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Adrianus Johannes Simonis (born November 26, 1931) is a Dutchmarker Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Utrechtmarker from 1983 to 2007, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985.

Biography

Simonis was born in Lissemarker, South Hollandmarker, the eldest of eleven children. He studied at the Seminary of Hageveld from 1945 to 1951, and at the Major Seminary of Warmondmarker from 1951 to 1957. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Martien Jansen on June 15, 1957, and then did pastoral work in the Diocese of Rotterdam until 1959, serving as curate at the parish of Saint Victor in Waddinxveenmarker and later at the parish Holy Martyrs Gorinchem in Rotterdammarker.

From 1959 to 1966, he furthered his studies in Romemarker at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas and the Pontifical Biblical Institute, from where he obtained a doctorate cum laude in Sacred Scripture with a thesis entitled: "Jesus as the Good Shepherd in the Gospel of Saint John". Following his return to the Netherlands, he served as pastor of the parish of Blessed Sacrament in The Haguemarker (1966-1970) and chaplain in the Red Cross Hospital. He became a canon of the cathedral chapter of Rotterdam in March 1969.

He studied biblical exegesis in Romemarker between 1959 and 1966, and was named Bishop of Rotterdam on December 29, 1970. The nomination of a conservative priest as a bishop in the then staunchly progressive Dutch Catholic Church caused a lot of turmoil, and Simonis had to devote himself to promoting harmony and unity in his community. Simonis became Archbishop of Utrechtmarker on December 3, 1983. A former president of the Dutch Bishops' Conference, Simonis was a major supporter of the Pope John Paul II's eventful visit to the Netherlands in 1985.


He was elevated to the College of Cardinals during the Consistory of May 25, 1985, with the Titulus S.marker Clementimarker, making him the seventh cardinal of the Dutch Church. He is a member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

The Cardinal was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.

Simonis sent his letter of resignation as Utrecht's archbishop to Pope Benedict on November 13, 2006, and the Pope accepted it on April 14, 2007, two months before Simonis celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest on 15 June. He continued to govern the archdiocese as Apostolic Administrator until his successor, Wim Eijk, who was appointed on 11 December of the same year, took possession of the see.

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