Steubenville Native Named Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI
Oct 20, 2007
Daniel N. DiNardo, one of 23 new cardinals appointed Wednesday by Pope Benedict XVI, is a Steubenville native.
(theintelligencer.net, October 20, 2007) STEUBENVILLE — DiNardo was born in Steubenville in 1949 to Nicholas and Jane Green DiNardo. He and the 22 other cardinals-elect will receive their red hats from Benedict in a Vatican ceremony on Nov. 24.
Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of the Diocese of Steubenville knows DiNardo from serving with him on the board of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Latrobe and from participation in events and meetings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Diocesan spokeswoman Pat DeFrancis said DiNardo would often remind Conlon that he was born in Steubenville and because of that connection, Conlon and DiNardo routinely had conversations when they were together at events. Conlon most recently saw the cardinal-elect at the installation of Bishop David A. Zubik in Pittsburgh on Sept. 28.
“It is a great honor for the church of the United States and the church here in Steubenville that a native son has been made cardinal,” Conlon said.
DiNardo’s elevation came as a surprise to some church observers, but others said it shows an awareness on the part of the pope that growth in the Catholic church in the U.S. is coming in the Latin American areas. DiNardo has been serving as leader of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese.
“It says something about Texas and how wonderful Texas is in the terms of the growth of our Catholic faith,” DiNardo said.
Like many Catholic dioceses in the South, the Galveston-Houston area has witnessed a influx of the faithful from Mexico and Central America in recent years — so much so that it was upgraded to an archdiocese. There are about 7 million Roman Catholics in Texas, about 1.3 million of whom live in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese.
The new cardinals come from five continents and include Vatican officials, academics, church diplomats and archbishops. Eighteen of the new cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave; five others, including the patriarch of Baghdad, were named in recognition of their service to the church.
The appointments bring the number of U.S. cardinals to 17 — second only to Italy — and increases the American contingent’s clout in any conclave to elect a future pontiff.
The other American appointed Wednesday was Archbishop John Foley, a longtime Vatican official who recently was named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a lay religious community that aims to protect the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
In addition to the Americans, Benedict named the archbishops of Paris; Mumbai, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Valencia, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Monterrey, Mexico; Dakar, Senegal and Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the primate of Ireland, as well as a handful of Italians.
Benedict also named five prelates over age 80 who he said deserved particular merit, including the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel III Delly. Delly has been outspoken about the need to protect minority Christians from Iraq’s spiraling violence — a concern voiced repeatedly by Benedict in recent months.
Wednesday marked the second time Benedict has named new cardinals. His first consistory was held in March 2006, and he said Wednesday he hoped to name more in the future.
Cardinals have been the sole electors of the pontiff for nearly 1,000 years and it remains their most important job. For centuries, they have chosen the pope from their own ranks, as they did on April 19, 2005, when they tapped Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.