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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.02.2013]

 


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


 

NAPIER Card. Wilfrid Fox, O.F.M.

© Gregorz Galazka

 

 

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Umzimkulu, was born on 8 March 1941 in Swartberg, South Africa. He was ordained for the Franciscans on 25 July 1970 following philosophical and theological studies at the Catholic University of Louvain.

After learning Xhosa, he worked in the parish of Lusikisiki and did pastoral work in Tabankulu. In 1978 he was named Apostolic Administrator of Kokstad and appointed Bishop of the same see on 29 November 1980, receiving episcopal ordination on 28 February 1981. During the turbulent changes that marked the South African political scene, he was deeply involved in mediation and negotiation work along with other national and provincial Church leaders. He served as President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1987 to 1994.

On 29 May 1992 he was promoted to Archbishop of Durban and on 1 August 1994 was named Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Umzimkulu.

President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) (November 1999 - November 2008)

President Delegate of the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. 'You are the salt of the earth, ... you are the light of the world'" (4-25 October 2009).

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by the Bl. John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Francesco d'Assisi in Acilia (St. Francis of Assisi in Acilia).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for the Evangelization of Peoples; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life;
  • Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers;
  • Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
  • XIII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops;
  • II Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

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