Pope Francis is packing the court ahead of the next papal conclave.
In a surprise move, Francis announced last week that 13 clerics will be added to the College of Cardinals next month — among them, several of the pontiff's key leftist allies.
Gung-ho globalist Abp. Jean-Claude Höllerich has blasted the rise of populism in Europe, calling it a catalyst for "totalitarianisms" that will "eventually devour Christianity."
Pro-migration activist Fr. Michael Czerny has slammed conservatives for backing border security, accusing them of "xenophobia and isolationism."
Homosexualist Abp. Matteo Zuppi has penned a preface for Building a Bridge, the pro-gay book by LGBT champion Fr. James Martin.
Martin hailed Zuppi's appointment, calling him "a great supporter of LGBT Catholics."
Reflecting on the appointments, Catholic World News editor Philip Lawler called them a turn to the left: "You have leading representatives of what you might call the liberal bloc in the European bishops' world, and that's the way these appointments are trending."
Once these men don their red hats on Oct. 5, the College of Cardinals will be dominated by liberals, with 67 Francis picks eligible to vote for the next pontiff versus 61 from the conservative camp.
Analysts say Pope Francis is setting the stage for the next papal conclave, maneuvering to ensure that his vision for the Church endures for generations to come.