|Bishop of Diocese of Riobamba|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|See||Diocese of Riobamba|
|In office||1955 - 1985|
|Predecessor||Alberto Maria Ordóñez Crespo|
|Successor||Victor Alejandro Corral Mantilla|
|Ordination||29 June 1936|
|Consecration||26 May 1954
by Cardinal Opilio Rossi
|Born||29 January 1910
San Antonio de Ibarra, Ecuador
|Died||31 August 1988
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Leonidas Eduardo Proaño Villalba (1910 in San Antonio de Ibarra, Ecuador – 1988 in Quito, Ecuador) was an Ecuadorian priest and theologian. He served as the bishop of Riobamba from 1954 to 1985. He was a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize and is considered one of the most important figures in Ecuadorian liberation theology.
Proaño was ordained as a priest in 1936 and soon became interested in the latest trends Catholic social doctrine. Within the Ibarra diocese, he created the Juventud Obrera Cristiana (Christian Youth Workers). He was named bishop of Riobamba in 1954. From his cathedral in Riobamba, he fought constantly to introduce social justice in relations with indigenous people and to promote indigenous access to public life and political power (he thus became known as "the bishop of the Indians").
He enthusiastically adopted the thesis of liberation theology. In 1960, he created the Escuelas Radiofónicas Populares, with a clear educational goal. In 1962, he created the Center of Studies and Social Action to aid the development of indigenous communities. In 1973, he was accused of guerrilla warfare and had to stand trial in Rome, but he was cleared of all charges. In 1976, he was jailed during the dictatorship of Guillermo Rodríguez Lara.
In 1985, he renounced the bishopric and was named president of the Pastoral Indígena.
- Rupito (1953)
- Creo en el Hombre y en la Comunidad (1977)
- El Evangelio Subversivo (1987)
- Concienciación, Evangelización y Política (1987).
- Leonidas Proaño: el obispo de los pobres, 1989, Francisco Enríquez Bermeo, Pedro Casaldáliga, Ed. El Conejo
- "Leonidas Proaño Villalba". diccionariobiograficoecuador.com. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "Il marxismo, la teologia della liberazione e l'effetto di sdoppiamento". lacinarossa.net. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "Taita Proaño". santantonio.org. Il Messaggero di Sant'Antonio. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Profile of Mons. Proaño www.catholic-hierarchy.org
- Leonidas Proaño: una obra emancipadora desde el territorio
|Catholic Church titles|
Alberto Maria Ordóñez Crespo
|Bishop of Bolívar
|Bishop of Riobamba
1955 - 1985
Victor Alejandro Corral Mantilla