The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
John XXIII (1958-1963)
Consistory of January 16, 1961 (IV)


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(39) 1. RITTER, Joseph Elmer
(1892-1967)

Birth. July 20, 1892, New Albany, diocese of Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America. Son of Nicholas Ritter, a baker of modest means, and Bertha Luette, of German lineage. He was one of five boys and one girl. He decided at a young age to enter the priesthood.

Education. He studied at St. Mary's parochial school and served mass in the church where he had been baptized; then, he entered Saint Meinrad's College and Seminary, Saint Meinrad, Indiana, not far from New Albany.

Priesthood. Ordained, May 30, 1917, in the abbey church of Saint Meinrad, by Joseph Chartrand, bishop of Indianapolis; a few days later, he celebrated his first mass in St. Mary's parish church. Although he wanted to pursue further studies in Rome and was qualified by his academic record, the bishop assigned him as assistant pastor at the church of St. Patrick, in Indianapolis on July 7, 1917. On October 12, 1917, he was transferred as second assistant to the cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, also in Indianapolis; in 1920, he was named first assistant at the cathedral. On May 20, 1924, Pope Pius XI at the request of Bishop Chartrand, conferred on him an honorary doctorate in theology and thus, any hopes to go to Rome to study were dashed. On August 25, 1925, he was appointed rector of the cathedral. Successively, on January 3, 1930, he was nominated to the office of diocesan consultor; and member of the diocesan council on administration and finance, where he was instrumental in raising funds for the cathedral's high school; vicar general of the diocese; and also served as vice-president of the Indiana Catholic and Record, the official newspaper, which later became The Criterion. He also effectively helped the bishop in meeting the challenge of a hostile Ku Klux Klan, which in the 1920s and early 1930s in Indiana was a stronghold. He worked hard for civil and social rights of African Americans in Indiana.

Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Ippo and appointed auxiliary of Indianapolis, February 3, 1933. Consecrated, March 28, 1933, Indianapolis, by Joseph Chartrand, bishop of Indianapolis, assisted by Alphonse John Smith, bishop of Nashville, and by Emmanuel Boleslaus Ledvina, bishop of Corpus Christi. His episcopal motto was Miles Christi Sum. Vicar general of Indianapolis, February 5, 1933. Transferred to the see of Indianapolis, March 24, 1934; his installation took place on March 24, 1934, making him the youngest ordinary in the American hierarchy at the time. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Indianapolis when the diocese was elevated to archdiocese, November 11, 1944; his installation took place on December 19, 1944. On February 22, 1946, Pope Pius XII sent him the pallium. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Saint Louis, July 20, 1946. In September 1947, he desegregated five Catholic St. Louis high schools; as a result, the City Board of Education immediately advocated the abolition of segregation in St. Louis public schools. The archbishop threatened those who fought desegregation with excommunication from the Catholic Church, making it easier for him to implement change and to eliminate opposition. Named assistant at the Pontifical Throne on October 5, 1956. Cardinal Ritter's will was dated November 26, 1956. It assigned his property and that which he administered as head of the archdiocese to Bishop John Patrick Cody of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and Bishops-designate Charles Helmsing of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and Joseph Marling of Jefferson City (these were their titles in 1956), to be held by them in trust as joint tenants until a new archbishop was appointed. He appointed as executor of the will the person who would be serving as chancellor of the archdiocese at the time of his death. The will was filed at the Probate Court of St. Louis on June 12, 1967.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 16, 1961; received the red hat and the title of SS. Redentore e S. Alfonso in via Merulana, January 19, 1961. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Among the major accomplishments of his episcopate were his sending of priests of the St. Louis Archdiocese to work in the South American mission field; his early integration of parochial schools; his work in promoting the participation of the laity in the Apostolate; and his outstanding service as the head of the Commission for the Liturgy.

