Cláudio Hummes

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His Eminence
Cláudio Hummes
Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy
See São Paulo (Emeritus)
Appointed 31 October 2006
Term ended 7 October 2010
Predecessor Darío Castrillón Hoyos
Successor Mauro Piacenza
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of S. Antonio da Padova in Via Merulana
Ordination 3 August 1958
by João Resende Costa
Consecration 25 May 1975
by Aloísio Leo Arlindo Lorscheider
Created Cardinal 21 February 2001
by Pope John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Auri Alfonso Hummes
Born (1934-08-08) 8 August 1934 (age 82)
Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto Omnes Vos Fratres (Ye are all brothers)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Cláudio Hummes, OFM (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈklawdʒu ˈʁum(i)s], born 8 August 1934) is a Brazilian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in the Roman Curia (2006–2010), having previously served as Archbishop of Fortaleza from 1996 to 1998 and archbishop of São Paulo from 1998 to 2006. A member of the Order of Friars Minor and an outspoken proponent of social justice, he was elevated to the cardinalate in the consistory of 21 February 2001.

Early life[edit]

Auri Alfonso Hummes was born in the city of Montenegro to Pedro Adão Hummes, a German-Brazilian, and Maria Frank, a German. Taking the name Cláudio upon his profession as a Franciscan,[a] he was ordained to the priesthood on 3 August 1958 by Archbishop João Resende Costa, SDB. He obtained a doctorate in philosophy in 1963 from the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome.

From 1963 until 1968, he taught philosophy at the Franciscan seminary in Garibaldi, the major seminary of Viamão and at the Pontifical Catholic University of Porto Alegre. He then studied at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in Geneva, Switzerland, from where he received an specialization in ecumenism. He was adviser for ecumenical affairs to the National Bishops' Conference of Brazil, Provincial Superior of the Franciscans of Rio Grande do Sul (1972–1975), and president of the Union of Latin American Conferences of Franciscans.

Along with his native Portuguese and Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, a regional German dialect of southern Brazil, he can also speak Spanish, High-German, and Italian.

Episcopal career[edit]

On 22 March 1975, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Santo André and Titular Bishop of Carcabia. Hummes received his episcopal consecration on the following 25 May from Archbishop Aloísio Lorscheider, OFM, with Bishops Mauro Morelli and Urbano Allgayer serving as co-consecrators. He later succeeded Jorge de Oliveira as Bishop of Santo André on 29 December of that same year. Hummes allowed the labour unions to meet in parishes throughout his diocese, going against the dictatorship in Brazil at the time. It was here that he began his support for liberation theology, and forged his friendship with the union boss at the time, Lula. On 29 May 1996 he was promoted to Archbishop of Fortaleza and was then transferred to São Paulo on 15 April 1998.

Styles of
Cláudio Hummes
Coat of arms of Claudio Hummes.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See São Paulo (Emeritus)


He was created Cardinal-Priest of S. Antonio da Padova in Via Merulana by Pope John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001.[2] He later preached the Lenten spiritual exercises for John Paul II and the Roman Curia in 2002. One of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Hummes was often mentioned as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II.

Cardinal Hummes has Curial membership of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for Catholic Education, Pontifical Council for the Laity, Pontifical Council for the Family, Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pontifical Council for Culture, Pontifical Commission for Latin America, X Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational, and Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. He held membership of these dicastaries until his 80th birthday.

On 31 October 2006 Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Hummes to head the Congregation for the Clergy, succeeding Darío Castrillón Hoyos.

In 2013 he served as one of the 115 cardinals in the conclave that elected Pope Francis.[3][4][5] Due to precedence, during the oathtaking, Cardinal Hummes took the cardinal-electors' oath of secrecy just immediately prior to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who would ultimately be elected pope.[4][5] When the new Pope won the conclave ballot, Cardinal Hummes whispered to the Pope, "Don't forget the poor people" and the Pope said that immediately he remembered St. Francis of Assisi and "the name Francis came into my heart". When the newly elected Pope Francis appeared on the balcony shortly after his election, Cardinal Hummes was among the cardinals who accompanied the new pope and stood beside him at his immediate left on the balcony.[6]

On 8 August 2014, Cardinal Hummes turned 80 and lost the right to participate in future conclaves.[1]


Economic issues[edit]

Cardinal Hummes has criticized the spread of global capitalism, claiming that privatizing state companies and lowering tariffs had contributed to "misery and poverty affecting millions around the world".[7] At his first public audience following his election, Pope Francis revealed that he had been inspired to take his name from St Francis of Assisi by his good friend Cardinal Hummes who had embraced him at the culmination of the 2013 conclave whispering "don't forget the poor" when it was announced that he had been elected Pope.

Indigenous people[edit]

He issued an official statement condemning the anonymous attacks on homeless indigenous people. He said "such violence and cruelty is unacceptable and should be vigorously repudiated. The Church has cried out many times regarding the need to come to the aid of those who are forced to live in our streets, without shelter. She does so out of a duty of humanity and because of her faith in Jesus Christ, who wishes to be identified in each person, especially in the poor and handicapped".[8]

Clerical celibacy[edit]

In a 2006 interview with Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, Cardinal Hummes said that "even though celibacy is part of Catholic history and culture, the Church could review this question, because celibacy is not a dogma but a disciplinary question." He also said that it is "a long and valuable tradition in the Latin-rite church, based on strong theological and pastoral arguments".[9]


Hummes has reprimanded priests who attack Catholic teachings about condoms.[7][10]


  1. ^ Salvador Miranda's entry for Cardinal Hummes at The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church website states that the cardinal was actually baptized with the names Cláudio Aury Affonso and therefore he already had the name Cláudio prior to his profession as a Franciscan. If correct then the cardinal's complete name at the time of baptism would have been Cláudio Auri Affonso Hummes[1]


  1. ^ a b Miranda, Salvador. "HUMMES, O.F.M., Cláudio". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Cardinal Title S. Antonio da Padova in Via Merulana
  3. ^ "Cardinal electors – Conclave of March 2013 – Arranged in alphabetical order". Salvador Miranda. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Conclave of March 2013". Salvador Miranda. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Procession and entrance in Conclave (Television production) (in Italian). Rome: Centro Televisivo Vaticano. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Habemus Papam, Franciscus (Television production) (in Italian). Rome: Centro Televisivo Vaticano. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Faiola, Anthony (3 April 2005). "Champion of Workers and the Poor". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Cardinal Hummes denounces indigenous killings in Brazil". Catholic News Agency. 25 August 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Cardinal Egan says possibility of married priests not to be dismissed". The Catholic Review. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Gould, Peter (25 November 2003). "The Vatican's condom challenge". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Jorge Marcos de Oliveira
Bishop of Santo André
Succeeded by
Décio Pereira
Preceded by
Aloísio Lorscheider
Archbishop of Fortaleza
Succeeded by
José Aparecido Tosi Marques
Preceded by
Paulo Evaristo Arns
Archbishop of São Paulo
15 April 1998 – 31 October 2006
Succeeded by
Odilo Scherer
Preceded by
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy
31 October 2006 – 7 October 2010
Succeeded by
Mauro Piacenza
Preceded by
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
President for the International Council for Catechesis
31 October 2006 – 7 October 2010
Succeeded by
Mauro Piacenza