A cultural focus for Pope Francis’ Portugese cardinal
January 07, 2015 | posted by Catholic News Agency
Topics: In the Press
A cultural focus for Pope Francis' Portugese cardinal
Pope Francis’ selection of Patriarch Manuel Macario do Nascimento Clemente of Lisbon as a new cardinal will bring to the College of Cardinals a churchman active in academics, culture and communications.
Patriarch Clemente was born in Torres Vedras, a municipality north of Lisbon, on July 16, 1948. He was ordained a priest of the Patriarchate of Lisbon in 1979, and consecrated as an auxiliary bishop of the patriarchate in 2000. In 2007, Benedict XVI named him Bishop of Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal.
Pope Francis appointed him Patriarch of Lisbon in May 2013, and he was installed in July of that year.
He has authored several books on Church history, theology, and the church in the contemporary world, and he has also worked with several television and radio programs.
The cardinal-designate served on the Portuguese bishops’ committee on culture and social communications; he was vice-president of the Portuguese bishops’ conference from 2011 to 2013, and was elected president of the conference in 2013. He has been a member of the Pontifical Council on Social Communications since 2011.
In a May 2013 speech at a European Union meeting with religious leaders, Patriarch Clemente spoke of Europe’s “great diversity” and pluralism, while also discussing “the Christian foundation of Europe” as giving Europe a “fundamental” and “innovative” feature that distinguishes between the political and religious fields.
“This principle gives freedom to the state and freedom to religious belief, while acknowledging the specific order of each, as well as the desirable mutual collaboration in all that respects and serves the dignity of the citizens, believers or not,” he said, according to the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community.
The patriarch holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Portugal, where he taught as a professor and served as a member of the university’s scientific society. He was director of the Center of Studies of Religious History at the university, and he has also served as rector of Christ the King Diocesan Seminary at Olivais in Lisbon.
Pope Francis will make Patriarch Clemente a cardinal at the 2015 consistory, held Feb. 14-15 at Vatican City. He will be among 20 new cardinals, and is one of the 15 new cardinals eligible to vote in a papal conclave.
While the pope named several cardinals from dioceses which have never before had a cardinal, the Patriarch of Lisbon is traditionally made a cardinal. Patriarch Clemente’s predecessor, Jose Policarpo, was made a cardinal in 2001, and died last year at the age of 78.
The Lisbon diocese was established in the fourth century, and in 1716 was elevated to the status of a patriarchate by Clement XI.