Two Red Hats

American Catholics had good reason for satisfaction on the morning of Oct. 17 upon hearing that two of our archbishops were selected by Pope Benedict XVI to join the College of Cardinals: John Patrick Foley and Daniel Nicholas DiNardo. Cardinal-designate Foley had learned of his appointment from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., only the previous morning, after returning from a cataract operation with a pirates patch still covering his eye. He was in St. Peters Square on the 17th to hear his name read out by the pope and was chatting with some pilgrims from Poland. They seemed a bit skeptical when he told him that his name was on the list.

Archbishop John P. Foley, who turned 72 on Nov. 11, became pro-grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in late June. He had been president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications for more than 23 years. A native of Philadelphia, he attended both the citys Jesuit high school and college, where he was president of the student body. He studied for the priesthood at St. Charles Seminary and later attended New Yorks Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1962.

Between stints in the 1960s as a teacher, pastoral minister and assistant editor of Philadelphias archdiocesan paper, The Catholic Standard & Times, he studied in Rome, where he covered the Second Vatican Council from 1963 to 1965. In 1970 he was appointed editor in chief of the paper and was still running it in 1984, when Pope John Paul II named him an archbishop and appointed him head of the Vatican office for social communications. In that office he worked tirelessly to encourage the churchs use of the media, undertaking arduous journeys all over the world, finding time when he was at home also to teach at the Pontifical Gregorian University.


Archbishop Foleys presence throughout the world served as a morale booster for those working in difficult situations. He has always remained a most faithful member of the Catholic Press Association, from which he received its highest accolade, the Saint Francis de Sales Award. In his home diocese he is remembered as a star debater, an excellent teacher and a wise and deft editor.

Cardinal-designate Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, a former Vatican official, was born May 23, 1949, in Steubenville, Ohio. He was ordained a priest for the Pittsburgh Diocese in 1977. From 1984 to 1990 he was a staff member of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops. From 1990 to 1997 he held pastoral posts in the Pittsburgh Diocese, where he taught in the ongoing formation program for priests and was assistant spiritual director at St. Paul Seminary. He was named coadjutor bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, in 1997 and became diocesan bishop there the following year. In Sioux City, he was known for a strong focus on vocations, the strengthening of adult religious education programs, a continued emphasis on the value of Catholic schools and the creation of safe-environment programs for children. He became coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 2004 and head of that archdiocese in February upon the resignation of Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza.

Archbishop DiNardo attended the Jesuit-run Bishops Latin School in Pittsburgh and remained an active alumnus even after the school was closed. He received bachelors and masters degrees from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he is currently a member of the board of trustees. He also received a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a degree in patristics from the Augustinianum in Rome. During his time in Rome, he also served as director of Villa Stritch, the residence for U.S. priests working at the Vatican, and taught a theology seminar in methodology at the Gregorian University.

The recognition of John Foley and his enormous contributions to the world of the Catholic media is a matter of special gratification to the editors of America. To have a knowledgeable former working editor in the College of Cardinals means that a man who fully understands the challenges of communications is now in an even more prominent position to share his wisdom and experience. The elevation of Daniel DiNardo is equally gratifying to his former teachers and to the people he served in Pennsylvania, Iowa and now Texas. All commentators have taken note of Texas as representative of the rich and vibrant Catholic tradition in the American southwest. Daniel DiNardo, with his Roman experience, brings a vision of the whole church to his people and will in turn speak of them to the universal church. We offer these men and their new colleagues all congratulations and our prayers.

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10 years 2 months ago
When I learned that Pope Benedict's list of cardinals was the "same old same old" I checked to see when the last lay cardinal had died (1899). In checking, I learned that about 12 years ago, when Pope John Paul II said he wanted to improve the role of women in the Church, the National Catholic Reporter suggested several ways. One was to appoint qualified women as heads of Congregations. Another was to appoint 30 women as voting cardinals. Then the Spirit could speak to the whole Church. We had lay cardinals for centuries and the greatest of all was a layman. There is no theological reason why women cannot be cardinals and the spread of this knowledge will hasten the day when the Spirit speaks to all.


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