RELIGION
02/24/2014 11:06 am ET | Updated Feb 24, 2014

Radical Change In Cardinal Diversity In Catholic Church Over The Last 100 Years (Infographic)

Pope Francis appointed 19 new cardinals this weekend, most from the developing world, marking a shift in the hierarchy of the Catholic church. For much of the last century, the College of Cardinals, which elects new popes when the seat becomes vacant and acts as an advisory body to the church, has been overwhelmingly European and Italian, even as the church's membership in the developing world has grown.

Francis, the first pope in modern times from outside Europe, has already made history just by his election. With his recent appointment of 16 voting-age cardinals, 10 of whom are from outside Europe, along with his challenge to Catholic leadership to focus less on social issues like gay marriage and abortion and to make the church "a home for all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people," his time at the helm may mean big changes are coming for the church.

See full-size image here.

Infographic by Alissa Scheller for the Huffington Post.

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