VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has decried what he calls a surge of polarization in the world while welcoming 17 new cardinals from five continents.
During a ceremony Saturday in St. Peter's Basilica to formally induct the prelates into the cardinals' ranks, Francis lamented how immigrants, refugees, and people of different races or faiths are increasingly seen as enemies.
Francis cautioned somberly against those who "raise walls, build barriers and label people."
In his homily, the pope said: "We live at a time in which polarization and exclusion are burgeoning and considered the only way to resolve conflicts."
Among new cardinals pledging loyalty to the pope are churchmen from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and North and South America. Their homelands include Papua New Guinea, Albania, Mauritius and Lesotho, Malaysia, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States.