Francis Cardinal Arinze
This book, based on a series of interviews with His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, offers the reflections and insights of the only African cardinal currently heading a Vatican department. Without pretending to be a biography, it nevertheless tells much of the story of the cardinal's life in his own words.
Speaking freely to Gerard O'Connell, a Rome based journalist, the cardinal reveals hitherto unpublished details of his personal history, and tells how he has come to see the invisible hand of God as the guiding force in history and in his own life; a concept that has become central to his thinking, decision-making and spirituality.
He talks about becoming a Christian at the age of nine, studying in Rome and London, working as a priest in Nigeria before becoming the world's youngest bishop, and participating in the Second Vatican Council's final session.
He vividly describes what it meant to be a bishop on the run during the Nigerian civil war, when he was the leading Catholic bishop in BiafraHe recalls how, two years after visiting Nigeria in 1982, Pope John Paul II called him to the Vatican to lead the Catholic Church's dialogue with the major world religions. He shares the insights gained over many years of dialogue with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and people of other religions.
He reflects on his life as a Vatican cardinal, his personal relationship with three popes, his journeys with John Paul II and his appointment, in October 2002, to head the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
"Cardinal Arinze, the only African in the Roman Curia, is a powerful figure in the Holy See. In this book he gives his opinions and insights with clarity and bluntness on hundreds of subjects. His openness and clarity may surprise somereaders since he is such a high ranking Vatican prelate."
-Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.
Editor, Homiletic and Pastoral Review
Gerard O'Connell is a Rome based journalist who reports on Vatican affairs for the UK, Africa, and the USA.