Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour

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Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour (born 20 May 1944) is a Uruguayan lawyer, journalist and activist on behalf of Roman Catholic causes in Latin America. In his 50-year career in the Roman Curia, he was one of the few laypersons in the upper ranks.[1] For his last eight years, he was the highest ranking official of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. After retiring from the Curia in 2019, he became Uruguay's ambassador to the Holy See in 2021.


Early career[edit]

Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour was born in Montevideo on 20 May 1944.[2] He studied at the University of the Republic in Montevideo where he received his doctorate in law and social sciences.[3] He led the student organization of the Catholic University of Uruguay, the Association of Catholic Students and Professionals, and helped it expand throughout Latin America.[citation needed] He was director of the Center for Social Communications of the Bishops Conference of Uruguay.[4]

Pontifical Council for the Laity[edit]

On 1 December 1971, he began his service in the Roman Curia.[2] On 11 February 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed him office head of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the first layperson to occupy that high a position in the Curia.[2][5] On 12 September 1991, Pope John Paul II appointed him undersecretary of that body, again the first layperson of that rank.[2][5]

He participated as an expert "auditor" in meetings of the Synod of Bishops in 1974, 1980, 1987, and 1997. He had a leading role in official delegations of the Holy See attending United Nations conferences, as well as dozens of conferences of international Catholic organizations; he participated as an expert in the conferences of the Episcopal Conference of Latin America (CELAM) in Puebla in 1979 and Santo Domingo in 1992. He was responsible for organizing papal encounters with participants in World Youth Day for more than two decades.[3][4]

Commission for Latin America[edit]

When faced with vacancies in the two highest positions[a] in the Pontifical Commission for Latin America–vice president and secretary–Pope Benedict named Carriquiry its secretary on 14 May 2011[6] Carriquiry's appointment as secretary of the Commission, a position until then held by a priest, and particularly in the absence of a vice president, who by law needed to be a bishop, was deemed "unprecedented".[7] The vice president's position was never filled. Pope Francis in turn confirmed Carriquiry as secretary in January 2014.[8] and on 2 May of that year appointed him the Commission's "secretary with responsibility for the vice presidency",[9] a unique designation.

Among the many conferences where he represented the Holy See, he participated as an expert in the CELAM conference in Aparecida in 2007.[3] He later described Aparecida as the event that saw a seamless transition from Benedict XVI to his successor: "Pope Benedict inaugurates and gives the basic orientation of Aparecida, Bergoglio takes up everything together with the bishops and brings it to completion, giving it that consistency, that profile of Latin American ecclesial self-awareness". He described Pope Francis' encyclical Evangelii gaudium as the evolution in universal terms of what the Aparecida conference's statement meant for the Church in Latin America.[10]

Carriquiry retired after eight years as secretary of the Commission in April 2019,[11] a few weeks before his 75th birthday.

Throughout his Curial career he held a variety of teaching appointments at several pontifical universities in Rome, at such secular institutions as Sapienza University of Rome and University of Rome Tor Vergata, and others including the University of Rome "S. Pío V", the Faculty Theology of the University of Lugano, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the Saint Thomas Aquinas University in Argentina, and many others.[4]


On 14 July 2020, Francisco Bustillo, Uruguay's foreign minister, announced Carriquiry's appointment as Uruguay's ambassador to the Holy See.[12][13] On 9 January 2021, he presented his credentials to Pope Francis.[14]

Private life[edit]

Carriquiry is married to Lídice Gómez Mango with whom he has four children and, as of 2020, eight grandchildren.[13][2] She was born in Montevideo and taught Spanish language and literature at the La Sapienza University of Rome.[15][b] Pope Francis presided at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica marking their 50th wedding anniversary; Cardinal Marc Ouellet delivered the homily.[17]


  • "Comendatore" of the Italian Republic (1992)[18]
  • "Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell'Ordine di San Gregorio Magno (Vatican, 1994)[3]
  • "Grand Officer" of the Bernardo O'Higgings Order (Chile, 1999)[3]
  • "Great Officer of the Order of May of Merit (Argentina, 2001)[3]
  • La Universidad Católica del Uruguay la "gran Medalla d'honores" [4]
  • Honorary doctorates

Selected writings[edit]

Carriquiry has published numerous books, magazine articles and conferences, particularly on the topics of the social doctrine of the Church, the history of Latin America, its culture and human rights issues.

  • Una apuesta por America Latina [Betting on Latin America]. 2005. ISBN 9500726564. with an introduction by Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, later Pope Francis[20]
  • El bicentenario de la independencia de los países latinoamericanos. Ayer y hoy (in Spanish). Encuentro. 2012. ISBN 8499209963.
  • Globalización e identidad católica de América Latina (in Spanish). Plaza y Janés. 2002. ISBN 9681105559.


  1. ^ The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops is president ex officio of the Commission.
  2. ^ Her works on language and cultural encounter include L'incontro di lingue nel «nuovo mondo», an account of how "missionaries saved and developed many indigenous languages but only the most rooted and extensive managed to survive". It considers the significance of this linguistic relationship for a respectful integration of the cultures of a common Latin American homeland.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Guzmán Carriquiry celebra su 50 aniversario de bodas junto al Papa Francisco". Forum Libertas (in Italian). 5 July 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Guzmán M. Carriquiry Lecour". Pontifical Council for the Laity. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Riedel, María Verónica. "Profesor Guzmán Carriquiry, Doctor Honoris Causa". (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dr. Guzmán Carriquiry" (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  5. ^ a b Giansoldati, Franca (27 June 2019). "Papa Francesco festeggia per la prima volta i 50 anni di nozze d'oro di un amico". Il Gazzettino (in Italian). Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 14.05.2011" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Nombramiento sin precedentes de Benedicto XVI para un laico en el Vaticano". Zenit (in Spanish). 14 May 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 15.01.2014" (Press release) (in Spanish). Holy See Press Office. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 02.05.2014" (Press release) (in Spanish). Holy See Press Office. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  10. ^ "A 10 anni da Aparecida, Carriquiry: lì è nato il pontificato di Bergoglio". La Stampa (in Italian). 30 May 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  11. ^ Martínez-Brocal, Javier (11 January 2021). "Pope's collaborator is now new ambassador of Uruguay to the Vatican". Rome Reports. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Uruguay: nominati nuovi ambasciatori in Spagna e Santa Sede" (in Italian). Agenzia Nova. 15 July 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Guzmán Carriquiry será embajador de Uruguay ante la Santa Sede". ACI Prensa (in Spanish). 14 July 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  14. ^ "Le Lettere Credenziali dell'Ambasciatore di Uruguay presso la Santa Sede" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 9 January 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  15. ^ a b "L'incontro di lingue nel «Nuovo Mondo»". Nova Cultura (in Italian). Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  16. ^ Gómez Mango, Lidice (2000). L' incontro di lingue nel nuovo mondo (in Italian). Lateran University Press. ISBN 9788861343801.
  17. ^ "Homilía del Cardenal Marc Ouellet en la Misa de Jubileo matrimonial por los 50 años del Prof. Guzmán Carriquiry y su esposa, Lídice Gómez Mango, celebrada en la Basílica de san Pedro y presidida el Santo Padre Francisco". Pontifical Commission for Latin America (in Spanish). 5 July 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Carriquiry Prof.Avv. Guzman". President of the Republic (Italy) (in Italian). 27 November 1992. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Universidad argentina otorga doctorado Honoris Causa a prestigioso laico uruguayo" (in Spanish). ACI Prensa. 3 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  20. ^ Gregg, Samuel (28 May 2013). "Pope Francis and Liberation Theology". National Review. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013.

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