Aloysius Ambrozic

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His Eminence

Aloysius Ambrozic
Cardinal, Archbishop emeritus of Toronto
Alojzij Ambrožič.jpg
InstalledMarch 17, 1990
Term endedJanuary 30, 2007
PredecessorGerald Emmett Carter
SuccessorThomas Christopher Collins
Other postsCoadjutor Archbishop of Toronto
OrdinationJune 4, 1955
by James Charles McGuigan
ConsecrationMarch 26, 1978
by Philip Francis Pocock
Created cardinalFebruary 21, 1998
Personal details
Birth nameAlojzij Matej Ambrožič
Born(1930-01-27)January 27, 1930
Gabrje, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (modern-day Slovenia)
DiedAugust 26, 2011(2011-08-26) (aged 81)
Toronto, Ontario
BuriedHoly Cross Cemetery, Thornhill, Ontario
ParentsAloysius Ambrozic (Alojzij Ambrožič)
Helen Pecar (Helena Pečar)
Alma materAngelicum
  • Iesus est Dominus
  • (Jesus is Lord)
Coat of armsAloysius Ambrozic's coat of arms
Styles of
Aloysius Ambrozic
Coat of arms of Aloysius Ambrozic.svg
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeToronto (emeritus)

Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic (born Alojzij Matej Ambrožič; January 27, 1930 – August 26, 2011) was a Roman Catholic cardinal and Archbishop of Toronto. He was made a cardinal on 21 February 1998.


Ambrozic was born near Gabrje in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (modern-day Slovenia) as Alojzij Matej Ambrožič, one of seven children of Alojzij (or "Lojze") Ambrožič and Helena Pečar. In May 1945, he and his family fled to Austria, after which he completed high school in Ljubljana and various refugee camps (Vetrinj, Peggez and Spittal an der Drau).[1] The family went to Canada in September 1948, where he studied at St. Augustine's Seminary and was ordained a priest in Toronto on 4 June 1955.[1] He served first in Port Colborne, Ontario, and later taught at St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto.[2][2][3]

He studied theology in Rome, and he earned a degree in theology from the Angelicum. On his return to Canada, he taught Scripture at St Augustine's Seminary from 1960 to 1967. He then studied at the University of Würzburg in Germany and obtained a doctorate in theology there in 1970. He taught exegesis at the Toronto School of Theology from 1970 to 1976, when he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto on 27 May 1976. On 22 May 1986, he became Coadjutor Archbishop of Toronto, and he duly succeeded to the position of Archbishop of Toronto on 17 March 1990.[2][3]

In 1998, he was created cardinal by Pope John Paul II and assigned the titular church of Santi Marcellino e Pietro. He became a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants in 1990, the Congregation for the Clergy in 1991, the Pontifical Council for Culture in 1993, and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 1999. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. He retired on 16 December 2006.[2][3]

During his archiepiscopate, Toronto hosted World Youth Day in 2002. He was a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage in Canada. On his retirement for reasons of age, he was succeeded as Archbishop of Toronto by Thomas Christopher Collins on 30 January 2007.

Ambrozic died on 26 August 2011 after a lengthy illness.[4] His funeral mass was held on 31 August 2011 at Saint Michael's Cathedral in Toronto, with Archbishop Thomas Collins presiding. More than 1000 people attended the mass, including Canadian federal finance minister James Flaherty and local mayors Robert Ford and Hazel McCallion.


Ambrozic was a somewhat contentious figure in Canadian Catholicism, and he was the subject of vocal opposition from some liberal or progressive Catholics and ex-Catholics for his conservative stands.[citation needed] At the same time, he rejected a request from the Toronto Traditional Mass Society (the local chapter of Una Voce) to invite the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to offer Tridentine Masses in the archdiocese.[5]


  1. ^ a b Archdiocese of Toronto Archived 2012-04-04 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 12 July 2013
  2. ^ a b c d "Catholic Register articles". Archived from the original on 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  3. ^ a b c Biography of Cardinal Ambrožič
  4. ^ "Catholic Community Mourns the Loss of Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic".
  5. ^ Ambrozic Letter from retrieved 12 July 2013

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gerald Emmett Carter
Archbishop of Toronto
17 March 1990 – 16 December 2006
Succeeded by
Thomas Christopher Collins