Cardinal Priest of S Francesco d'Assisi ad Acilia
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Umzimkulu, was born on 8 March 1941 in Swartberg, South Africa. He was ordained for the Franciscans on 25 July 1970 following philosophical and theological studies at the Catholic University of Louvain.
After learning Xhosa, he worked in the parish of Lusikisiki and did pastoral work in Tabankulu. In 1978 he was named Apostolic Administrator of Kokstad and appointed Bishop of the same see on 29 November 1980, receiving episcopal ordination on 28 February 1981. During the turbulent changes that marked the South African political scene, he was deeply involved in mediation and negotiation work along with other national and provincial Church leaders. He served as President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1987 to 1994.
On 29 May 1992 he was promoted to Archbishop of Durban and on 1 August 1994 was named Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Umzimkulu. Since November 1999, he is President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC).
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001. Titular church St. Francis of Assisi in Acilia.