Lund alumnus Anders Arborelius to become Sweden’s first cardinal

Anders Arborelius (Photo: Per Englund)

Anders Arborelius (Photo: Per Englund)

‘I was somewhat shocked when I received the message’, says Bishop Anders Arborelius who, in addition to his degree in theology from Rome, has a Master’s degree in modern languages from Lund University. His studies in Lund have enabled him to translate books and give sermons in other languages as a priest and a bishop.

What did you gain from your time at Lund University?

‘It was an intense period as I was studying languages and working part-time at the hospital. I came straight from upper-secondary school and began studying Spanish and then German and English. My studies have benefitted me greatly. I translated some of the books by 16th century saint Teresa of Avila and, during certain periods, I worked a lot in South America’, he says.

How close to the Pope will you be working?

‘I will continue to serve as bishop in Sweden, while being a cardinal. As cardinal you also attend meetings in Rome and you might receive special assignments from the Pope.’

What does it mean to be made cardinal?

‘Among other things, it means that I will get to help choose the next pope. You are allowed to do so until you turn 80. I may also assist the Pope in various councils and deeds.’

What does it mean to the Swedish Catholic Church?

‘It means that Sweden will be more in the spotlight. Not even when Sweden was Catholic in the Middle Ages was there ever a Swedish cardinal. Sweden has always been on the periphery of the Catholic world, and the Pope’s decision to appoint cardinals from Sweden, Mali and Laos emphasises that small churches are also important’, says Anders Arborelius.

Anders Arborelius will continue to serve as bishop of the Swedish Catholic Church after he, together with four others, is officially made cardinal at a ceremony in Rome on 28 June.

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