Cl Cardinal Hummes, O.F.M. Cl Cardinal Hummes, O.F.M.
Function:
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
Title:
Cardinal Priest of Sant'Antonio da Padova in Via Merulana
Birthdate:
Aug 08, 1934
Country:
Brazil
Elevated:
Feb 21, 2001
More information:
www.catholic-hierarchy.org
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English Brazilan Town Roots for Cardinal As Pope
Apr 16, 2005
"My father, who died two years ago at the age of 94, always knew Claudio would go far," said Arthemio Hummes, the cardinal's 64-year-old brother. "He used to say that Claudio would reach the last rung of the Church's ladder and serve as an example to the rest of the world."

(Associated Press, April 15, 2005) SALVADOR DO SUL, Brazil -- The 7,000 residents of this small rural town nestled in the rolling green hills of southern Brazil aren't bound by a vow of silence -- and their opinion about who should be the next pope is clear.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the 70-year-old archbishop of Sao Paulo whose family settled in this valley region more than a century ago, has emerged as a potential first pope from the Third World in the days leading up to the secretive conclave that will choose the next pontiff.

Like Hummes, most of the inhabitants of Salvador do Sul are descendants of German immigrants, who came to Brazil in the 19th century.

"It would be great if the cardinal is elected pope," said 13-year-old Claudia Klassmann as she ate a sandwich in the Apollo XII restaurant. "This town, where nothing ever happens and which few people even heard of, will suddenly become famous. Things will start shaking. It will be a lot of fun. He will put us on the map."

She may have a point.

The mention of Hummes as a papal contender has already lured reporters and photographers from major Brazilian dailies to this sleepy town, located some 62 miles northwest of Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul state.

Hummes lived in Salvador do Sul until age 9, when he entered seminary and began his religious career.

"He is a son of Salvador do Sul and hopes are high that he will be the next pope," said the town's mayor Volnei Garcia de Lima. "Everyone is praying for him."

People do not consider Hummes as progressive or conservative since his pastoral work developed in other places in Brazil. But those close to him think he would be a balanced pontiff.

"He would be a modern pope who will know how to balance traditional Christian ideas with concern for the poor. He will be firm but not a radical. He will be stern in religious matters but flexible with social issues," said Lourdes Hummes Graf, 70, the cardinal's cousin.

Hummes always opposed the use of Marxism as a tool to analyze and interpret reality, which was one of the hallmarks of Liberation Theology, the spokesman for the Sao Paulo archdiocese, Monsignor Dario Bevilacqua, said referring to the movement that linked spirituality to freedom from hunger, poverty and social injustice.

"The Cardinal supports Liberation Theology as long as the liberation we are talking about is spiritual liberation," Bevilacqua said last week.

"We are living in a period of ebullition," Hummes said shortly before Pope John Paul II died.

One of Hummes' colleagues at the Sao Boaventura Convent, where he completed his novitiate and studied philosophy, remembered the cardinal as "determined individual with a privileged intelligence who always knew what he wanted."

"He would make an excellent pope, but let's not discuss this too much, because you know what they say -- to enter the conclave a pope is to exit a cardinal," said Father Gervasio Muttoni.

In a modest house, some 7 miles from Salvador do Sul, 80-year-old Arthur Tapper, has a special reason for wanting Cardinal Hummes to be the next pope.

"If he is elected , I will have the immense honor and satisfaction of knowing that I once took care of the man who became pope," he said.

Tapper tells of how at the age of 11 he took care of Hummes and his two older sisters, working at the home for room and board for almost three years.

The future cardinal, who was baptized Auri Afonso, was just 6 months old at the time, Tapper recalled. Hummes changed his name to Claudio when he was ordained a Franciscan priest 24 years later.

"For almost three years I played with him, cleaned him, fed him and sang lullabies and religious hymns which he seemed to love," Tapper said.

Cardinal Hummes was born August 8, 1934, in the nearby village of Batinga Sul. Six months later, when his father's cheese factory went bankrupt, the family moved to Salvador do Sul.

The archbishop is the third of 13 children born to Pedro Adao Hummes and Anna Maria Hummes Frank, who died during childbirth in 1951 at the age of 38. Ten years later his father remarried.

Of the 13 siblings and one half-sister, nine -- three men and six women -- are still alive.

"My father, who died two years ago at the age of 94, always knew Claudio would go far," said Arthemio Hummes, the cardinal's 64-year-old brother. "He used to say that Claudio would reach the last rung of the Church's ladder and serve as an example to the rest of the world."
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