January 29, 2001
volume 12, no. 29

Pope, Unexpectedly, Names Seven More Cardinals

Following his Sunday Angelus, John Paul II revealed the two cardinals he had named "in pectore" in 1998, then announced five additional names to the 37 he announced last Sunday, bringing the total to 44

By Robert Moynihan, INSIDE THE VATICAN

    VATICAN CITY, January 28 -- John Paul II does not cease to astonish. A week ago he went above the traditional limit of 120 when he announced he will create 37 new cardinals at a February 21 consistory. Today, speaking from the window of his personal apartment above St. Peter's Square, he announced seven more new "princes" of the Roman Catholic Church.

    He first revealed the names of two cardinals from the former Soviet Union he had created "in pectore" ("in the breast" or "near the heart," i.e., in secret) at the consistory of Feb. 21, 1998:

  • (1) Monsignor Marian Jaworski, Archbishop of Leopoli (Lviv) of the Latins (Ukraine)
  • (2) Monsignor Janis Pujats, Archbishop of Riga (Latvia)

        Jaworski is a friend of the Pope's since they were young priests together in Poland. Jaworski is missing his right hand -- he lost it in a train accident as he was traveling to a church to substitute his fellow priest Karol Wojtyla, who had asked Jaworski to take his place.

        Then John Paul said: "'In pectore,' that is, in my heart, I also had last Sunday several other names, the announcement of which, for various reasons, I decided to postpone until today."

        John Paul then said that these other cardinals as well, "setting aside the established numerical limit, will be included among the cardinals I will create in the consistory of February 21."

        He then focused for a few moments on just one of the remaining five cardinals, saying "among them, there is first of all":

  • (3) Monsignor Lubomyr Husar, the newly-elected Major Archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine (elected two days ago the head of the Eastern Rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, which is also known as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church).

        John Paul dwelt on Husar and what he represents: "In his person, as in the persons of the two other above-mentioned prelates, I wish to honor the respective Churches which, especially in the course of the 20th century, were sorely tried and offered to the world the example of so many Christian men and women, who were willing to bear witness to their faith amid sufferings of every kind, culminating not seldom in the scrifice of their lives."

        John Paul then named the other four new cardinals he is choosing:

  • (4) Monsignor Johannes Joachim Degenhardt, Archbishop of Paderborn (Germany)
  • (5) Monsignor Julio Terrazas Sandoval, Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia)
  • (6) Monsignor Wilfrid Fox Napier, Archbishop of Durban (South Africa)
  • (7) Monsignor Karl Lehmann, Bishop of Mainz (Germany

        Without commenting further on any of these names, John Paul, who had smiled broadly as he began to make the announcement, concluded: "We now entrust the persons of these generous pastors to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin, in order that with her help they may be able to continue with renewed commitment in their service to their respective particular Churches, arousing in them further fruits of the Great Jubilee just celebrated."

        In the Vatican press office, only five or six journalists were present. The vast majority had no idea that John Paul would make public these new names today.

        In its report, based on AP and Reuters, CNN stressed that the "Latin American bloc in the college of cardinals was further strengthened" with the appointment of Sandoval of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, adding that "10 of the new cardinals announced a week ago were also from Latin America."

        Though the idea of national, ethnic or linguistic "blocs" among the cardinals is a "political" way of looking at the College which does not shed much light on the faith of these men or on how they view the perils currently facing the Church, it seems important to note that the world's media is presenting the College in these terms.

        Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that a man as close to the devout and very poor people of the Bolivian Andes as Sandoval, 64, could emerge as a charismatic figure in the College. Sandoval discovered his religious vocation in his native land of Vallegrande in the Bolivian cordillera. He entered into the Redemptorist Congregation and professed his first vows 1957. Ordained a priest in 1962, after serving as pastor in Vallegrande, he was consecrated bishop of Oruro in 1980 and made Archbishop of Santa Cruz in 1991. He was recently elected to his third term as President of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference.

        Two of the new cardinals -- Degenhart of Paderborn and Lehmann of Mainz -- are from Germany. Germany had seemed to have been "overlooked" in last week's anouncement.

        Archbishop Degenhardt was born in Schwelm, Germany in 1926. He studied Philosophy and Theology at the Universities of Paderborn and Munich and was ordained in 1952. He completed his doctorate at the University of Würzburg. He was ordained a bishop in 1968. In 1974 he was made archbishop of Paderborn, where he has remained ever since.

        Lehmann -- the last name included -- made world headlines last year when he appeared to suggest in an interview that the Pope might one day consider retiring if he felt he were not able to run the Church properly due to health concerns. He has also clashed with the Holy See on the issue of participating in the German system of issuing certificates after counseling pregnant women which the women can then use if they decide to have an abortion. Rome has asked the Church to withdraw from this system in order not to give even the appearance of assisting in the procuring of an abortion. Lehmann has led the German opposition to Rome's request, saying the counseling centers are the Church's best hope to dissuade some women from having an abortion. Last year, the Church in Germany agreed to Rome's request to withdraw from the system. Lehmann's nomination may signify that, despite tensions in the past, the Pope and the German Church now are fully in agreement on this issue.

        The fifth new appointment, Napier of Durban, South Africa, adds another African to the College alongside Agre of Abidjan and Ghattas of Alexandria, announced last week.

        But the focus this morning was clearly on "the East" -- Ukraine and Latvia, countries which were a decade ago part of the Soviet Union. By choosing three new cardinals from that region of the world, the Pope is clearly signaling his conviction that the faithful in that region, which has suffered so much, must now be nourished, honored and listened to.

        The announcement of the three names comes five months before a scheduled June 23-27 papal trip to the Ukraine -- a trip which has sparked objections from some in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

        There are currently 95 cardinals under age 80. After the creation of the 44 new cardinals on February 21, there will be 135 under age 80, and so having the right to vote in a conclave -- the highest level in history.

        As we reported a week ago, this suggests that the 120 "ceiling" may not last much longer; if it continues to be impossible to hold the number under 120, the number of cardinals may within a few years be raised officially, perhaps to 150 or more.

    January 29, 2001
    volume 12, no. 29
    News from ROME
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