Signs of the Times

Pope Announces Seven More Cardinals

In a surprising and unprecedented move, Pope John Paul II named seven new cardinals after having appointed 37 just a week earlier. The new nominees included archbishops from Ukraine and Latvia whom the pope had designated cardinals in pectore—in his heart—in 1998, but whose names could not be divulged until now. Additionally, he named two prelates from Germany, the first black cardinal from South Africa, a Bolivian and the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

The seven new cardinals will bring the number of cardinal electors (cardinals under age 80) to 135, the highest number in history. This shatters the ceiling of 120 set by Paul VI in 1973. After they accept their red hats at the consistory scheduled for Feb. 21, the total number of cardinal electors will be 135—all but 10 appointed by John Paul.


Barring deaths, the latest appointments will leave the College of Cardinals with a record-high membership of 185—161 appointed by John Paul.

The two in pectore cardinals-designate are:

• Marian Jaworski, 74, the Latin archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine, and a close personal friend of Pope John Paul II. Many of his faithful of about 175,000 are of Polish ethnic origin. Because of the delicate relations among Christian communities in Ukraine, his nomination was considered a sensitive issue.

• Janis Pujats, 70, the archbishop of Riga, Latvia. In 1998, the last time the pope named cardinals, the archbishop was making news by publicly urging Russia to stop interfering in Latvia’s internal affairs, particularly on the status of Latvia’s Russian minority.

Also announced were Cardinal-designate Lubomyr Husar of Lviv, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who was elected to his post by a Ukrainian synod on Jan. 25 and approved by the pope the next day. The Ukrainian-born prelate is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was ordained a priest in 1958 for the Eparchy of Stamford, Conn., which serves Ukrainian Catholics in the U.S. He studied at the Catholic University of America and Fordham University. He will turn 68 on Feb. 26.

The pope said that with the naming of Cardinals-designate Husar, Jaworski and Pujats, he wanted to honor East European Catholic communities that offered heroic example to the rest of the church in the 20th century. Cardinals-designate Husar and Jaworski are expected to take leading roles in preparing the pope’s pastoral visit to Ukraine on June 23-27.

The pope, without further explanation, then named four “well-deserving pastors” to the list of new cardinals:

• Johannes Joachim Degenhardt of Paderborn, Germany, who turns 75 on Jan. 31.

• Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.Ss.R., of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 64.

• Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., of Durban, South Africa, 59.

• Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, 64.

The Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope’s decision to name cardinals in two groups a week apart hinged on the fact that Cardinal-designate Husar was up for election by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic synod in late January. The pope wanted to name most of the cardinals in mid-January, so they would have time to prepare for the February consistory. But he held back several names so that Cardinal-designate Husar would not be the only one nominated on Jan. 28, Navarro-Valls said.

The pope did not add new names based on reaction to his original list of cardinals, the spokesman said. “All these names were in the pope’s mind the week before,” he said. Italian newspapers had speculated that the pope was responding to complaints from the German bishops that Lehmann had not been made a cardinal.

Although he has served many years as president of the German bishops’ conference, Cardinal-designate Lehmann was considered a surprise choice by many Vatican-watchers. For one thing, he is a bishop, not an archbishop. For another, he has been in the middle of pastoral tensions with the Vatican in recent years, including a much-publicized disagreement over German church involvement in a state-run abortion-counseling program.

In addition, Cardinal-designate Lehmann’s comments last year that he thought Pope John Paul might one day consider resigning prompted criticism inside the Vatican. Earlier he and Cardinal-designate Walter Kasper had suggested that the church could be more lenient in allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion even if they do not have an annulment.

Cardinal-designate Degenhardt, on the other hand, was one of the first German bishops to embrace the Vatican’s view that the German church should withdraw from the abortion-counseling program.

South African Cardinal-designate Napier, a Franciscan and president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, took a leading role in the church’s opposition to apartheid in the 1980’s and in designing pastoral strategies in the country’s post-apartheid era.

