.- This Saturday, Benedict XVI will appoint Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo as the United States’ first Catholic cardinal from the South, in St. Peter’s Square. With his appointment, DiNardo plans to continue serving the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, while focusing on Catholic education in the US.
In addition, the cardinal-designate will assume the responsibility of advising the Holy Father on issues pertaining to Texas and the United States. DiNardo will also be one of the cardinals younger than 80 years-old who will one day elect the next pope.
The current archbishop told the AP that on broad issues, he expects that Houston's diverse religious and ethnic landscape would draw him into more inter-religious dialogue and issues of immigration.
"We put in our statements that a country needs to protect its borders," DiNardo said, "but the overly punitive way in which the issue of immigration reform is being handled today is just unworkable."
The 58 year-old cardinal designate describes himself as a traditionalist and fully in line with the doctrinal teachings of the church, emphasizing abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. He emphasized that he would "be not only down the line but absolutely convinced of it."
DiNardo was ordained a priest in his hometown of Pittsburgh and spent six years working at the Vatican in the Congregation for Bishops. In 1997 he was named bishop of Sioux City, Iowa and in 2004 he was appointed archbishop of Galveston-Houston by Pope John Paul II.