Cardinal Polycarp Pengo Biography - Life, Views, Ordination and More

Cardinal Polycarp Pengo Biography – Life, Views, Ordination and More

Polycarp Pengo who was born August 5, 1944 is a Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, from 1992 until 2019. Since 1998, he has served as a cardinal.

Ordination and Early Life of Polycarp Pengo 

Polycarp Pengo was ordained a priest in 1971 and studied Moral Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, where he received his doctorate in 1977. He briefly taught Moral Theology at the Kipalapala Theological Seminary before becoming the 1st Segerea Theological Seminary Rector based in Dar-es-Salaam, where he served until 1983.


In 1983, he was appointed Bishop of Nachingwea (now Lindi), and in 1985, he was appointed Bishop of Tunduru-Masasi.

He was chosen Coadjutor Archbishop of Dar es Salaam in 1990, then Archbishop of Dar es Salaam in 1992, after Cardinal Laurean Rugambwa’s retirement.


In the consistory of February 21, 1998, Pope John Paul II elevated Cardinal Polycarp Pengo to the rank of Cardinal. Pengo was a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI, as well as the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II

He possesses the following: Doctrine of Faith (congregations),  Curial Memberships Evangelization of the Peoples, The General Synod of Bishops has established a Special Council for Africa,  Culture (councils), Interreligious Dialogue .

He has been the president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) since 2007.

On September 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named him as a Synod Father for the Synod of Bishops’ 13th Ordinary General Assembly, which took place in October 2012.

On August 15, 2019, Pope Francis announced his resignation as archbishop.

Polycarp Pengo Views

Cardinal Polycarp Pengo Tanzania Homosexuality Situation

In 2000, Cardinal Pengo condemned homosexual actions, calling them “one of the most horrible crimes on the face of the globe.”

Polycarp Cardinal Pengo on Tanzanian Clashes

In 2004, he slammed the perpetrators of confrontations ostensibly for religious reasons.

Theology on AIDS in the Church

Further reading: The Catholic Church and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

The AIDS pandemic, according to Cardinal Pengo, cannot be eliminated only or principally by the provision of prophylactics, but rather through a plan focused on individual responsibility education within the context of a moral perspective of human sexuality.

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