Death. Saturday June 10, 1967, at 5:47 a.m., of a heart attack, in Saint Louis. He had received the last rites the previous Monday, when he entered the hospital. His sister, Sister Mary Catherina, had come from Bardstown, Kentucky, to be with him during his illness. His red hat was hung from the ceiling of the cathedral of St. Louis. The requiem mass took place on Thursday, June 15, at the metropolitan cathedral. Cardinal-designate John Patrick Cody, archbishop of Chicago, formerly an auxiliary bishop under the late cardinal in St. Louis, was the main celebrant. Cardinals Richard James Cushing, James Francis McIntyre, Lawrence Joseph Shehan, and Francis Joseph Spellman attended, together with cardinals-designate John Joseph Krol and Patrick Aloysius O'Boyle. Ten archbishops, forty-eight bishops, and four abbots joined them. Some fifty Protestant, Jewish, and Orthodox leaders were present, representing the Episcopal Church, Missouri-Synod Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Greek Orthodox, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Salvation Army. In his sermon Bishop Charles Helmsing of Kansas City-St. Joseph, another former auxiliary bishop under the cardinal, singled out his liturgical leadership, particularly "his concern for a liturgy of the Word that would truly inform and enlighten the people of God." White vestments, the selection of readings, and use of psalms gave evidence of the experimental funeral liturgy authorized in St. Louis by the Vatican since September 1966. Cardinal Ritter was buried in the priests' lot at Calvary Cemetery among some 200 graves. He had expressed the desire not to be buried in the cathedral. Later his red hat was hung from the ceiling of the cathedral to perpetuate his memory. In 1967, St. Louis University established the "Cardinal Ritter Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice"; and in 2006, Andrew Steffen, Indianapolis attorney, gave a one million dollar scholarship endowment to Marian College, Indianapolis, to increase diversity at the college, in honor of the legacy of Cardinal Ritter. On November 2, 1994, on the initiative of Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis, Cardinal Ritter's remains were taken from Calvary Cemetery and brought to the cathedral. The re-interment in the crypt took place as part of the annual mass for departed members of the Priests' Purgatorial Society. The cardinal's remains were laid to rest with those of Cardinal John Joseph Glennon and Archbishop John Lawrence May in the new cathedral, now the cathedral basilica of St. Louis (1).

Bibliography. Code, Bernard. Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1789-1964). New York : Joseph F. Wagner, 1964, p. 252; Johnson, James. Joseph Cardinal Ritter. Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, 1964. (The men who make the Council, 4); Schneider, Nicholas A. Joseph Elmer Cardinal Ritter: his life and times. Foreword by Justin Cardinal Rigali. Liguori Publications: Liguori, Missouri, 2008. Contents: Welcome to St. Louis: the early years -- Settling in St. Louis -- Beginnings -- St. Louis: the middle years -- Mission focus -- Promoter of ecumenism -- Installation as cardinal -- The Second Vatican Council years: Part one (1962 and 1963) -- The Second Vatican Council years: Part two (1964 and 1965) -- Post-Vatican II years (1966 and 1967) -- The final days.

Links. His photograph and biographical data, archdiocese of Saint Louis, in English, sixth from the top of the page; photograph and biography, in Englishh, Marian University, Indianapolis; historical markers in honor of Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter, IN.gov; Cardinal Ritter Birthplace Foundation, in English; The Legacy of Cardinal Joseph Ritter continues on Indy's West Side by Vicki Murphy, in English, The National Black Catholic Congress; Bishops and Archbishops of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, in English; and his arms, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is the inscription in his vault, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:

CARDINAL
JOSEPH E.
RITTER
1892 - 1967


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(40) 2. QUINTERO PARRA, José Humberto
(1902-1984)

Birth. September 22, 1902, Mucuchíes, diocese of Mérida, Venezuela. Son of Genaro Quintero y Perpetua Parra. He was baptized in the parish church of Santa Lucía de Mucuchíes, on October 31, 1902, by Fr. José de Los Santos Viloria.

Education. Studied at the Seminary of Mérida; and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, where he earned doctorates in theology and canon law.

Priesthood. Ordained, August 22, 1926, Mérida, by Filippo Cortesi, titular archbishop of Sirace, nuncio in Venezuela. Pastoral ministry in archdiocese of Mérida, 1926-1929. Secretary to the archbishop of Mérida, 1929-1934. Secretary of the archdiocesan curia and vicar general of Mérida, 1929-1953.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Acrida and appointed coadjutor of Mérida, with right of succession, September 7, 1953. Consecrated, December 6, 1953, chapel of the Pontifical Collegio Pio Latinoamericano, Rome, by Cardinal Adeodato Giovanni Piazza, O.C.D., bishop of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto and secretary of the S.C. Consistorial, assisted by Luigi Centoz, titular archbishop of Edessa di Osroene, former nuncio in Venezuela, and by Giuseppe Misuraca, titular archbishop of Cesarea di Capadocia, former nuncio in Venezuela. His episcopal motto was Non ministrari sed ministrare. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Caracas, August 31, 1960.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 16, 1961; received the red hat and the title of Ss. Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio, January 19, 1961. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967; the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 11 to 28, 1969. President of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela. Resigned the administration of the archdiocese, September 21, 1972. Participated in the conclave of August 25 to 26,1978, which elected Pope John Paul I. Participated in the conclave of October 14 to 16,1978, which elected Pope John Paul II. Resigned the pastoral government of archdiocese, May 24, 1980. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, September 22, 1982. He was the first Venezuelan cardinal.

