Wilfrid Napier

Wilfrid Napier

Cardinal Less

Wilfrid Napier

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Wilfrid Fox Napier, OFM (born 1941) is a South African cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Durban, South Africa.


Napier, a Coloured South African, was born on March 8, 1941 in Swartberg, South Africa and ordained a priest in 1970. He first became a bishop in 1980 when he was appointed bishop of Kokstad. In 1992, he succeeded Denis Hurley as archbishop of Durban, a position he still holds. He chose as his episcopal motto the franciscan phrase pax et bonum which translated means "Peace and goodwill".

Cardinal Napier is a member of the Episcopal Board of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Napier was proclaimed a Cardinal-Priest of the Church in 2001, given the titular church of San Francesco d'Assisi ad Acilia; and was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.


Condoms and HIV

In January, 2005, Cardinal Napier made controversial statements arguing that government programmes to distribute condoms were ineffectual in stemming the spread of HIV. Instead, he proposed programmes based around abstinence.

Holy See and African churches

Cardinal Napier has said bluntly that to some extent, the Vatican lacks a "sufficient sensitivity to African churches." He said the pope's trips to Africa have helped in that regard, since every time he...
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