João Braz de Aviz

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His Eminence
João Braz de Aviz
Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Joao braz de aviz.jpg
Appointed 4 January 2011
Predecessor Franc Rode CM
Other posts Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina
Orders
Ordination 26 November 1972
by Romeu Alberti
Consecration 31 May 1994
by Domingos Gabriel Wisniewski
Created Cardinal 18 February 2012
by Pope Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Birth name João Braz de Aviz
Born (1947-04-24) 24 April 1947 (age 67)
Mafra, Brazil
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Auxiliary Bishop of Vitória, Espirito Santo (1994–1998)
  • Titular Bishop of Flenucleta (1994–1998)
  • Bishop of Ponta Grossa, Parana (1998–2002)
  • Archbishop of Maringá, Parana (2002–2004)
  • Archbishop of Brasília, Distrito Federal (2004–2011)
Motto Omnes Unum Sint
(All May Be One)
Coat of arms
Styles of
João Braz de Aviz
Coat of arms of João Braz de Aviz.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

João Braz de Aviz (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʒuˈɐ̃w ˈbɾas dʒi aˈvis], Latin: Ioannes Blasius de Aviz; born 24 April 1947) is the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 4 January 2011.[1] At the time if the conclave that elected Pope Francis in 2013, his name was mentioned as a possible candidate for election to the papacy.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Braz de Aviz was born in Mafra, Diocese of Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil in 1947. He has four brothers and three sisters – the youngest sister has Down's syndrome. After pursuing his philosophical studies at the Major Seminary "Rainha dos Apostolos" in Curitiba and the Faculty of Palmas, he completed his theological studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he obtained a licenciate, and at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he graduated in 1992 with a doctorate in dogmatic theology.

Priesthood[edit]

Braz de Aviz was ordained a priest 26 November 1972. He began his ministry as a parish priest in the diocese of Apucarana, as Rector of the Major Seminary Apucarana and Londrina, and as professor of dogmatic theology at the Theological Institute Paul VI in Londrina. He was also member of the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors and General Coordinator of the Diocesan Pastoral Apucarana. As a young priest Braz de Aviz was once on his way to a village to say Mass when he stumbled upon an armored car robbery. He was caught in the crossfire and shot, with bullets perforating his lungs and intestines and one eye. He survived and surgeons were able to save his eye, he still carries fragments of those bullets in his body.[3]

Episcopate[edit]

On 6 April 1994, he was appointed to the titular bishop of Flenucleta as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Vitória and received episcopal ordination on 31 May of that year. He was transferred as ordinary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ponta Grossa on 12 August 1998 by Pope John Paul II. He was promoted to archbishop of Maringá on 17 July 2002 where he served until he was appointed archbishop of Brasília on 28 January 2004. In May 2010 he organised the XVI National Eucharistic Congress, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the city's founding.

On 4 January 2011, Braz de Aviz, not a member of a religious order, was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.[a] He is the fourth Brazilian to head a Vatican department.[b]

In February 2011, Braz de Aviz said he almost abandoned the seminary and the Catholic Church because of the ideological excesses that emerged in the early years of liberation theology. He said in an interview that "Personally, I lived with a lot of anguish during the years of the birth of liberation theology". He said he appreciated that liberation theology promoted the preferential option for the poor, which represents "the church's sincere and responsible concern for the vast phenomenon of social exclusion." He said consecrated men and women need to explore more deeply the mystery of God to strengthen their relationships with others.[5]

In July 2011, he referred to a breakdown in trust between the Vatican and many religious orders because of "some positions taken previously", referring to his predecessor, Cardinal Franc Rode, who decried a "crisis" in religious life following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) which he believed to have fostered excessively liberalizing currents in some communities of religious. Braz said that he recognizes there are problems, but his main aim is to "rebuild trust" by approaching issues in a new way, "without preemptive condemnations" and "by listening to people's concerns."[6]

On 6 January 2012 the Vatican announced that Braz de Aviz would be created a cardinal on 18 February. He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Sant'Elena fuori Porta Prenestina. On 21 April 2012 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Clergy and the Congregation for Catholic Education.[7] In the spring of 2013, at the time of the conclave thet elected Pope Francis, the name of Braz de Aviz was mentioned as a possible candidate for election to the papacy.[8]


On 16 December 2013 he was named a member of the Congregation for Bishops by Pope Francis.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Since 1973, prelates ordained for religious orders and for dioceses have alternated in holding the post of prefect of the congregation overseeing religious in the Catholic Church. In the past 100 years, 11 of the 18 prefects did not belong to a religious order.
  2. ^ Others are Cardinal Agnelo Rossi, who led the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1970 to 1984, Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, who headed the Congregation for Bishops from 1998 to 2000, and Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, who headed the Congregation for Clergy from 2006 to 2010.[4]

References[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Murilo Ramos Krieger SCI
Bishop of Ponta Grossa
12 August 1998–17 July 2002
Succeeded by
Sérgio Arthur Braschi
Preceded by
Murilo Ramos Krieger SCI
Archbishop of Maringá
17 July 2002–28 January 2004
Succeeded by
Anuar Battisti
Preceded by
José Freire Falcão
Archbishop of Brasília
28 January 2004–4 January 2011
Succeeded by
Sérgio da Rocha
Preceded by
Franc Rode CM
Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
4 January 2011–present
Incumbent