.- Pope Benedict XVI accepted, today, the resignation of Cardinal Dario Castrillòn Hoyos from his office as Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy and named as his replacement Cardinal Claudio Hummes, O.F.M., who was serving as Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brasil.
Cardinal Castrillòn Hoyos, a 77 year old Colombian, had offered his resignation to the Holy Father after reaching the age limit of 75, as established by in Canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law. He was appointed to his office by Pope John Paul II in 1998.
Cardinal Hummes, a son of German immigrants, was born in Montenegro in the state of Rio Grande do sul, August 8th 1934. He was ordained a priest on August 3rd 1958. The cardinal received his Doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Antonianum University in Rome. He also completed studies in ecumenicism at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in Geneva, Switzerland. Hummes has also served as Provincial Superior for his Franciscan order and President of the Franciscan Council of Latin America.
He was named Bishop of Santo André in 1975 and Archbishop of Fortaleza in 1996.
Two years later, in April of 1998, when he thought that his “next serious move would be retirement or the tomb,” Archbishop Hummes was named the new Archbishop of Sao Paulo, succeeding Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns.
The new Prefect was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II on February 21st of 2001. In 2002 he preached the Vatican Curia’s annual Lenten Retreat at the request of John Paul II. He is a member of several Vatican dicasteries.
The Congregation for Clergy has three principal responsibilities, the collection, suggestion, and promotion of initiatives regarding the sanctity and intellectual and pastoral training and ongoing formation of diocesan Clergy, as well as oversight of whatever pertains to the pastoral ministry of priests; the oversight and promotion of the catechetical formation of all faithful of all states of life; and the oversight of legal matters regarding the management of issues relating to care for the clergy and parishes.