Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga
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Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga
|Cardinal, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa|
|Appointed||8 January 1993|
|Predecessor||Héctor Enrique Santos Hernández|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria della Speranza
Coordinator of the Council of Cardinals
|Ordination||28 June 1970
by Girolamo Prigione
|Consecration||8 December 1978
by Gabriel Montalvo Higuera
|Created Cardinal||21 February 2001|
|Birth name||Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga|
December 29, 1942 |
|Motto||Mihi Vivere Christus Est|
|Coat of arms|
Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga SDB (born December 29, 1942) is a Honduran Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is the current Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, President of Caritas Internationalis and was President of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM) from 1995 to 1999. Rodríguez was elevated to the cardinalate in 2001. He was the Vatican's spokesman with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, on the issue of Third World debt.
Early life and ordination
He was born in Tegucigalpa in Honduras, the third of the four children of Andrés Rodríguez Palacios and Raquel Maradiaga. As a boy, he dreamed of playing the saxophone in a dance band or becoming a pilot. Instead, he received an internal call for the religious life, and joined the Salesians on May 3, 1961.
He earned doctorates in philosophy from the Institute "Don Rua" in El Salvador, in theology from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, and moral theology from the Pontifical Lateran University. From the Austrian University of Innsbruck Rodríguez received a diploma in clinical psychology and psychotherapy.
He was ordained a priest on July 28, 1970, by Archbishop Girolam Prigione in Guatemala City. Father Rodríguez was named the bishop's assistant in Tegucigalpa in the same year. He was dean of the Theology Department for three years at Guatemala's Francisco Marroquín University from 1975.
He then taught chemistry, physics, and music at Salesian colleges in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala over the next fifteen years. During this time he also became a professor of moral theology and ecclesiology at the Salesian Theological Institute in Guatemala. He is also trained in classical piano, and did studies in music in El Salvador, Guatemala, and the United States.
Bishop and cardinal
On October 28, 1978, Rodríguez was named auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa and titular bishop of Pudentiana. He received episcopal consecration on the following December 8 from Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, with Archbishops Héctor Santos Hernández and Miguel Obando y Bravo serving as co-consecrators. Rodríguez was named Archbishop of Tegucigalpa on January 8, 1993.
In addition to his episcopal responsibilities, he is currently the President of the Episcopal Conference of Honduras. Rodríguez was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Rodríguez was elected on 5 June 2007 as the new Caritas Internationalis President by the Caritas Confederation members at their 18th General Assembly in Vatican City. He was reelected 24 May 2011. As its President, he is the global representative of the Caritas Confederation for the next four years.
Since December 2001, he has received a pension of 100,000 lempiras a month from the budget of the President of Honduras specified in Acuerdo Ejecutivo 046-2001 published December 7, 2002 in La Gaceta.
On 13 April 2013, he was appointed to a group of cardinals established by Pope Francis to advise him and to study a plan for revising Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, with the group's first meeting scheduled for 1–3 October 2013.
Speaking in 2013 in an interview with Salt and Light, he said "It is not just taking the constitution Pastor Bonus and trying to change this and that," referring to the 1988 papal constitution governing the organization of the Roman Curia. "No, that constitution is over," he said. "Now it is something different. We need to write something different."
Reflecting on the reorganisation of the Roman Curia, his advisory role to the pope, and Catholic response to climate change. The cardinal made the comment in a Sept. 23 interview with Catholic News Service in New York, where he was participating in interreligious meetings in his capacity as president of Caritas Internationalis. Reformation of the Roman Curia, the church’s central administrative offices, is a normal response to changing times, has a significant 20th-century precedent, and was a focus of the pre-conclave meetings before Pope Francis was elected, Cardinal Rodriguez said. “Many people do not look back at history and they think now it’s a revolution. No! This is a normal process … that takes place in order to answer to the new signs of the times,” he said.
On 10 March 2015, according to an online news brief by Catholic News Service (CNS), Cardinal Rodriguez, who is the President of Caritas Internationalis, received the University of Dayton's Archbishop Oscar Romero Human Rights Award for his humanitarian work. Archbishop Romero, who will be beatified as a martyr on 23 May 2015 and is honored in a few other Christian denominations, was Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador in San Salvador, El Salvador, when he was assassinated on March 24, 1980, in a hospital chapel while saying Mass, by a right wing death squad assassin.
He has said that a politician who publicly supports abortion excommunicates himself, and that it's not question of receiving Communion or not, since he has already done serious harm to the communion of faith of the Church.
In 2009, Cardinal Rodríguez agreed with the Pope that condoms cannot be of any real benefit in the fight against AIDS.
Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, in a May 2002 interview with the Italian-Catholic publication 30 Giorni, claimed that in order to divert attention from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis; Jews influenced the media to exploit the current controversy regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests. This provoked outrage from the anti-Defamation League.
Rodríguez Maradiaga believes the Church must be “open” and in “constant dialogue,” following the Second Vatican Council’s example in rejecting attitudes of “arrogance and superiority.” 
Influence in 2009 Honduras Coup
In 2007, Cardinal Rodriguez was appointed to head the new 'Commission of Notables' on the study of the energy crisis as it impacted Honduras. When challenged in an international interview about being unqualified for such a task, he responded quietly that he was educated in chemical engineering in Texas and knew a thing or two about petroleum. His choice as leader, however, was not his technical knowledge, but rather the national respect for his integrity and his unwillingness to align with any particular political force within the country.
In 2008, Cardinal Rodriguez criticized President Manuel Zelaya for using public money to promote his plans instead of spending it on the poor. He stated: "We were good friends. But he changed drastically... It was Chávez."
The Church, according to a spokesman, did not favor deposed President Manuel Zelaya's alleged re-election plans nor a coup. In a televised speech, Rodriguez warned that the return of Zelaya could lead to a blood bath. He also called on the new government to promote national reconciliation and let aside revenge, pursuit, violence and corruption. He further urged the Organization of American States to investigate all the illegal deeds that happened during the rule of Zelaya. Rodriguez was later accused by Zelaya of conspiring and collaborating with the coup leaders.
- Caritas Internationalis President
- The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Additions 2011
- "La Gaceta". 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- Cien mil lempiras mensuales para el Cardenal Rodríguez
- Honduran Cardinal Alters Position, Now Agrees Communion Must be Denied to Pro-Abortion Politicians
- Golias article
- ADL Outraged by Honduran Cardinal's Jewish Conspiracy Theory
- "Crisis in Honduras What was really behind the removal of President Manuel Zelaya, and is he likely to be reinstated?". Poder. October 2009.
- Catholic Church did not favor Honduras Coup d'État
- Honduras Cardinal asks ousted president not to come back
- Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from Nicaraguan Border
|Catholic Church titles|
Héctor Enrique Santos Hernández
|Archbishop of Tegucigalpa
8 January 1993–present