With the distribution of twenty-seven red hats at a special Vatican consistory on February 22, the Roman Catholic College of Cardinals will assume new proportions both in overall size and in non-Italian strength.

Out of a total of 103 cardinals, only 32 will be Italian. For centuries the college has been dominated by Italians.

Two North Americans were named, Archbishop Lawrence J. Shehan of Baltimore and Archbishop Maurice Roy of Quebec.

There was surprise in some quarters that Archbishop Patrick A. O’Boyle of Washington, D. C., was not elevated. The American capital city has never had a cardinal despite the fact that the administrative machinery of Roman Catholicism in the United States is headquartered there. The fact that the senior see, Baltimore, is so close to the politically prestigious see of Washington is a complicating factor.

The new cardinals include the second Negro African prelate to be elevated to cardinalitial rank. He is Archbishop Paul Zougrana of Upper Volta. Another cardinal-designate is Archbishop Owen McCann of Capetown, South Africa.

Archbishop John C. Heenan of Westminster, England, and Archbishop William Conway of Armagh, Ireland, were among the occupants of primatial sees who were elevated. So was Roy of Quebec.

Three prelates from the “Church of Silence” won red hats: Ukrainian Rite Archbishop Josyf Slipyi of Lwow, Poland, who was released in 1962 after eighteen years of Soviet imprisonment; Archbishop Josef Beran of Prague, Czechoslovakia; and Archbishop Franjo Seper of Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Beran was released after twelve years of Communist detention in 1963, but still remains under virtual house arrest and has not been permitted to resume his archiepiscopal post. Seper’s see was the one occupied by Aloysitts Cardinal Stepinac, who died in 1960 in strict Red-imposed detention and isolation following his release from prison after serving one-third of a sixteen-year term for alleged offenses against the state.

Three Eastern Rite patriarchs also were chosen: Melchite Rite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh of Antioch, Maronite Rite Patriarch Paul Peter Meouchi of Antioch, and Coptic Rite Patriarch Stephen I. Sidarouss of Egypt.

Six of the new cardinals are Italians and three are French. In addition to the three patriarchs and the new members of the college from the United States, Canada, Africa, Poland, England, Ireland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, there is also one cardinal-designate each from Germany, Ceylon, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Pope Paul VI broke precedent by elevating three priests drawn directly from the ranks: Father Giulio Bevilacqua, the pontiff’s confessor; Msgr. Charles Journet, a Swiss theologian and sociologist; and Msgr. Joseph Cardijn of Belgium.

Protestant Panorama

Moderator Felix B. Gear of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. (Southern) ordered that the denomination’s General Assembly this spring be shifted from Memphis, Tennessee, to Montreat, North Carolina. The change is the upshot of a racial controversy at the Second Presbyterian Church of Memphis, where the meeting was to have been held. The church session has been excluding Negro and white demonstrators from worship services. Commissioners had been guaranteed, however, that the meeting and accommodations would be on a nonsegregated basis.

American Baptist Convention President J. Lester Harnish issued a “Call to Witness” to be observed March 7 through April 18. The call is based on First Peter 3:15.


Is Luci Baines Johnson about to become a convert to Roman Catholicism? White House spokesmen have confirmed that the President’s 17-year-old daughter has been taking instructions in the Roman Catholic faith, but added that “no definite steps have been taken.” She still attends an Episcopal high school in Washington.

Dedication services were held last month at the new Christian Union Baptist Church near Jackson, Mississippi, which replaced a Negro church burned last summer. The church was the first to be rebuilt through the assistance of the Committee of Concern, an interfaith and inter-racial committee of Mississippi religious leaders.

Asbury Theological Seminary is establishing a “Department of Prayer and Spiritual Life.” A spokesman said that the new department is “based on the premise that the total life of the minister or missionary, both personal and corporate, must be built around his devotional experience and that this must find proper implementation in the total life of the local church and the world church.”

Two North American ministers who work at the Italian Bible Institute in Rome won a court case last month in which their right to preach outdoors had been in dispute. They had been convicted and fined for holding a street meeting, but an appeals court threw out the charges.


Dr. Kermit Long was named general secretary of the Methodist General Board of Evangelism.

Dr. Lee Edward Travis was appointed dean of Fuller Theological Seminary’s new graduate program in clinical psychology.

Dr. Myron F. Wicke was elected general secretary for higher education of the Methodist Board of Education.

Article continues below

Lt. Col. Floyd M. Patterson, a Methodist Air Force chaplain, was chosen “Armed Forces Chaplain of the Year” by the Reserve Officers Association.

Dr. Adolfo Ham was named first full-time executive secretary of the Cuban Council of Evangelical Churches.

Dr. George L. Ford was elected president of Los Angeles Pacific College.

They Say

“Ours is the terrifying honor of having been called by God as servants and fellow-heirs of the Lord Christ in the most unpredictable, exciting, and frightening era in recorded history. How we discharge this grave responsibility is crucial, and will be decisive for our souls’ destiny.”—The Right Rev. John E. Hines, in a message at his installation as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.