Francis announced the cardinals during his weekly Angelus address in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square, the National Catholic Reporter reported.
The cardinals, whose main role will be to meet in secret conclave following the death or resignation of the pope to choose his successor, will be formally induct on Feb. 22.
Francis said the cardinals, "coming from 12 countries from every part of the world, represent the deep ecclesial relationship between the church of Rome and the other churches throughout the world."
Those named by the pope to be the four members of the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Roman curia, are Pietro Parolin, titular archbishop of Acquapendente, who will be the secretary of state; Lorenzo Baldisseri, titular archbishop of Diocleziana, secretary general of the synod of bishops; Gerhard Ludwig Muller, archbishop-bishop emeritus of Regensburg, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Beniamino Stella, titular archbishop of Midila, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
The other cardinals named were Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, Britain; Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua; Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec, Canada; Jean-Pierre Kutwa, archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Orani Joao Tempesta, archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve, Italy.
Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Andrew Yeom Soo jung, archbishop of Seoul, South Korea; Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., archbishop of Santiago del Cile, Chile; Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines; Chibly Langlois, bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti; Loris Francesco Capovilla, titular archbishop of Mesembria, former personal secretary of Blessed Pope John XXIII; Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, C.M.F., archbishop emeritus of Pamplona; and Kelvin Edward Felix, archbishop emeritus of Castries.