Cardinal Francis Arinze

 

 
NATIONALITY
Nigerian

DATE OF BIRTH
November 1, 1932

AGE
72

WHERE PRESENTLY SERVING
He spent the last twenty years, working in Rome: first as the president of the Pontifical Council for interreligious Dialogue. And up to the death of Pope John Paul II, he was the prefect of the congregation for Divine Worship.

BIOGRAPHY

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was born on 1 November 1932 in Eziowelle, a city of the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria. At the age of fifteen, he began his secondary studies at the All Hallowa Seminary (Ognissanti) of Nuewi, studies which he concluded in 1950 at Enugu. For the following two years he taught at the same seminary until 1953, when he took up philosophy studies at Bigard Memorial Seminary at Enugu. In 1955 he began to take courses in theology at the Pontifical Urban University. Only three years later he was ordained to the priesthood during a ceremony which took place at the church of the Pontifical Urban University in Rome on 23 November 1958.
Following pastoral assignments and teaching in the seminary, he became coadjutor to the Archbishop of Onitsha. His leadership
gifts were apparent as evidenced by the 1979 election of his brother bishops as their president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria. He filled this post until 1984, when John Paul II asked him to head as pro- president the Secretariat for Non-Christians (now the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This began his 20 years of service in Rome. This long tenure of service in the central government of Rome, referred as the curia, has made him the object of of speculation as a most deserving papabili.
On 1 October 2002 he was nominated Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Vatican Curial membership:
-Doctrine of the Faith, Oriental Churches, Causes of Saints, Evangelization of Peoples (congregations)
-Laity, Christian Unity, Culture (councils)
-International Eucharistic Congresses (committee)
-Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
-Special Council for Africa and Special Council for -Lebanon of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops