Uruguay archbishop `shocked` to be named cardinal

 Uruguay`s Archbishop Daniel Sturla spoke of his shock on Sunday after being named as one of 20 new cardinals by Pope Francis.

AFP| Updated: Jan 05, 2015, 04:08 AM IST

Montevideo: Uruguay`s Archbishop Daniel Sturla spoke of his shock on Sunday after being named as one of 20 new cardinals by Pope Francis.

Sturla, 55, only the second Uruguayan to be appointed a cardinal, said the honor marked a "distinction" for the Catholic Church in Uruguay.

"I was and am still shocked by the news," Sturla told reporters after a Sunday Mass in Montevideo following the Vatican`s announcement.

"I was only very recently appointed as archbishop of Montevideo so I view this as a distinction for the Church in Uruguay, rather than to me," added Sturla, appointed archbishop of Montevideo by Pope Francis in February 2014.

Most of the cardinals named by the pope came from smaller, developing countries, as the Roman Catholic Church`s support shifts from its traditional European stronghold.

Secular Uruguay has the lowest number of Catholics than any other country in Latin America after Communist Cuba.

The only other cardinal to emerge from Uruguay was Antonio Maria Barbieri, appointed from John XXIII in 1958.