University of Saint Thomas – Houston

The United States Youngest Cardinal

A Profile of Daniel DiNardo

by Jeff Ziegler

On June 17, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo expressed “grave concern over the FDA’s current process for approving the drug Ulipristal (with the proposed trade name of Ella) for use as an ‘emergency contraceptive.’ Ulipristal is a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486, with the same biological effect — that is, it can disrupt an established pregnancy weeks after conception has taken place.”

Cardinal DiNardo expressed these concerns as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, the latest in a line of responsibilities he has assumed in recent years. As recently as 1997, he was simply “Father Dan,” a 48-year-old Pittsburgh parish priest, before he was appointed coadjutor bishop of a small Iowa diocese. At the age of 54, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Galveston-Houston, and at 58, Pope Benedict created him a cardinal — the first cardinal from a diocese in the South, and the youngest American cardinal since Cardinal Roger Mahony received his red hat in 1991.

Following the consistory of 2007, Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal DiNardo a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (2008) and the Pontifical Council for Culture (2009). In the fall of 2009, he assumed the leadership of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts. He will take part in any conclave that occurs before his eightieth birthday in 2029 and appears destined to be one of the leading American ecclesial figures of the next two decades.

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Greetings and Shameless Plug

Greetings to all the American Catholic readers. It is a great pleasure and honor to join this esteemed group of bloggers. I am looking forward to joining a lively debate on all things Catholic. A brief word about myself, I tend to try to transcend labels such as liberal or conservative, etc. I am always in search of being “simply Catholic.”

I wanted to kick things off, but giving a shameless plug for the University of St. Thomas. I am currently on the beautiful campus of EWTN studios. On Thursday, April 22nd, EWTN’s Life on the Rock will feature 9 members (6 students, 3 faculty) of the University on their show (8pm EST/7pm CST). I have spent the last couple of weeks helping to prepare these students for their appearance. I am very proud of all of them. I hope you will tune in to learn more about this great Catholic university.

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