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Fernando Chomalí Garib

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Don. Fernando Natalio Chomalí Garib
Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago de Chile
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseSantiago de Chile
ProvinceSantiago de Chile
MetropolisSantiago de Chile
Appointed25 October 2023
Installed16 December 2023
PredecessorCelestino Aós Braco
Ordination6 April 1991
Consecration3 June 2006
by Carlos Oviedo Cavada
RankMetropolitan Archbishop
Personal details
Fernando Natalio Chomalí Garib

(1957-03-10) 10 March 1957 (age 67)
DenominationCatholic Church
OccupationArchbishop, Prelate
Previous post(s)Auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile (2006-2011)
Metropolitan Archbishop of Concepción (2011-2023)
Alma materPontifical Catholic University of Chile
Pontifical Gregorian University
John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences
MottoMihi Vivere Christus Est

Fernando Natalio Chomalí Garib (born 10 March 1957) is a Chilean prelate of the Catholic Church who has been Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago in Chile since December 2023. He was consecrated a bishop in 2006, served five years as auxiliary bishop of Santiago. and then from 2011 to 2023 was Metropolitan Archbishop of Concepción.


Fernando Natalio Chomalí Garib was born on 10 March 1957 in Santiago de Chile, one of five children born to Juan Chomalí Celse and Vitalia Garib Aguad;[1] he has described himself as "a descendant of a Palestinian".[2] He studied at the Colegio de Alianza Francesa and the National Institute of Santiago.[1] He earned a degree in civil engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1981[1] and then studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Major Seminary of Santiago beginning in 1984.[1] He was ordained a priest on 6 April 1991.[3]

In Rome, he earned a licentiate in moral theology from the Pontifical Alphonsian Academy in 1993, a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1994, and a master’s degree in bioethics from the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences in 1998.[1] He has worked as a parish vicar, episcopal delegate for university pastoral care, professor of moral theology and bioethics in the Faculties of Theology and Medicine of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and in the Major Seminary of Santiago; as parish priest of Santa María de la Misericordia, moderator of the Curia and president delegate of the Economic Council of the archdiocese.[4]

He has been a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life since 2001.[5] From 2010 to 2012 he was a member of its steering committee.[6] His membership was most recently renewed in 2017.[7]

On 6 April 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him titular bishop of Noba and auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on 3 June[5] from Cardinal Carlos Oviedo Cavada, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago.

On 20 April 2011, Pope Benedict promoted him as archbishop of Concepción.[5]

He served from March 2014[8] to March 2015 as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Osorno. In the final days of that assignment, he met with Pope Francis and tried without success to impress upon him the impact his appointment of Juan Barros as Osorno's new bishop was having.[9] Chomalí had long been friends with Juan Carlos Cruz, who was charging Barros with failure to protect him from sexual abuse.[10]

On 10 September 2018, in a pastoral letter on the sexual abuse crisis, he called for the Church to cooperate fully with civil authorities: "We must obey the law because we are not above the norms that govern the country." He regretted that Church had lost its reputation as "a voice for the voiceless" and had become "for a growing percentage of the population ... a cause of scandal, of profound questioning, of much distrust and little credibility". He decried the impact of clericalism and proposed separating the offices that handle complaints of abuse from other diocesan offices and new rules to create transparency for seminaries and church judicial proceedings.[11]

He became vice president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile in 2021.[1]

On 25 October 2023, Pope Francis named him Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago.[4] He was installed there on 16 December.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Monseñor Fernando Chomali ha sido nombrado Arzobispo de Santiago". Conferencia Episcopal de Chile (in Spanish). 25 October 2023. Archived from the original on 25 October 2023. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Monseñor Fernando Chomali pidió promover la paz en Medio Oriente". Conferencia Episcopal de Chile (in Spanish). 25 November 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Rinunce e Nomine, 06.04.2006" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 6 April 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Resignations and Appointments, 25.10.2023" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 25 October 2023. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b c "Rinunce e Nomine, 20.04.2011" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Papa Francisco nombra a Fernando Chomali Garib como nuevo arzobispo de Santiago: ¿Quién es?". CNN Chile (in Spanish). 25 October 2023. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  7. ^ "El Papa Francisco nombra 45 miembros para la Pontificia Academia para la Vida" (in Spanish). ACI Prensa. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Mons. Fernando Chomali será administrador apostólico de Osorno". Conferencia Episcopal de Chile (in Spanish). 7 March 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  9. ^ Bonnefoy, Pascale (21 March 2015). "Angry Protest Over New Bishop in Chile". New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Backlash Against Chilean Bishop Threatens Francis' Reform Agenda". Huffington Post. The GroundTruth Project. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  11. ^ Orocho Esteves, Junno (19 September 2018). "When it comes to abuse, church isn't above the law, Chilean archbishop says". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  12. ^ Rodríguez, Ariadna (16 December 2023). "Monseñor Fernando Chomali asume como nuevo arzobispo de Santiago". La Tercera (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 December 2023.

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