Pope Benedict XVI announced January 6 that Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, will be elevated to the College of Cardinals. The College is convened at the discretion of the pope to discuss issues of significance – most members serve on committees covering a variety of matters. When the papacy is vacant (following the death of the pope), all cardinals under the age of 80 gather in Rome for a closed meeting, called a conclave, to elect a new pope.
“I am deeply honoured that the Holy Father has called me to be a member of the College of Cardinals,” said Collins. “I am grateful for the trust he has placed in me, and recognize this honour as a sign of his esteem for the role of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Toronto in the universal Church.”
Collins was ordained a priest in 1973. Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of St. Paul, Alberta in 1997 and Archbishop of Edmonton in 1999. Pope Benedict later appointed him as the 10th archbishop of Toronto on December 16, 2006.
Collins will join the College of Cardinals next month in Rome. There are currently two other cardinals from Canada; he is the 16th cardinal in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada.