The Catholic University of America

Cardinal John Francis Dearden Lecture

The Dearden lecture honors the late archbishop of Detroit who was known for his work to implement the teachings of Vatican II in the United States. This annual lecture is supported by a fund established for the purpose of implementation in 1982 by a number of American bishops, who wished to honor Cardinal John Dearden, archbishop of Detroit (1958-80), for his erudition, wisdom, and leadership of the Church in the United States. 


 2016 Cardinal Dearden Lecturer
His Eminence,
Wilfred Cardinal Napier, O.F.M.

 Archbishop of Durban,
South Africa

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, Wilfrid Cardinal Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa, delivered this year's annual Cardinal John Francis Dearden lecture.  Cardinal Napier's lecture was entitled, "What Made Synods 2014 and 2015 So Interesting?: Collegiality and Synodality!"

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has been archbishop of Durban, South Africa since 1992. After being ordained a Franciscan priest in 1970, he worked for nearly three years in the Parish of Lusikisiki and did pastoral work for five years in Tabankulu.

In 1981, Cardinal Napier was appointed Bishop of Kokstad.  Cardinal Napier has participated in three assemblies of the Synod of Bishops - 1983, 1987 and 2012.  From 1987 to 1994, Cardinal Napier served as president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference and in 1989 was appointed to serve on the Council of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.  He was created a Cardinal by His Holiness, St. Pope John Paul II in 2001.

In 2015, Cardinal Napier served as a Co-President of the Ordinary Synod on the Family and was appointed by Pope Francis to serve on the newly constituted Council for Economic Affairs to oversee and reform Vatican finances.  

Click here to access the video recording of Cardinal Napier's lecture
Click here to access a copy of Cardinal Napier's lecture