Joseph Cordeiro

His Eminence
Joseph Marie Anthony Cordeiro
Cardinal, Archbishop of Karachi
Church Roman Catholic
See Karachi
In office 1958–1994
Predecessor James Cornelius van Miltenburg, O.F.M.
Successor Simeon Anthony Pereira
Ordination 24 August 1946
Consecration 7 May 1958
Created Cardinal 5 March 1973
by Pope Paul VI
Rank Cardinal-priest
Personal details
Born (1918-01-19)19 January 1918
Bombay, British India (now India)
Died 11 February 1994(1994-02-11) (aged 76)[1]
Karachi, Pakistan
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Joseph Marie Anthony Cordeiro (January 19, 1918 -- February 11, 1994) was the first Pakistani cardinal.[2]

Early life

Cordeiro was educated at St Patrick's High School, Karachi, the University of Bombay and Oxford University. He received his religious training at the Papal Seminary in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and was ordained a priest in Karachi, Pakistan on August 24, 1946.


From 1946 to 1948, he did pastoral work in Hyderabad and Karachi.

He then attended Oxford University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree.

In 1950 he was appointed Vice Principal of St Patrick's High School, Karachi. From 1952 he served as principal of St Francis Grammar School in Quetta and as rector of the St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Quetta. On 7 May 1958, he was appointed Archbishop of Karachi, with his seat at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi.[3]

He attended the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (1967), the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (1969) and the Second Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (1971). He was elected a member of the Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops (1971).

He was the first Pakistani cardinal, a position elevated by Pope Paul VI (1973). He attended both papal conclaves in 1978, and was mentioned as papabile by Time Magazine after Pope John Paul I's death.[4]

He wrote a series of articles for the Archdiocesan weekly Christian Voice called "Lessons of a Lifetime", a reflection on his life experiences.

From 1958 until his death, Cordeiro was president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan.[3]

Styles of
Joseph Cordeiro
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Karachi


Cordeiro died on 11 February 1994 at Holy Family Hospital with complications due to cancer.[5] Cordeiro was succeeded by Archbishop Simeon Anthony Pereira.


Cordeiro was honoured by the Christ the King Seminary in Karachi that has hosted the Cardinal Cordeiro Cricket tournament to promote religious vocations since 2008.[6]

On 6 May 2011, The Old Patricians (former students of St Patrick's school) presented the Joseph Cardinal Cordeiro Gold Medal to the top student from the Cambridge A level section at the closing ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the school.[7]

In 2012, Cardinal Cordeiro High School was named in his honor. The school is located in the Good Shepherd Parish in Korangi Town, Karachi.[8]

His Alma Mater, St. Patrick’s High School named the Cardinal Cordeiro Silver Jubilee Auditorium in his honor.


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