Anders Arborelius

Lars Anders Cardinal Arborelius O.C.D. (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈânːdɛʂ arbʊˈrěːlɪɵs]; born 24 September 1949) is a Swedish Roman Catholic cardinal. He has been the Bishop of Stockholm since 1998. Pope Francis made him a cardinal, the first ever from Sweden, on 28 June 2017.

Anders Arborelius

Cardinal, Bishop of Stockholm
Bishop Anders Arborelius in 2015.jpg
ChurchCatholic Church
Appointed17 November 1998
Installed29 December 1998
PredecessorHubertus Brandenburg
Other posts
Ordination8 September 1979
by Hubertus Brandenburg
Consecration29 December 1998
by Hubertus Brandenburg
Created cardinal28 June 2017
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Birth nameLars Anders Arborelius
Born (1949-09-24) 24 September 1949 (age 70)
Sorengo, Switzerland
Previous postPresident of the Scandinavian Bishops Conference (2005-2015)[1]
MottoIn Laudem Gloriae
Coat of armsAnders Arborelius's coat of arms

Early life and ordinationEdit

Arborelius was born on 24 September 1949 in Sorengo,[1] Switzerland, to Swedish parents, and grew up in Lund in Scania.[2] He was raised as a Lutheran and always showed a lot of interest in the contemplative life, saying, "I always had this longing for a life of prayer and silent adoration."[6] After a year-and-a-half-long process, he observed, "Truth has been given to me through the Catholic faith,” and converted to Catholicism at the age of 20.[7]

At first, following his conversion, he desired to be a diocesan priest, but, after reading Saint Thérèse of Lisieux's autobiography (The Story of a Soul), he wanted to be a member of the Discalced Carmelites.[7] In 1971, two years after he became Catholic, he entered the Carmelite order at the Norraby monastery located near the town of Rydebäck in Southern Sweden.[1] In 1977, Arborelius took his perpetual vows in Bruges, Belgium, where he then obtained his degree in philosophy and theology. He also studied modern languages at Lund University.[1] After obtaining his doctoral degree at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum in Rome, he was ordained as a priest in Malmö on 8 September 1979.[1][2]


On 17 November 1998, Pope John Paul II appointed Arborelius Bishop of Stockholm, and he was consecrated on 29 December 1998 by Bishop Hubert Brandenburg.[2] When he succeeded Brandenburg as the Bishop of Stockholm—the only Catholic diocese in Sweden, comprising the entire country[8]—he became the first ethnic Swede and only the second Scandinavian Catholic bishop since the Protestant Reformation.[1][2][6] Most Catholics in Sweden since the Reformation, particularly among the clergy, have been immigrants or of immigrant descent from all over Europe (but especially Eastern Europe) and from the Middle East, as well as Arabs and Armenians of various Catholic rites.[2][8] Additionally, there are converts from various backgrounds, including some Protestant ministers, who have become part of the Catholic community in his diocese.[8]

Arborelius took part in The Indian Priest (2015), a documentary film about Indian missionary priest Raphael Curian.[citation needed]


On 21 May 2017, Pope Francis announced he would make Arborelius the first Swedish cardinal.[9][10] Arborelius became a cardinal on 28 June 2017.[11] He said he thought Francis was recognizing Sweden's role in accepting immigrants and promoting interdenominational dialogue.[12]

Sweden's leading news magazine Fokus named him "Swede of the Year" for 2017. It said that he had been "part of Swedish public debate" since 1998, that he brought "a fearless attitude" to his role in "secular and otherwise Lutheran" society, and "plays an essential role in bringing native Swedes and immigrant Swedes together".[13]

Francis made him a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on 23 December 2017.[14] Pope Francis named him a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 6 August 2019.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Announcement of Consistory on 28 June for the creation of new cardinals, 21.05.2017". Holy See Press Office.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Maria Teresa Pontara Pederiva (29 May 2017). "Anders Arborelius, the Carmelite bishop who believes in young people". Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Carol Glatz (29 May 2017). "First Swedish bishop since the Reformation to be made a cardinal". Catholic Herald. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Jared Litke (15 December 2001). "An Interview with Bishop Anders Arborelius". University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.
  8. ^ a b c Angelo Stagnaro (9 August 2016). "Catholics Gain Toehold in Sweden — 500 Years After Luther". National Catholic Register.
  9. ^ Mattsson, Anna (21 May 2017). "Anders Arborelius förste svensk att utses till kardinal". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  10. ^ Coeli, Regina (21 May 2017). "Papa Francesco annuncia la nomina di cinque nuovi cardinali". RaiNews (in Italian). Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ Brockhaus, Hannah (28 June 2017). "Pope Francis to Five New Cardinals: Jesus 'Calls You to Serve Like Him and With Him'". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Pope will elevate Sweden's sole bishop to College of Cardinals". Crux. Catholic News Service. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Swede of the year: Anders Arborelius". Fokus. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 23.12.2017" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 23 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 06.07.2019" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Hubertus Brandenburg
Bishop of Stockholm
29 December 1998 – present
Preceded by
William Henry Keeler
Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria degli Angeli
28 July 2017 – present