Prof. dr. Kardinaal G.M.J. (Godfried) Danneels
Honorary supervisor Prof. Dr. M. van Knippenberg - 2002 – Theologische Faculteit Tilburg
Godfried Danneels (Kanegem, 1933–Mechelen, 2019) was a Belgian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
He studied philosophy in Leuven and theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. In 1961, he received his PhD in Leuven, while he was already Professor of Liturgy and Sacramentology at the Grootseminarie of Bruges, where he was also appointed spiritual director. From 1969 to 1977, he was also a lecturer in liturgy and sacraments at the Faculteit Theologie en Religiewetenschappen Leuven. During that time, he wrote many articles, especially on liturgy and marriage morality.
In 1957, Danneels was ordained a priest; twenty years later he became bishop of Antwerp and, in 1979, archbishop of Antwerp-Mechelen. Pope John Paul II appointed Danneels as cardinal in 1983, the highest Catholic office after the pope himself.
Danneels was often called a progressive bishop, seeing himself more as a man of the center. He was a navigating archbishop at a time when the churches in Belgium, as in the Netherlands, were emptying, and much was changing ethically. For example, abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage were legalized during this period. He was strongly criticized for this in Rome, but Danneels has always accepted the separation of church and state.
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