Pope Francis names two new cardinals with ties to Franciscan University

Edyta Wolk


Following his recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, Oct. 25, Pope Francis announced the addition of 13 new cardinals, two of whom are associated with the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Bishop Cornelius Sim and the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., were among the thirteen named, Sim having earned a master’s degree in theology at Franciscan in 1988 and Cantalamessa having been awarded an honorary degree in sacred theology from the university in 2011.

Sim, the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, earned an undergraduate degree in engineering before studying at Franciscan and being ordained a priest, according to Vatican News. He was appointed to his current position in 2004 by Pope St. John Paul II, who had elevated the territory of Brunei to an Apostolic Vicariate and made Sim its very first Apostolic Vicar.

Cantalamessa is an Italian priest currently holding the position of Preacher of the Papal Household, which involves him preaching weekly sermons to the pope, cardinals and bishops during Advent and Lent, according to Vatican News.

He is a doctor of divinity and also holds a doctorate in classical literature. Having worked previously as both a university professor and a full-time preacher, Cantalamessa was appointed to his current position also by John Paul.

The Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, Franciscan University president, released a statement Oct. 27 concerning the two new cardinals with university ties.

“I offer my congratulations to two new cardinals with special ties to Franciscan University of Steubenville,” said Pivonka.

“My prayers are with both of these newly named cardinals that they will continue to preach the word of God in season and out of season, and shepherd the people under their care with humility, love and wisdom.”

Pivonka noted in the statement that Sim was the first graduate of the university’s Priestly Discernment Program to be ordained a priest.

Cantalamessa, who Pivonka described as a “long-time friend,” has spoken at Steubenville Summer Conferences, appeared on Franciscan University Presents, and was a collaborator on the St. Francis of Assisi documentary “Sign of Contradiction,” said Pivonka.

These two cardinal-elects, along with the 11 others, will be officially made cardinals at a consistory scheduled for Nov. 28.

Sim, being under the age of 80, will become a cardinal elector, while Cantalamessa, 86, will be a non-voting member of the College of Cardinals.