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Canadian Jesuit Father Michael Czerny Among 13 New Cardinals Appointed by Pope Francis

September 1, 2019 — Pope Francis has named Canadian Jesuit Father Michael Czerny as one of 13 new cardinals to be installed on October 5, 2019.

Jesuit Father Michael Czerny (CNS photo/Robert Duncan)

Co-founder and longtime director of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto, Fr. Czerny was one of several Jesuits who volunteered to replace the Jesuits murdered at the José Simeon Cañas Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador, in 1989. He was director of the human rights institute there, along with teaching philosophy and sharing in parish ministry.

In 1992, he was named by the superior general of the Jesuits to be head of the Secretariat for Social Justice of the Jesuit Curia in Rome. In 2002 he was missioned to serve as the founding director of the African Jesuit AIDS Network established by the provincials of Africa and Madagascar. In 2010, he was asked by Cardinal Peter Turkson of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to serve as his “socius” or personal assistant/consultant.

In 2016 Pope Francis appointed him Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the new Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. 

Two other Jesuits are among the cardinal designates: Archbishop Jean-Claude Höllerich, SJ, of Luxembourg, and retired Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius, SJ, of Kaunas, Lithuania.

Archbishop Tamkevicius was part of the Lithuanian resistance to Soviet occupation and was imprisoned from 1983 to 1988 for “anti-Soviet propaganda.” As a Jesuit priest, in 1972 he began publishing the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, an underground newsletter documenting communist repression of the church. Despite repeated questioning by the KGB, he managed to publish and distribute the chronicle for more than 10 years and, once he was arrested, others continued his work.

He became auxiliary bishop of Kaunas in 1991 and the archbishop of Kaunas in 1996.

Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius, SJ

Archbishop Höllerich taught and held other positions for 17 years at Sophia University in Tokyo before being appointed by Benedict XVI as archbishop of Luxembourg in 2011.

 
Archbishop Jean-Claude Höllerich, SJ (CNS photo/Felix Kindermann, courtesy COMECE)

“Let us pray for the new cardinals so that, confirming their adhesion to Christ, they will help me in my ministry as bishop of Rome for the good of the entire faithful, holy people of God,” Pope Francis told pilgrims who had gathered to pray the midday Angelus with him. [Sources: Jesuits of Canada, CNS, America, Vatican News, Crux]





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