| This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (November 2008)
(Find sources: – )
|His Eminence |
James Francis Stafford
|Major Penitentiary Emeritus|
|Enthroned||October 4, 2003|
|Reign ended||June 2, 2009|
|Predecessor||Luigi de Magistris|
|Ordination||December 15, 1957|
|Consecration||February 29, 1976|
|Created Cardinal||February 21, 1998|
President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (1996-2003) |
Archbishop of Denver (1986-96)
July 26, 1932|
|Styles of |
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
James Francis Stafford (born July 26, 1932) is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, who from 2003 to 2009 was the Holy See's Major Penitentiary, heading the Apostolic Penitentiary, the tribunal of the Roman Curia that deals with matters of the internal forum. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.
James Stafford was born in in Baltimore, Maryland, as the only child of Francis Emmett, the owner of a successful furniture store, and Mary Dorothy (née Stanton) Stafford. He moved from Loyola High School in 1950 to Loyola College in Baltimore with the intent of pursuing a career in medicine, but in 1952, the violent death of a friend caused him to rethink his future and to enter St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, where he earned degrees in arts, theology, and social welfare.
From priest to cardinal
Stafford was ordained (along with Edward Egan another future cardinal) a priest by Bishop Martin John O'Connor on December 15, 1957. He was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and Titular Bishop of Respecta by Archbishop William Donald Borders on January 11, 1976.
In 1982 Stafford was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Memphis. Four years later he was named Archbishop of Denver, in which capacity he served for ten years before being called to Rome. Archbishop Stafford oversaw the events which took place at World Youth Day in 1993.
Activities as cardinal
In 2003, Cardinal Stafford was appointed Major Penitentiary, overseeing matters pertaining to indulgences and the internal forum of the Church. He was thus one of the highest ranking American members of the Roman Curia and the second to serve as Major Penitentiary, the other being William Wakefield Baum. The Major Penitentiary is one of the few Curia officials whose office is not automatically suspended upon the death of the pope, and is the only one allowed to be in contact with anyone outside the conclave.
In accordance with canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, Cardinal Stafford submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 75th birthday in 2007. On 2 June 2009 Pope Benedict appointed as his successor Fortunato Baldelli, who was then Apostolic Nuncio to France.
Stafford was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. He remains eligible to vote in any future papal conclaves arising from the death of a Pope before his 80th birthday on 26 July 2012.
On 1 March 2008, Cardinal Stafford took the option, after ten years as a Cardinal Deacon, for promotion to the rank of Cardinal Priest, and was assigned the titular church of San Pietro in Montorio.
Criticism of Barack Obama
The on-line version of the National Catholic Reporter reported on November 19, 2008 that Cardinal Stafford harshly criticized President-elect Barack Obama, saying he has "an agenda and vision that are aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic."
The story was first reported by The Tower, the student newspaper of the Catholic University of America, where Stafford made those remarks.
The Cardinal spoke on "Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul" in a lecture sponsored by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
Saying that the United States experienced a "cultural earthquake" when Obama was elected president November 4, 2008, Cardinal Stafford said the president-elect "appears to be a relaxed, smiling man" with rhetorical skills that are "very highly developed." "But under all that grace and charm, there is a tautness of will, a state of constant alertness, to attack and resist any external influence that might affect his will," he added. The cardinal compared the upcoming years of the Obama administration to "Jesus' agony in the Garden of Gethsemane."
The Catholic News Agency revealed more details about the highly controversial words of the Cardinal on November 17, 2008: "If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humanae Vitae’s promulgation with this election year. “For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.” The Cardinal also attributed America’s decline to the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed "permissive abortion laws nationwide."
- List of the Catholic bishops of the United States#American bishops serving outside the United States
- ↑ Cardinal Stafford steps down as Penitentiary Major
- ↑ Cardinal Protector
- ↑ http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2588
- ↑ Grden, Elizabeth (2008-11-14). "Cardinal at CUA: Obama is ‘Aggressive, Disruptive and Apocalyptic’". The Tower. http://www.cuatower.com/2008/11/14/cardinal-at-cua-obama-is-%E2%80%98aggressive-disruptive-and-apocalyptic%E2%80%99/. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
- ↑ http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=14355
Carroll Thomas Dozier
|Bishop of Memphis|
| Succeeded by|
Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB
James Vincent Casey
|Archbishop of Denver|
| Succeeded by|
Charles Joseph Chaput, OFM Cap
Eduardo Francisco Pironio
|President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity|
| Succeeded by|
Luigi de Magistris
|Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary|
| Succeeded by|