The University of Notre Dame will confer an honorary doctorate to Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, during its commencement ceremony May 15, reported the South Bend Tribune.
The Nigerian native agreed to accept the doctorate in October. He is being recognized for his dedication to interfaith dialogue, particularly with Muslims. He headed the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue until October 2002.
Notre Dame first invited Cardinal Arinze to receive an honorary degree last year, but the cardinal could not accept because of a scheduling conflict.
Cardinal Arinze visited Indiana in November 1999. He preached to 1,500 people on the Feast of All Saints at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.
Notre Dame has conferred honorary degrees to other cardinals and to one future Pope. In 1960, it honored Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, who took the name Paul VI when he became the pontiff three years later.
Several cardinals, who are currently in conclave, have received honorary degrees from Notre Dame, including: Americans Adam Maida of Detroit (in 1997), William Henry Keeler of Baltimore (1998) Edmund Casimir Szoka of the Vatican (1999), Italian Agostino Cacciavillan (2000) and German Walter Kasper (2002), and Honduran Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (2003).