The Catholic Church administers 25 percent of all AIDS treatment worldwide, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas. But it's facing new obstacles as funding declines and African governments are under pressure to provide services themselves.
The 15 new cardinals, mostly from developing countries in Asia and Africa, would be eligible to vote for the next pope. Five other churchmen who won't be eligible due to their age were also selected on Sunday.
The church, a minority faith in largely Orthodox Ukraine, has a long history of guarding the country's identity and independence. Now, it is doing so directly, by supplying ammo, medical kits, and armor to soldiers fighting in the east.
Pope Francis arrives in Seoul Thursday on his first visit to Asia, one of the few regions where Catholicism is growing. In South Korea, the number of Roman Catholics has nearly tripled since the last visit of a pope in 1989.