CFN – At the noon Angelus today, Pope Benedict announced the appointment of 22 new cardinals, including one from Canada. Tom Collins, Archbishop of Toronto joins two new U.S. appointees, Tim Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Edwin O’Brien, a former archbishop of Baltimore who now serves as grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. Collins is to become the 16th cardinal in the history of the Canadian Catholic Church and the 4th in the history of the Toronto archdiocese. Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal is Canada’s only other cardinal.
The 64-year-old Collins and his fellow Cardinal-designates will formally be inducted on February 18 at the consistory in Rome. As of now, North Americans have 22 among the ranks of the College of Cardinals. 125 of the cardinals worldwide are under the age of 80 (including 18 of the 22 new appointees) and therefore eligible to vote in the next papal conclave.
Originally from Guelph, Collins entered the priesthood in 1973 and was named Bishop of Saint Paul Alberta in 1997, and subsequently Archbishop of Edmonton in 1999. On January 30, 2007 Collins replaced Aloysius Ambrozic as Toronto’s archbishop, following Ambrozic’s retirement. After a lengthy illness, Ambrozic died in August of 2011 at the age of 81.
Collins is well known as a gifted presenter and former seminary lecturer. He has been very outspoken against clergy sexual abuse within the Church as well as against abortionist Henry Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada. The Pope recently assigned Collins as his Canadian representative to assist Anglicans who seek to join the Catholic Church but retain their traditions. Some video presentations by Collins, including a series on Lectio Divina, can be found on YouTube.