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Swiss to be made cardinal

The former bishop of Basel, Kurt Koch, is to be made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI next month.

The Vatican reported on Wednesday that the pope had announced the holding of a consistory – a formal meeting at which new cardinals are created – on November 20 and 21.

A total of 24 new cardinals are to be appointed.

The naming of Koch was expected: he has headed the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since July, and it is tradition for the heads of pontifical councils to be cardinals.

Koch, who is 60, is the ninth Swiss cardinal in history. Of these, three are currently in office. However, two of them are aged over 80, which means that they are not eligible to take part in the next papal election.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR