The prestigious, Swedish news magazine ‘Fokus’ has named our brother, Cardinal Anders Arborelius, OCD, Swedish citizen of the year, taking into account his unwavering and inclusive character as the most visible head of the Catholic church in Sweden, where everyone is able to find a space in which to share faith, hope and love.
In an interview on the Spanish web page www.religionconfidencial.com, the priest, Andrés Bernar states that Monsignor Arborelius has always been a voice which is a reference point not only for Swedish Catholics, but who is also forthright when it comes to explaining the doctrine of the Church with simplicity and clarity, always placing himself on the side of the most vulnerable.
On Vatican Radio, Anders Arborelius stated: ‘Sometimes I ask myself if I am a true Swede, because people think that it is impossible to be one, when one is a Catholic priest, bishop and cardinal, all at the same time. I am happy for this recognition and consider that the magazine has been courageous in making this choice. It shows that the Catholic Church is becoming more and more of a Swedish reality and is part of the fabric of the society of our country’.
For their part, the panel recognised that our brother, Cardinal Arborelius, OCD, is a courageous man, when it comes to representing the Catholic Church with dignity in a country whose identity is mainly secular or Lutheran. He also plays a crucial role in the integration of Swedish people and immigrants who have come from other countries. In conclusion, ‘Focus’ states: ‘The Swede of the year for 2017 is Anders Arborelius, Discalced Carmelite, priest, bishop and cardinal’.