Honduras Ecstatic Over Its First Cardinal

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, JAN. 23, 2001 (Zenit.org).-

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Honduras has taken to the streets to celebrate the Pope´s decision to name the first Honduran cardinal in history.

Hundreds of people came out of their homes Sunday all over the country after the local radio stations announced the news.

The celebrations are for Salesian Archbishop Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, a former president of the Latin American bishops´ council (CELAM).

Honduran President Carlos Flores Facusse said during a press conference that “it is a great event for Honduras, which fills everyone with joy.”

For his part, Archbishop Rodriguez Maradiaga explained to the press: “I never dreamt of being bishop, or cardinal. I always thought I would serve God as a seminary teacher, the first work I did in the Church, which I enjoyed enormously.”

The archbishop, who is extremely jovial and deeply spiritual, was one of John Paul II´s surprises for the forthcoming consistory, on Feb. 21, when he will create cardinals.

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