Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador
|Archdiocese of San Salvador|
Archidioecesis Sancti Salvatoris in America
Arquidócesis de San Salvador
Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador
|Area||3,295 km2 (1,272 sq mi)|
(as of 2014)|
Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador|
(Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior)
|Metropolitan Archbishop||José Luis Escobar Alas|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez|
The current Metropolitan Archbishop of San Salvador is José Luis Escobar Alas. His cathedral archiepiscopal see is in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador). The city also has a Former Cathedral: Basílica del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a Minor basilica: Basílica de la Ceiba de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, dedicated to the Virgin of Guadelupe.
The Archdiocese of San Salvador has an unusual arrangement in which the Auxiliary Bishop (Gregorio Rosa Chávez) is a Cardinal. This technically means that he ranks higher than the Archbishop in the Church hierarchy; however, the Archbishop still has authority over archdiocesan affairs.
As per 2014, it pastorally served 2,322,000 Catholics (74.0% of 3,137,000 total) on 3,295 km² in 163 parishes and 6 missions with 354 priests (158 diocesan, 196 religious), 1 deacon, 1,471 lay religious (343 brothers, 1,128 sisters) and 107 seminarians.
What is currently the territory of the Republic of El Salvador previously was part of the Spanish colonial Captaincy General (governorship) of Guatemala and, ecclesiastically, of the Archdiocese of Guatemala. Until 1842, there were four church regions in El Salvador, which reported to the San Salvador region, the most important one: Santa Ana, Sonsonate, San Vicente and San Miguel.
- Pope Gregory XVI erected the Diocese of the Divine Savior (in Spanish, El Salvador means "The Savior"), separating the territory of the Republic of El Salvador from the Archdiocese of Guatemala, by Papal bull dated 28 September 1842, constituting it as a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Guatemala.
- On 1913.02.11 it was promoted as Metropolitan Archdiocese of San Salvador / Sancti Salvatoris in America (Latin), having lost territory to establish as first suffragan sees Diocese of San Miguel and Diocese of Santa Ana
- It lost territories again : on 1943.12.18 to establish Diocese of San Vicente and on 1987.12.30 to establish Diocese of Chalatenango, both as its suffrgans.
- It enjoyed Papal visits from Pope John Paul II in March 1983 and February 1996.
Twentieth century policy
Under three archbishops, Luis Chávez y González, Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez, and Arturo Rivera y Damas (see picture), the archdiocese saw over fifty years of a progressive pastoral ministry influenced by the currents of the Second Vatican Council and a Latin American church trend that later was known as Liberation Theology. Critics interpreted the Church's advocacy for the poor as fomenting a socialist revolution and targeted the clergy for assassination. Two bishops, including Archbishop Romero, were assassinated, as were twenty six priests (including Fr. Rutilio Grande, pictured), three nuns and countless catechists and Church workers.
This comprises the whole country, consisting of the Metropolitan's archbishopric and the following suffragan sees :
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Chalatenango
- Roman Catholic Diocese of San Miguel
- Roman Catholic Diocese of San Vicente
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Ana
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Santiago de María
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Sonsonate
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Zacatecoluca
Bishops of San Salvador
- Jorge de Viteri y Ungo (1843-1846), appointed Bishop of León
- Tomas Miguel Pineda y Saldaña (1853-1872)
- Luis Cárcamo y Rodríguez (1872-1885)
- Miguel Vecchiotti (1885–1888)
- Antonio Adolfo Pérez y Aguilar (1888-1913)
Archbishops of San Salvador
- Antonio Adolfo Pérez y Aguilar (1913-1926)
- José Alfonso Belloso y Sánchez (1927-1938)
- Luis Chávez y González (1938-1977)
- Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1977-1980)
- Arturo Rivera y Damas, S.D.B. (1983-1994)
- Fernando Sáenz Lacalle (1995-2008)
- José Luis Escobar Alas (2008-present)
- Mariano Ortiz y Urruela (1866-1873)
- Luis Cárcamo y Rodríguez (1971-1972)
- Santiago Ricardo Vilanova y Meléndez (1913-1914), appointed Bishop of Santa Ana
- José Alfonso Belloso y Sánchez (1919-1927)
- Pedro Arnoldo Aparicio y Quintanilla, S.D.B. (1946-1948)
- Rafael Valladares y Argumedo (1956-1961)
- José Eduardo Alvarez Ramírez, C.M. (1965-1968)
- Arturo Rivera y Damas (1960-1977), appointed Bishop of Santiago de María and later Archbishop of San Salvador
- Blessed Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1970-1974)
- Marco René Revelo Contreras (1978-1981), appointed Bishop of Santa Ana
- Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez (1982-present)