Death. July 8, 1984, Caracas. The funeral was celebrated on July 11, 1984 in the metropolitan cathedral of Caracas. His remains were buried in the chapel of Our Lady of El Pilar, which is in the right nave of that cathedral. All the bishops and archbishops of Caracas, including Cardinals José Alí Lebrún Moratinos and Antonio Ignacio Velasco García, S.D.B., are buried there.

Bibliography. Felice Cardot, Carlos. La labor histórica y humanística del cardenal Quintero. Caracas : Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia, Comisión de Historia, Comité Orígenes de la Emancipación, 1976. (Serie Opúsculos ; no. 18); Maradi Donato, Constantino. El cardenal Quintero. Caracas: Trípode, 1985.

Link. His photograph and arms, Arladica Vaticana.


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(41) 3. CONCHA CÓRDOBA, Luis
(1891-1975)

Birth. November 7, 1891, Bogotá , Colombia. His parents were José Vicente Concha, who was president of Colombia, and his first wife, Leonor Córdoba. He had six sisters from the two marriages of his father: Leonor, Isabel, Julia, Elvira, Josefina, and Maruja. He was baptized by Fr. Rafael Almansa in the parish church of "La Veracruz". His father prepared him for first communion.

Education. Studied Latin at home under Dr. Miguel Abadía Méndez, professor of the same subject the Conciliar Seminary of Bogotá , Bogotá; he entered the seminary to continue the study of Latin in 1908; went to Paris with his father when the latter was named Colombian ambassador in France; studied humanities in Paris under Abbé Lafont; on his return to Bogotá, he continued his priestly studies at the seminary; Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (Sacred Scriptures); Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, Paris.

Priesthood. Ordained, October 28, 1916, Bogotá. His father was then president of the Republic of Colombia from 1914 to 1918. Chaplain of the apostolic school of the cathedral of Bogotá, professor at the Conciliar Seminary, and at "Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario; pastoral ministry at the parish church of "La Veracruz," 1917-1918. Director of the archdiocesan bi-weekly "El Catolicismo", November 1918 to March 1919. Further studies in Rome and Paris, April 1919 until the end of 1920; he had to return early without obtaining any academic degrees due to bad health. In 1921, he was named chaplain of the monastery of the Visitation, prefect of studies and professor at the Conciliar Seminary of Bogotá, and professor of religion at "Gimnasio Moderno" and at "Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario. Privy chamberlain supernumerary of His Holiness, February 21, 1921; reappointed, April 10, 1922. Spiritual director at the Conciliar Seminary in 1923. Director again of "El Catolicismo" from August 16 to October 15, 1924. Postulated by the president of Colombia to the rectorate of "Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora del Rosario" but he declined. Professor of Sacred Scripture and moral theology at the Conciliar Seminary. Prebendary of the metropolitan cathedral chapter of Bogotá. President of the committee for the 1925 Holy Year. Sub-promoter of the faith in the informative process for the beatification of Ezequiel Moreno y Díaz, O.A.R., bishop of Pasto. Ecclesiastical censor. Canon theologian of the chapter of the metropolitan cathedral of Bogotá, and secretary of the archdiocesan curia, 1933-1934. General archiocesan assistant of the Catholic Action. Archdiocesan chancellor. Member of the archdiocesan synod. Vicar general substitute of Bogotá, 1934-1935.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Manizales, July 13, 1935. Consecrated, November 30, 1935, metropolitan and primatial cathedral basilica of Bogotá, by Ismael Perdomo, archbishop of Bogotá, assisted by Francisco Cristóbal Toro, bishop of Antioquia, and Crisanto Luque Sánchez, bishop of Tunja. His episcopal motto was Dominus lux mea. Promoted to archbishop when Manizales was elevated to the metropolitan rank, May 10, 1954. Transferred to the primatial metropolitan see of Bogotá, May 18, 1959. Military vicar of Colombia, May 19, 1959 to July 29, 1972. President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 16, 1961; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria Nuova, January 19, 1961. Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Lost his right to participate in the conclave when turned eighty years of age, November 7, 1971. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese of Bogotá, July 29, 1972.

