Albert Vanhoye

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Albert Vanhoye

Albert Vanhoye (born 23 July 1923) is a priest of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and an exegete. He was created cardinal in 2006. He gave the 2008 Lenten Papal and Curial Retreat.

He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006 as a Cardinal-Deacon and was promoted to the order of Cardinal-Priest "pro hac vice" on 20 June 2016.

Formation and studies[edit]

Born on 23 July 1923 at Hazebrouck, France, Albert Vanhoye entered the Society of Jesus in 1941 and studied at Jesuit Scholasticates in France and Belgium, as well as obtaining a licentiate and doctorate in sacred scripture with a thesis on the Letter to the Hebrews, from the Pontifical Biblical Institute (the Biblicum) in Rome. He was ordained priest on 25 July 1954.[1]

Teaching and research[edit]

After a stint at the French Jesuit study house of Chantilly, he was called to Rome in 1963 to be Professor of Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, serving as its Rector for 6 years (1984–1990).[2] He retired in 1998. His research and teaching dealt with the New Testament Letters, in particular the Letter to the Hebrews, on which he is acknowledged as possibly the leading world expert. During his years at the Biblicum he directed 29 theses in his field. For a number of years he was also the Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. After 1998 he remained a Consultor for a number of dicasteries of the Roman Curia until his appointment to the College of Cardinals.


Styles of
Albert Vanhoye, SJ
Coat of arms of Albert Vanhoye.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria della Mercede e Sant'Adriano a Villa Albani by Pope Benedict XVI at the consistory of 24 March 2006, when he was 82 years old and therefore ineligible to vote in conclaves. Having obtained a dispensation, he was not consecrated bishop on his elevation to cardinal. Cardinal Vanhoye's coat of arms were designed by American ecclesiastical heraldic artist George N. Cannizzaro.

In November 2010 Cardinal Vanhoye was appointed by Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro as Ecclesiastical Counsellor to the Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies having previously served as Grand Prior of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.

Main works[edit]

  • La structure littéraire de l'Epître aux Hébreux, Desclée de Brouwer, Tournai, 1963.
  • Situation du Christ. Epître aux hébreux 1 et 2, Paris, 1969.
  • Prêtres anciens, prêtre nouveau selon le Nouveau Testament, Paris, 1980.
  • La lettre aux Hébreux: Jésus-Christ, médiateur d'une nouvelle alliance, Paris, 2002.