Pope Francis has announced he will create 14 new cardinals in late June with bishops from Iraq, Pakistan, Portugal, Peru, Madagascar, Italy and Japan among those named.

In what was a surprise announcement, the Pope said on Sunday that the home countries of the cardinals expressed "the universality of the Church, which continues to announce the merciful love of God to all men and women on earth”.

Among those named were Louis Raphael I Sako, the Baghdad-based Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, Thomas Aquinas Manyo, the archbishop of Osaka in Japan, Joseph Coutts, the archbishop of Karachi in Pakistan, Pedro Barreto, the archbishop of Huancayo in Peru, and Desiré Tsarahazana, the archbishop of Toamasina in Madagascar.

Also named were Polish Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who serves as the papal almoner, retired Mexican Archbishop Sergio Obeso Rivera and retired Bolivian bishop Toribio Ticona Porco, and a priest from the Claretian order, Fr Aquilino Bocos Merino. Three Italian archbishops -  Angelo De Donatis, the vicar general of the Rome diocese, Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Giovanni Becciu, the substitute of the Secretary of State and special delegate for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta - were also among those named.

The men will be elevated to the rank of cardinal at a ceremony on 29th June.