Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald, a former president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in the British monarch’s annual New Year’s list.
The honors include knighthoods, as well as appointments to the Order of the British Empire, which has three classes: Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE). CBE is the highest-ranking award of the three, followed by OBE and MBE.
In an email to Catholic News Agency , he said: “I think the award should really go to the Missionaries of Africa, the Society to which I belong, for having allowed me to have the necessary formation for this service which I exercised first within the framework of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, and then to the Holy See, to Pope St. John Paul II who, in 1987, appointed me secretary of the Secretariat for Non-Christians (as it was then) and later in 2002 appointed me president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (as it had become).”
“This gave me the possibility of engaging in fraternal relations on a wider scale than Christian-Muslim relations.”
“I think it’s important that we listen to people and that we try to understand, because it is difficult to speak about racial discrimination,” he said.
Catholic News Agency, full text of the article here.