Ordo Socialis Award for Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga
Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga this year. This sees an important Catholic personality being honoured who for many years has been engaged in spreading and realizing important themes of Christian Social Teaching. Special mention should be made of his forceful standing up for social justice and the poor. With great courage and persistence has Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga fought for improving the living conditions of under-privileged people.
Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga was born on December 29, 1942, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. After school, he joined the community of the Order of the Salesians Don Boscos (SDB) in 1961 and then studied Catholic theology, the piano and composition, physics, mathematics, philosophy and psychology in Tegucigalpa, Rome, and Innsbruck. He is fluent in several languages. On July 28, 1970, he was ordained priest in Guatemala, then appointed assistant to the bishop and worked as a teacher at various schools of the Order. In 1978, Pope Paul II appointed him suffragan bishop of the archbishopric. In 1993, he was elevated archbishop of the archbishopric Tegucigalpa. From 1995 to 1999, he served as President of the Latin American Bishop’s Council (CELAM). John Paul II included him in the Cardinals’ Committee on February 21, 2001. His motto reads: Mihi vivere Christus – To me life is Christ.
Presently, he is a member of the Clergy Congregation, the Papal Council for Justice and Peace, Papal Council for social means of communication and the Papal Commission for Latin America. In 2007, he was elected President of Caritas International, in 2011 re-elected for another four years. On April 13, 2013, Pope Francis set up the Cardinals’ Council, a Commission of Cardinals, made up of eight cardinals from all continents. They advise the Pope on the leadership of the World Church and the reforms of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus. Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga is co-ordinator of the Cardinals’ Council.
We are very pleased that by awarding the second Ordo Socialis prize to Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga we are able to honour a personality that outstandingly excels as a role model of social justice in manifold ways. The handing-over of the award will probably take place in a ceremony in Bad Honnef in November 2015.
March 31, 2015 Josef Thesing, Member of the Board of Ordo socialis
Translated from the German by York R. Buttler