Hyderabad Archbishop to be first Dalit Cardinal at St. Peter’s Basilica Vatican City

Hyderabad: The Archbishop of Hyderabad Diocese Dr. Poola Anthony on Saturday will be the first Dalit in history to be installed as one of the new 21 cardinals, as previously announced by Pope Francis.

A cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is a senior member of the clergy. Cardinals are created by the pope and typically hold the title for life. Collectively, they constitute the College of Cardinals.

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They are extremely important because they are directly below the Pope in the Catholic hierarchy and are only appointed by the Pope himself. Poola and Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa were the two Indian Cardinal Delegates chosen from among the world’s 21 Cardinal delegates. India currently has four Cardinals serving, and the elevation of Poola and Ferraro brings the total to six.

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According to a press note from the Archdiocese of Hyderabad, the Pope will install our Archbishop Poola Anthony as a Cardinal on 27th August 2022 in Vatican City, Rome, Italy. This ceremony will take place at St. Peter’s Basilica at 7:30 pm IST.

“It is a proud moment for Hyderabad that the Archbishop of Hyderabad is one of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Pontiff,” a press note from the Archdiocese remarked.

He is a native of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool and will be the first Dalit cardinal in the church’s history.

He will also be the first Telugu to be named Cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church. Once anointed, he will be eligible to vote in the future Pope elections. He was appointed Archbishop of Hyderabad in January 2021.

Poola Anthony was born in the Kurnool district’s Chindukur village. He attended the Kurnool Minor Seminary before enrolling in the St. Peter’s Pontifical Major Seminary in Bengaluru. He was the chairman of the Youth Commission, the AP Social Service Society, the SC/BC Commission, as well as the Secretary-General and Treasurer of the Telugu Catholic Bishops Conference.