Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel

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His Eminence
Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel
Cardinal, Archbishop of Addis Abeba
Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel with Luigi Mazzucato.jpg
Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel with Luigi Mazzucato in the inauguration of a medical-aid program
Church Ethiopian Catholic Church
Archdiocese Addis Abeba
See Addis Abeba
Appointed 7 July 1999
Predecessor Paulos Tzadua
Other posts
Ordination 4 July 1976
Consecration 25 January 1998
by Paulos Tzadua
Created Cardinal 14 February 2015
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Born (1948-07-14) 14 July 1948 (age 68)
Tchela Claka
Nationality Ethiopian
Denomination Ethiopian Catholic Church
Previous post
  • Titular Bishop of Bita (1997-1999)
  • Apostolic Administrator of Addis Abeba (1997-1999)
Coat of arms of Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel

Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel[pronunciation?] (born Tchela Claka, Ethiopia, 14 July 1948) is an Ethiopian Catholic cardinal. He is the head of the Ethiopian Catholic Church since his election in 1999, Ethiopian Catholic Archbishop of Addis Abeba, and the Chancellor for The Catholic University of Eastern Africa.[1] He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope Francis in 2015.


Early life and priesthood[edit]

Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel was born on 14 July 1948 in Tchela Claka, near Harar in Ethiopia. He studied at the Makanissa Major Seminary and entered in the Congregation of the Mission (popularly known as Lazarists or Vincentians). He studied Theology at King's College London and was ordained Catholic priest on 4 July 1976. He also earned a degree in sociology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.[2]


In 1990 Berhaneyesus Souraphiel became Provincial superior of the Lazarists in Addis Abeba. In 1994 he was appointed as Prefect of the Apostolic Vicariate of Jimma-Bonga.[2] On 7 November 1997 he was chosen as auxiliary bishop of Addis Abeba and was consecrated bishop on 25 January 1998 by Cardinal Paulos Tzadua. On 7 July 1999 he succeeded to Cardinal Paulos Tzadua as Ethiopian Catholic Archbishop of Addis Abeba.[1]

In December 2008, he was one of a dozen Ethiopian religious figures who adopted a resolution against homosexuality, urging Ethiopian lawmakers to endorse a ban on homosexual activity in the constitution.[3]

He was elected as the chairman of AMECEA during the 18th Plenary Assembly in Malawi in July, 2014. At the same session, Rt. Rev. Maurice Muhatia Makumba, Bishop of Nakuru (Kenya), was elected Chairman of the University Council (


On 4 January 2015, Pope Francis announced that he would make him a cardinal on 14 February.[4] At that ceremony, he was made a Cardinal-Priest and was assigned the titular church of San Romano Martire.[5]

He was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; and of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b David Cheney. "Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M.". Retrieved 1 February 2013. [self-published source][self-published source]
  2. ^ a b "Nomina dell'Arcivescovo Metropolita di Addis Abeba (Etiopia)". Daily Bulletin (in Italian). Rome: Holy See Press Office. 7 July 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  3. ^ 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia, Section 5, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State
  4. ^ "Annuncio di Concistoro per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali". NEWS.VA Official Vatican Network. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Consistory: list of titular church assignments". Vatican Radio. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Titular Bishop of Bita
1997 – 1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Apostolic Administrator of Addis Abeba
1997 – 1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paulos Tzadua
Archbishop of Addis Abeba
1999 - present