Odilo Scherer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
His Eminence
Odilo Pedro Scherer
Cardinal, Archbishop of São Paulo
Odilo Scherer 22072007.jpg
See São Paulo
Appointed 21 March 2007
Installed 29 April 2007
Predecessor Cláudio Cardinal Hummes OFM
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale
Ordination 7 December 1976
by Armando Círio
Consecration 2 February 2002
by Cláudio Cardinal Hummes OFM
Created Cardinal 24 November 2007
by Pope Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Odilo Pedro Scherer
Born (1949-09-21) 21 September 1949 (age 66)
Cerro Largo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Auxiliary Bishop of São Paulo (2001–2007)
  • Titular Bishop of Novi (2001–2007)
Motto In meam commemorationem (In the memory of me)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Odilo Pedro Scherer (Brazilian Portuguese: [oˈdʒilu ˈpedɾu ˈʃɛɾeɾ]; born September 21, 1949) is a Brazilian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He currently serves as Archbishop of São Paulo, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007. In the international media, he was mentioned as a possible contender to succeed Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013.[1]


Early life and ordination[edit]

Scherer is German Brazilian and was born in Cerro Largo, Rio Grande do Sul to Edwino and Francisca (née Steffens) Scherer. He is a nephew of the late Cardinal Archbishop of Porto Alegre Alfredo Scherer. The family of his father originated from the town of Tholey in the Saarland in Germany.[2] His mother also descended from immigrants from Saarland.

After attending the minor and major seminaries in Curitiba, Scherer studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná and the Pontifical Gregorian University (from where he obtained his Doctorate of Sacred Theology in 1991) in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Armando Círio, OSI, on December 7, 1976.

Professor and curialist[edit]

He served as director and professor at the diocesan seminary of Cascavel (1977–1978), the diocesan seminary of Toledo (1979–1982, 1993), and the Centro Interdiocesano de Teologia de Cascavel (1991–1993).

Before doing pastoral work in Toledo from 1985 to 1988, Scherer taught philosophy at the Ciências Humanas Arnaldo Busatto (1980–1985), and theology at the Instituto Teológico Paulo VI (1985). He then taught at the Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná until 1994.

From 1994 to 2001, he was an official of the Congregation for Bishops in the Roman Curia, while serving as a Roman pastor and chaplain during his spare time.[3] During those years in Europe Scherer also on various occasions studied the German language at the Goethe-Institut in Staufen im Breisgau.

Bishop and Archbishop[edit]

On November 28, 2001, Scherer was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of São Paulo and Titular Bishop of Novi. He received his episcopal consecration on February 2, 2002 from Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, OFM, with Archbishops Armando Círio and Anuar Battisti serving as co-consecrators. He was made Secretary General of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference in 2003.


Pope Benedict XVI named Scherer as the seventh Archbishop of São Paulo on March 21, 2007. He replaced Cardinal Hummes, who was made Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. His appointment brought an end to almost four decades of Franciscan leadership of the archdiocese; before Hummes, Paulo Evaristo Arns led the diocese for 28 years. Scherer accompanied Pope Benedict for a great part of his visit to Brazil in May 2007, which was largely held in the former's see of São Paulo, and he delivered a speech during a ceremony to celebrate the Pope's arrival.

Styles of
Odilo Scherer
Coat of arms of Odilo Pedro Scherer.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

On October 17, 2007, the Pope announced that he would make Scherer a Cardinal. Scherer was elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory at St. Peter's Basilica on November 24, 2007, becoming Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale.[4]

On June 12, 2008, in addition to his main duties he was appointed by Benedict as a member of the Congregation for the Clergy.[5] On January 5, 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.[6]

He is considered by some to be papabile and was widely considered by odds-makers to be a top candidate to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, including in the Papal conclave, 2013 that selected his colleague, South American Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who took the name Pope Francis. He remains a highly visible member of the Sacred College of Cardinals (and, at 65, is still well away from the retirement age of 75, or the age of 80 when he loses his conclave vote).[7]

On Saturday, November 30, 2013, he was named a Member of the Congregation for Catholic Education by Pope Francis.[8]


General outlook[edit]

Scherer is considered to be theologically moderate.[9] He is one of just a handful of cardinals that use modern social media routinely.[citation needed]


Arms of Cardinal Scherer

According to a July 23, 2010 article by the website of the Catholic news organization ZENIT, Cardinal Scherer thinks there is an "evangelization deficit" around the globe today, which is why Pope Benedict established a new division of the Roman Curia to deal with that issue. Cardinal Scherer was quoted in the article as saying that the Pope "brings all to understand that this [new evangelization] is an objective of his, and that it must be the attitude of the Church worldwide, to respond to the challenges launched by the present 'change of age in the history of humanity.'"


Cardinal Scherer asked Brazilians that if the country’s Supreme Court legalizes abortion for babies with anencephaly, what will be the next group ‘incompatible with life’ to be eliminated?[10]

Liberation theology[edit]

He once criticized liberation theology's use of "Marxism as a tool of analysis," but supported its focus on social injustice and poverty (as fully in keeping with established, orthodox Catholic doctrine on these issues).[11][12]

Secularism in Brazil[edit]

Cardinal Scherer has argued that removing crucifixes in public places would not be in the best interests of Brazilian secularism.[13]

Priests and the liturgy[edit]

In reference to the popular Brazilian priest Marcelo Rossi, Scherer stated that, "Priests aren't showmen... The Mass is not to be transformed into a show".[14]


  1. ^ Craggs, Ryan (February 11, 2013). "Latin American Pope? Benedict XVI Resignation Opens Door For Odilo Scherer, Leonardo Sandri And Others". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Cardinal Scherer stays in contact with his relatives in Germany" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  3. ^ Whispers in the Loggia. Benedictine Rule: You Pick Your Successor March 21, 2007
  4. ^ "Annuncio di Concistorio per la Creazione di nuovi Cardinali" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. October 17, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 
  5. ^ Holy See Press Office daily bulletin[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Di Membri Del Pontificio Consiglio Per La Promozione Della Nuova Evangelizzazione". Press.catholica.va. Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived February 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2013/11/30/0795/01791.html
  9. ^ BBC Brazil. Papa nomeia Dom Odilo Scherer para Arquidiocese de SP March 21, 2007
  10. ^ "Brazilian cardinal says after abortion for anencephaly babies others could be next". Cardinalrating.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  11. ^ "Library : What is Catholic Social Teaching?". Catholic Culture. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  12. ^ Rohter, Larry (May 7, 2007). "As Pope Heads to Brazil, Rival Theology Persists". New York Times. 
  13. ^ "Le retrait des crucifix rendrait-il le Brésil meilleur?" (in French). Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  14. ^ Rohter, Larry; Fisher, Ian (May 9, 2007). "Brazil Greets Pope But Questions His Perspective". New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Cláudio Hummes OFM
Archbishop of São Paulo
March 21, 2007–present