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Newly designated cardinal visits SCU for first public speech

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-Jan. 23, 2001-Santa Clara University prepares for this week's arrival of Avery Dulles, S.J., one of 37 designated by Pope John Paul II and one of three American theologians ever appointed to the College of Cardinals. In what will be his first public speech as cardinal, Dulles will share his thoughts on the importance of Pope John Paul II's theology and social ethics and the identity of the American Catholic Church. The Bannan Institute for Jesuit Education and Christian Values sponsors the event.

The public lecture will take place Thursday, Jan. 25 from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. in the Sobrato Commons, located in the Sobrato Residential Learning Complex on the SCU campus.

"I am most happy to welcome Father Avery Dulles to campus where he will give his first talk as Cardinal when we are celebrating our sesquicentennial," said Paul Locatelli, S.J., president of SCU. "It's another honor for SCU and wonderfully coincidental way of celebrating 150 years of Jesuit, Catholic education in the Silicon Valley."

Dulles, one of the best-known theologians on Vatican II, the thought of John Paul II, and the identity of the American Catholic Church, was appointed as a new cardinal on Sunday. Dulles is a professor of theology at Fordham University, author of over 650 articles on theological topics and publisher of 21 books including Models of the Church (1974), Models of Revelation (1983), The Assurance of Things Hoped for: A Theology of Christian Faith (1994), and his latest book The New World of Faith (2000).

"For forty years Dulles has been a mediator, making sense of the American Catholic Church to Rome and making sense of the Vatican to American Catholics," said William Spohn, director of the Bannan Institute. "The Bannan Institute invited him so that he could pass his wisdom onto our SCU campus and surrounding community. No one in the American Catholic Church has done more to bring the insights of the revolutionary Second Vatican Council into the theology and lives of American Catholics."

Out of the 37 new cardinals, 33 are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in the next conclave. Dulles, 82, who is the son of John Foster Dulles, secretary of state under President Eisenhower, is ineligible to vote. Because of his age and contributions to theology, Dulles is considered the dean of American theologians.

After the February 21 consistory, there will be 178 cardinals, 128 are under the age of 80. The next cardinal will not turn 80 until August 25. After the consistory, John Paul II will have appointed all but 10 of the 128 cardinals under the age of 80 who will elect his successor.

The U.S. has the second largest number of cardinals after Italy. After the 1998 consistory, the U.S. had 11 cardinals under 80. The last time the pope created cardinals (22 of them, two of which were in pectore) was on Feb. 21, 1998.

Cardinals have three main functions in the church. First, they meet in a conclave to elect a new pope after the death or resignation of a pope. Second, cardinals advise and help the pope in the governance of the universal church. Third, they hold the title to a church in Rome for which they are responsible.

The Bannan Institute is an educational enterprise at SCU that endeavors to assist the University in enhancing its Catholic and Jesuit character. The Institute offers faculty, staff, students, and friends opportunities to explore the implications of Jesuit spirituality and mission in the ongoing life of the contemporary University.

Santa Clara University, the oldest institution of higher education in California, is a private Catholic Jesuit university with approximately 7,700. Home to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, the University celebrates its 150th anniversary in the 2000-2001 academic year.

To schedule interviews, contact Kelly Shenefiel in SCU Media Relations at 408-554-5125 or

For more information on Dulles' lecture, contact the Bannan Institute at 408-551-1951 or visit

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