Sweden gets its first cardinal

vatican, first cardinalVatican, Photo: Pixabay.com

Sweden gets its first cardinal since reformation

Stockholm bishop Anders Arborelius becomes Sweden’s first cardinal. Arborelius is among five new cardinals that Pope Francis surprisingly appointed on Sunday. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest community in the world and are represented in virtually every part of the world.


The five new cardinals belong in Spain, El Salvador and three countries where Catholics make up a small minority: Mali, Laos and Sweden.

Sweden gets their first cardinal since reformation. This came as a surprise to both bishop Arborelius and the Catholic Church of Sweden.

– It was a very, very big surprise, even though we had our hopes. The bishop is amazed, happy and surprised.

– It is an incredible honour, says Communications Manager Kristina Hellner in the Stockholm Catholic Diocese.

Mali and Laos are also located in the periphery of the Catholic world. But the choice of a Swedish cardinal is particularly surprising. Sweden has such a clear secular profile, states professor Douglas Brommesson at Lund University in the south of Sweden.

Pope’s mindset

– But it’s in line with the Pope’s mindset. He has also previously appointed cardinals in countries that are poor or located far from Rome. Probably this is a way to get perspectives from other types of countries than those who are classical Catholic, says Brommesson. He researches the role of the Catholic Church in international politics.

The other cardinals that Pope Frans appointed Sunday is Jean Zerbo from Bamako in Mali, Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun from Pakse in Laos, Juan Jose Omella from Barcelona and Gregorio Rosa Chávez from San Salvador.

– Their origins, from different parts of the world, are an expression of the universal spread of the church throughout the globe, says the Pope to several thousand Catholics on St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today