Cardinal-designate Thomas Collins addresses the media after noon mass at St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto, Jan 6 Emanuel Pires / Archdiocese of Toronto

Congratulations and praise pour in for Cardinal-designate Thomas Collins

  • January 10, 2012

OTTAWA - Congratulations and praise for Cardinal-designate Thomas Collins’ elevation to the College of Cardinals Jan. 6 poured in from politicians, brother bishops and organizations across Canada.

“The appointment of Thomas Collins to the College of Cardinals is a great honour for His Grace as well as the archdiocese of Toronto and all members of the Catholic Church across Canada — a testament to his hard work and faithful devotion to the Church and spiritual life,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper Jan. 6 in a message of congratulations.

Harper remarked on the leadership role the College of Cardinals plays in the Catholic Church and described Collins’ career as “long and distinguished.”

Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), extended congratulations on behalf of the bishops of Canada, noting the appointment reflects the importance of the See of Toronto “in the life of the Universal Church.”

“Cardinal-designate Collins has already provided excellent leadership for the Church in Toronto and throughout Canada by his dedication to and involvement in lectio divina, the quality of his preaching and for his insistence on safe and secure environments in our communities for the vulnerable and the young,” said Smith.

In his role as a member of the CCCB’s Permanent Council, Collins has contributed with “wisdom, balance and good humour,” Smith said.

“These will be the same qualities that he will bring in advising the Holy Father, which is one of the key responsibilities of every cardinal,” he said.

“As a former seminary professor, a biblical scholar who has specialized in the Book of the Apocalypse, and as a former bishop of Saint-Paul and a former archbishop of Edmonton, Cardinal-designate Collins knows well the challenges and opportunities facing our Church across Canada,” Smith said.

Collins was among the visitators to Ireland who advised the Holy Father on a healing response to the sexual abuse crisis rocking the Irish Church. Fellow visitator Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa said he was “absolutely thrilled” for Collins and the Toronto archdiocese.

“From work we have done together I know he is wise and prayerful and what else could the Holy Father ask for in terms of advisors for the good of the Universal Church?” Prendergast said. “He is also courageous in his civic leadership on health and education matters and in labouring quietly for the well-being of all citizens, evident especially in his welcome and support for refugees, particularly of Christians from Iraq and elsewhere.”

Collins also received high praise from the Catholic Civil Rights League.

“We have always appreciated Archbishop Collins’ leadership, especially on life issues and the defense of authentic Catholic teaching,” said league president Philip Horgan. “Among countless other efforts, Archbishop Collins’ participation in the national March for Life and his openness to the media have helped improve the public presence of the Church and provided a welcome example for laity organizations.”

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