55 of them, while Benedict named 61. An additional 89 cardinals cannot vote because they are too old.
''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.