The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Rwanda, Msgr. Antoine Kambanda, has been elevated to the level of cardinal by Pope Francis.
Kambanda’s name appeared on the list of the 13 clerics that Pope Francis has made cardinals that the pontiff issued on October 25, and they will be elevated to the rank in a ceremony on November 28.
The rank of cardinal in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is a very high one, and it is only lower than the honor of being consecrated a Pope.
Among others, on a special note, the list of the new cardinals includes Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who is set to become the first black U.S. prelate to earn the rank, and Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, an Italian priest who is a long-time papal preacher at the Vatican.
According to a statement from the Vatican, nine of the new cardinals are younger than 80 and have the right to participate in a future conclave (a secret meeting where cardinals elect the next Pope).
Kambanda, 61, is one of the new cardinals that are under 80.
Who is Kambanda?
Kambanda was born on November 10, 1958 in Nyamata under the Archdiocese of Kigali.
Soon after, his family moved to Kenya, where he was brought up and attended elementary and high school.
Later, he returned to Rwanda and attended the Junior Seminary in Rutongo, Kigali (1983-1984) and the Saint Charles Borromeo Major Seminary of Nyakibanda in Huye District from 1984-1990.
On September 8, 1990, Kambanda was ordained in Kigali by the then Pope John Paul II.
On February 10, 2006, he was appointed Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Major Seminary of Nyakibanda.
Prior to this, he held several other responsibilities, including serving as director of the development committee of the Diocese of Kigali; head of the justice and peace commission at the same diocese, and Professor of Moral Theology as a visiting lecturer at Nyakibanda Major Seminary
He was installed as the Archbishop of Kigali in January 2019, taking over from Msgr. Thaddée Ntihinyurwa.