Death. September 18, 1975, after a long and painful illness, very early in the morning, "Clínica Marly", Bogotá. Buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Bogotá.

Bibliography. Agudelo Giraldo, Guillermo. Los arzobispos de Bogotá que he conocido : medio siglo en la historia eclesiástica colombiana, 1928-1984. Bogotá : s.n., 1987. Notes: "Ensayo sobre los cuatro arzobispos que han dejado huella profunda en la agitada historia contemporánea de Colombia: monseñor Ismael Perdomo, cardenal Crisanto Luque, cardenal Luis Concha, cardenal Aníbal Muñoz Duque." Originally presented by the author on entering the Academia Colombiana de Historia Eclesiástica on Nov. 15, 1986. Cover title: Cuatro arzobispos que han marcado nuestra historia, 1928-1984. "Ediciones Verdad y Vida", volumen 14, nos. 24-25 y 26, diciembre de 1986".

Link. Photograph, arms and biographical entry, in Spanish, archdiocese of Bogotá; and his arms, Araldica Vaticana.


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(42) 4. FERRETTO, Giuseppe Antonio
(1899-1973)

Birth. March 9, 1899, Rome, Italy. Son of Tommaso Ferretto and Adele Stazi.

Education. tudied at the Pontifical Minor Roman Seminary, Vaticanat the ; Pontifical Roman Seminary, Rome; at the Pontifical Lateran Athenaeum, Rome, where he obtained doctorates in theology and utroque iure, both canon and civil law; and at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archeology, Rome.

Priesthood. Ordained, February 24, 1923, Rome. Further studies, 1923-1926. Faculty member of the Pontifical Lateran Athenaeum, and of the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum "De Propaganda Fide," 1926-1958. Official in the Vicariate of Rome, 1929-1939. Referendary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, April 23, 1939. Substitute of the S.C. Consistorial, June 7, 1943; assessor, June 27, 1950. Canon of the chapter of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, May 1, 1953.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Sardica, December 14, 1958. Consecrated, patriarchal Vatican basilica, by Pope John XXIII, assisted by Girolamo Bartolomeo Bortignon, O.F.M.Cap., bishop of Padua, and by Gioacchino Muccin, bishop of Feltre e Belluno. In the same ceremony were consecrated Cardinal Domenico Tardini, secretary of State; and future Cardinals Carlo Grano, titular archbishop of Tessalonica, nuncio in Italy; Angelo Dell'Acqua, titular archbishop of Chalcedonia and substitute of the Secretariat of State; Albino Luciani, bishop of Vittorio Veneto, future Pope John Paul I; and Mario Casariego y Acevedo, C.R.S., titular bishop of Pudenziana, auxiliary of Guatemala. His episcopal motto was Fortes in fide. Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 20, 1959.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 16, 1961; received the red hat and the title of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, January 19, 1961. Named cardinal bishop of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto, March 26, 1961. Transferred to the title of suburbicarian see of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto, May 23, 1962 (1). Attended the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Participated in the conclave of 1963, which elected Pope Paul VI. Named grand penitentiary, April 7, 1967. Attended the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29 to October 29, 1967; the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 11 to 28, 1969; the Second Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to November 6, 1971. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, June 26, 1967 until April 28, 1969. Suffering from cardiac related complications, he resigned his post of grand penitentiary on March 1, 1973.

Death. March 17, 1973, in his Vatican residence. Buried in the church of Immacolata e S. Benedetto Giuseppe Labre a via Taranto, Rome.

Bibliography. Alberti, Ottorino. "Card. Giuseppe Ferretto." La Pontificia Università lateranense : profilo della sua storia, dei suoi maestri, e dei suoi discepoli. Roma : Libreria editrice della Pontificia Università lateranense, 1963, pp. 174-175.

Links. Biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; biography, in English, Wikipedia; his portrait, photograph and arms, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) The motu proprio Suburbicariis sedibus, issued by Pope John XXIII on April 11, 1962, established that the cardinal bishops would have no ordinary jurisdiction over their suburbicarian sees. These dioceses were to be ruled by bishops with complete and independent ordinary power; cardinal bishops would only retain the title of the see. The disposition applied only to the cardinal bishops appointed in 1961 and later. The others, Cardinals Eugène Tisserant, Clemente Micara, Giuseppe Pizzardo, and Benedetto Aloisi Masella, retained the denomination of bishops of their sees. On November 17, 1966, they were listed as bishops of the title of their suburbicarian sees in Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 1967, except Cardinal Micara, who had died in 1965.

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