Peter Shirayanagi

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His Eminence

Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi
Cardinal, Archbishop emeritus of Tōkyō
ChurchRoman Catholic
Installed21 February 1970
Term ended17 February 2000
PredecessorPeter Doi
SuccessorPeter Takeo Okada
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Santa Emerenziana a Tor Fiorenza
Ordination21 December 1954
Consecration8 May 1966
Created cardinal26 November 1994
by John Paul II
Personal details
白柳 誠一 Shirayanagi Seiichi

(1928-06-17)17 June 1928
Died30 December 2009(2009-12-30) (aged 81)
Tokyo, Japan
Previous post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Tōkyō (1966–1969)
Coadjutor Archbishop of Tōkyō (1969–1970)
Styles of
Peter Shirayanagi
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi (白柳 誠一 Shirayanagi Seiichi; 17 June 1928 – 30 December 2009) was a Japanese Cardinal Priest of the Catholic Church and archbishop of Tokyo. He was head of the Japanese Catholic Bishops' conference from 1983 to 1992.


Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi was born in Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan, 17 June 1928. Shirayanagi studied at Sophia University, earning a degree in philosophy in 1951 and a specialization in theology in 1954. Ordained a priest on 21 December 1954 at Kanda Catholic Cathedral. From 1954 to 1957 he served in pastoral ministry in the archdiocese of Tōkyō. He then went to study at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, earning a doctorate in Canon law in 1960.[1]

Consecrated titular Bishop of Atenia and Auxiliary of Tokyo in 1966, he was named titular Archbishop of Castro and Coadjutor Archbishop of the Tokyo Archdiocese in 1969, and succeeded to the post of Archbishop of Tokyo in 1970.[1] He attended the Second Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Vatican City, from 30 September to 6 November 1971.

As archbishop, he was representative director of the Juridical Foundation of Tokyo Caritas House. He continued the Tokyo Archdiocesan Convention, implementing the decrees of the Second Vatican Council.[1] From 1983 to 1992, he presided over the Japanese Catholic Bishops' conference, which opened the Japanese Catholic Center in Tokyo in 1990. Also in 1990 the Archbishop told the Italian periodical 30 Giorni, that "the events of Akita are no longer to be taken seriously."[2] In 1981, Archbishop Shirayanagi organized events connected to the first papal visit to Japan. In 1989 he led a group to visit the Catholic Church in China.

In 1994, Pope John Paul II created him a Cardinal with the title of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Emerenziana a Tor Fiorenza. On 12 June 2000, he retired as archbishop of Tokyo. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.[3] On 24 November 2008 in Nagasaki, he represented the Pope, presiding over the beatification ceremony of the 188 Martyrs of Japan.[4]

Cardinal Shirayanagi was hospitalized at the beginning of August 2009 for cardiac arrhythmia, then suffered a light cerebral hemorrhage. On 23 December he moved to Loyola House, a Jesuit home for aged priests in Tokyo, where he died on 30 December. The funeral service was held at St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo.[3] Pope Benedict XVI recalled Cardinal Shirayanagi's continued commitment "to spreading the Gospel, .... his work promoting justice and peace and his tireless efforts for the refugees."[4]

Shirayanagi was an honorary member of AV Edo-Rhenania zu Tokio, a Catholic student fraternity that is affiliated with Cartellverband.


  1. ^ a b c "Shirayanagi, Card. Peter Seiichi", Holy See
  2. ^ Paci, Stefano M., "The Tears of Akita", 30 Giorni, July -August 1990, p. 45
  3. ^ a b Miranda, Salvador. "SHIRAYANAGI, Peter Seiichi (1928-2009)". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Florida International University. OCLC 53276621.
  4. ^ a b "Telegram from the pope on the death of Card. Shirayanagi", PIME – AsiaNews, 31 December 2009

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