Under John Paul, the College of Cardinals has become less Italian and more Eastern European and Latin American. It is also more Curial. When John Paul II was elected in 1978, 24 percent of the College of Cardinals was Italian; now it is only 18 percent. On the other hand, the percent from Eastern Europe has grown from 6 percent in 1978 to 11 percent today. Europeans cardinals now make up 48 percent, down from the 50 percent they had in 1978.

Latin America’s percentage of the college has gone up from 17 percent in 1978 to 20 percent now. Cardinals from developing countries make up 41 percent of the college today, up from 38 percent in 1978. Vatican officials made up 27 percent of the college in 1978; they are now 30 percent of the college.

The average age of the cardinals will now be 71.4 years. Leaving aside the possibility of deaths, it would be January 2003 before the aging process would reduce the number of potential conclave cardinals to 120. As a result, the next consistory might not be held until 2005, unless the pope surprises us again.

Church in Chile Wants Further Data on Pinochet Years

In a statement on Jan. 10, the Chilean bishops have reiterated their condemnation of the human rights violations that took place during the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. “However grave the situation of the country was at the time, we reject the inhuman methods used by some members of the military and civilians to deal with their opponents,” said the bishops. The bishops’ statement also asked people with information on the disappeared to come forward and contribute to closing a “wound that still keeps us from truly coming together as a society and prevents the reconciliation that is so necessary.”

The church has praised an armed forces’ report on 200 disappeared people, but it has also lent support to human rights groups that criticize the military for not providing all the available information. The bluntness of the armed forces’ report has rocked Chile, especially Pinochet’s supporters, as it was an official admission of military misdeeds.

Bush Launches Faith-Based Offices in His Administration

The White House and five federal agencies will each have an office dedicated to helping faith-based and community organizations work with the government to provide social services under a plan announced on Jan. 29 by President George W. Bush. John DiIulio, a University of Pennsylvania public policy professor who helped create and run a program in Boston that is credited with helping reduce youth homicides in the 1990’s, was appointed to run the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. DiIulio is a Catholic who has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and was director of the Manhattan Institute’s Jeremiah Project. That program was founded in 1998 to identify, document, publicize and fund faith-based programs that help inner-city youth and young adults.

As outlined in Bush’s executive order, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives would establish policies, priorities and objectives for the federal government to “enlist, enable, empower and expand the work of faith-based and other community organizations.” Its responsibilities would include mobilizing public support for faith-based initiatives; encouraging private charitable giving to such efforts; eliminating “unnecessary legislative, regulatory and other bureaucratic barriers that impede effective faith-based and other community efforts to solve social problems”; and ensuring that those organizations meet “high standards of excellence and accountability.”

The offices would be established in the departments of Justice, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development. H.U.D. has actually had a Center for Community and Interfaith Partnerships since 1997. Until he was required to resign his political appointment with the arrival of the new administration earlier in January, it was headed by Father Joseph R. Hacala, S.J.

The Rev. Val Peter, executive director of Girls and Boys Town, noted that collaboration between the government and faith-based organizations is nothing new, and in fact dates back to the beginnings of the nation, when churches established hospitals, orphanages and settlement houses. But in the last few decades the pendulum has swung away from the government encouraging collaboration with church-based organizations, and in favor of secular entities, he said, adding that he welcomed a swing back in the other direction.

Sister Mary Rose McGeady, a Daughter of Charity who is president of Covenant House shelters and support services for runaways and youngsters in crisis, noted that Covenant House raises 92 percent of its funding through “the generosity of the American people” but already receives some money from H.U.D. She expressed her concern that donations from individuals may drop off because now people may feel that government money will cover everything her agency needs.


A CNS story (reported here on 1/22) about a group called Justice for Priests and Deacons described a Msgr. Michael Higgins as its founder and current chairman and quoted him extensively. According to the Diocese of San Diego, Higgins was dismissed from the clerical state in March 1999 in a decision by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that was confirmed by Pope John Paul II.

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