The “Swede of the year” is Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm according to Fokus Magazine. “The award was as unexpected as my appointment as cardinal”, Card. Arborelius commented. “As a Catholic and a cardinal, you can be a true Swede and not just someone a bit strange, a kind of outsider”. In a comprehensive interview also published online (fokus.se), Johan Hakelius traces his life, touching on many topical themes and telling the story of the Catholic Church in Sweden, where the anti-Catholic attitude has lasted until the late seventies. “I think that Sweden has become more open in the years when I was a bishop. Now it is easier to talk about religion”, the Cardinal said, even if “what was once the ‘Catholic threat’ is now ‘the Muslim threat’”. Born a Lutheran in 1949, Card. Arborelius joined the Carmel in 1971, where he remained for 27 years until his Episcopal appointment in 1998; he was the first Swedish Catholic Bishop since the Reformation, and the first Cardinal in Swedish history. He deserved the recognition as “representing the Catholic Church in a country whose identity is primarily secular or Lutheran requires a brave attitude” and also because he “plays a central role in the encounter between Swedes and immigrants”. The recognition goes to a person who “did something to change Sweden for the better” while “showing independence and creativity”. The award was presented to the Cardinal yesterday, Thursday 14 December, during a public ceremony.