Fernando Sáenz Lacalle

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The Most Reverend
Fernando Sáenz Lacalle
Archbishop Emeritus of San Salvador
See San Salvador
Installed 22 April 1995
Term ended 27 December 2008
Predecessor Arturo Rivera y Damas
Successor José Luis Escobar Alas
Other posts Auxiliary Bishop of Santa Ana
President of the Conferencia Episcopal de El Salvador
Ordination 9 August 1959
Consecration 6 January 1985
Personal details
Born (1932-11-16) 16 November 1932 (age 84)
Cintruénigo, Spain
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
Fernando Sáenz Lacalle
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

Fernando Sáenz Lacalle (born 16 November 1932) was the tenth Bishop and sixth Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador. He was the successor of Msgr. Arturo Rivera y Damas. Archbishop Sáenz held the post once held by Archbishop Óscar Romero, who was assassinated in 1980.

Role as bishop[edit]

Liberation theology[edit]

In the years following his installment, Sáenz was accused by critics of eviscerating the "preferential option for the poor" of his predecessors, notably Romero, by clamping down on progressive church movements affiliated with Liberation Theology with a series of personnel movements, closing of programs, and changes to seminary curriculum.[1] Sáenz has defended his stances by saying that the Church must speak on behalf of the poor and defenseless, but never become involved in activism or politics.[2] Sáenz is a member of the Opus Dei. He has supported the canonization cause of his predecessor, Romero.

Metropolitan cathedral[edit]

Sáenz presided over the completion of the Metropolitan Cathedral on March 19, 1999.[3] Sáenz seemed to find his voice after two deadly earthquakes struck El Salvador a year apart in 2000 and 2001, with the archbishop springing into action to marshal international relief.[4] In more recent years, Sáenz has advocated conservative Catholic views on sex and contraception, called for civil cooperation with police authorities to combat gang violence, and criticized labor strikes in the health sector as an unjustifiable denial of service to hospital patients.[5]


In accordance with Canon law, Sáenz tendered his resignation as archbishop on December 27, 2008, and it was accepted. Bishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Vincente, El Salvador, was named the eleventh Bishop and seventh Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador on Monday, December 29, 2008, by Pope Benedict XVI.[6]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Pope John Paul II


  1. ^ NotiSur - Latin American Political Affairs; February 16, 1996
  2. ^ Hispanic Business Forums - Latin America's dueling Catholic visions
  3. ^ http://www.elsalvadorturismo.gob.sv/catedralmetro.htm
  4. ^ Pope sends second message after Central American quake
  5. ^ Archbishop calls on Salvadorans to collaborate in eradication of violence
  6. ^ Metropolitan Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador - GigaCatholic Information

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Arturo Rivera y Damas
Archbishop of San Salvador
Succeeded by
José Luis Escobar Alas