Antonio María Rouco Varela
Antonio Rouco Varela
|Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid|
|Appointed||28 July 1994|
|Predecessor||Angel Suquía Goicoechea|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Damaso|
|Ordination||28 March 1959
by Angel Suquía Goicoechea
|Consecration||31 October 1976
by Maximino Romero de Lema
|Created Cardinal||21 February 1998|
|Birth name||Antonio María Rouco Varela|
24 August 1936 |
Vilalba, Galicia, Spanish Republic
|Motto||in ecclesiae communione|
|Coat of arms|
Antonio Rouco Varela
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Antonio María Rouco Varela (born 24 August 1936) is a Spanish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and a prominent member of its conservative wing. He currently serves as Archbishop of Madrid, and he was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998. He has reached the customary retirement age for an Archbishop and will probably be replaced promptly.
Antonio Rouco Varela was born in Vilalba to Vicente Rouco and María Eugenia Varela, the latter of whom hailed from Bahía Blanca, Argentina. He has four siblings: Visitación, Jose, Manuel, and Eugenia. He studied at the seminary in Mondoñedo and at the Pontifical University of Salamanca (1954–1958), from where he obtained his licentiate in theology. Rouco was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francisco Barbado y Viejo, OP, on 28 March 1959.
He then furthered his studies at the University of Munich, earning a doctorate in canon law in 1964 with a dissertation on church-state relations in 16th century Spain. He held a series of academic posts, teaching fundamental theology, canon law, and ecclesiastical law at the seminary of Mondoñedo, and the University of Munich. In 1976 he was appointed titular Bishop of Gergi and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela by the late Servant of God Pope Paul VI. Named Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela in 1984 by the late Blessed Pope John Paul II, he played a key role in the hosting of the 4th World Youth Day in 1989. Five years later, in 1994, he was named Archbishop of Madrid by Pope John Paul II.
John Paul II created him Cardinal-Priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso in the consistory of 21 February 1998. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. In 2011, he was the incumbent Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made a Papal Visit to the city for World Youth Day 2011. Also that year, the University of "San Dámaso" was founded in Madrid.
Cardinal Rouco Varela is a known supporter of the Neocatechumenal Way. Along with its founder, Kiko Arguello, he has co-ordinated massive rallies on 31 December 2007 and 2008 known as 'family days' to promote the Catholic family model and to oppose gay marriage.
He has opposed plans by the Spanish government over abortion.
Cardinal Rouco Varela claims that he wishes to convince young people that Christ really loves them and wants them to be happy. He invites them "for a profound, authentic and joyful encounter with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who calls young people in his Church so that their lives, often depressed and broken, and others fresh and vigorous, will be rooted and built up in Him, the only one who can offer them and give them truth, hope and love; the only one who can show them the right direction and accompany them on the way that leads to genuine and lasting happiness" as he wrote in a letter just before the World Youth Day of 2011.
Angel Suquía Goicoechea
|Archbishop of Madrid
28 July 1994–incumbent