Pope Francis appointed 14 new cardinals Thursday, a diverse selection from all over the world including Iraq, Pakistan, Madagascar and Japan whom he warned to avoid the kind of "palace intrigues" which have plagued the Vatican over the years.
The appointments come as the Argentine pontiff gradually shapes a less European college of cardinals.
Before the ceremony marking their appointment, Francis warned the new batch of cardinals that they must not get involved in "palace intrigues" within the Vatican but focus on "those who are hungry, the forgotten, the prisoner, the sick, the addict, the abandoned person."
Among the new "princes" of the church is Iraq's Louis Raphael Sako who has often met Pope Francis to discuss the situation in the war-torn country and the plight of the dwindling Christian community.
From Pakistan comes Joseph Coutts of Karachi who promotes dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Coutts fights the abusive use of the crime of blasphemy in a country where churches are under police protection due to threats from extremist Muslim groups.
Desire Tsarahazana from Toamasina in Madagascar is the only African among the new cardinals.
"The people are suffering and need support," he said of his appointment.
The Pope also appointed Thomas Aquinas Manyo from Osaka in Japan. Among the three Latin American prelates is Archbishop Pedro Barreto of Huancayo, Peru. Barreto fights for the rights of the communities living in the Amazon forest and has received death threats for denouncing working conditions in illegal mines.
Seven European cardinals were also appointed, including Italy's Giuseppe Petrocchi, archbishop of L'Aquila, a city destroyed nine years ago by a violent earthquake.
As well as having the key role of choosing a new pope, cardinals often also hold the highest administrative offices in the Church.
Each new appointee knelt in front of Pope Francis who placed the cardinal's hat on their heads during the ceremony at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
Speaking at the beginning of the ceremony, Sako hailed "the special attention from the Pope... for the small flock of Christians in the Middle East, in Pakistan and other countries that are going through a difficult period because of wars and sectarianism and where there are still martyrs."