Mario Casariego y Acevedo

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His Eminence
Mario Casariego y Acevedo
Cardinal Archbishop of Guatemala City
Province Guatemala
See Guatemala City
Installed 12 December 1964
Predecessor Mariano Rossell y Arellano
Successor Próspero Penados del Barrio
Other posts Auxiliary Bishop of Guatemala City (1958–1963)
Coadjutor Archbishop of Guatemala (1963–1964)
Ordination 19 July 1936
Consecration 27 December 1958
Created Cardinal 28 April 1969
Personal details
Born (1909-02-13)13 February 1909
Figueras de Castropol, Spain
Died 15 June 1983(1983-06-15) (aged 74)
Guatemala City
Buried Cathedral of Guatemala City
Nationality Spanish
Denomination Catholic
Residence Guatemala City
Styles of
Mario Casariego y Acevedo
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Guatemala City

Mario Casariego y Acevedo, CRS (13 February 1909 – 15 June 1983) was a Spanish-born Guatemalan Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Guatemala City from 1964 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1969.[1]


Mario Casariego y Acevedo was born in Castropol to Mario and Ágata (née Acevedo) Casariego. He entered the Clerics Regular of Somasca, more commonly known as the Somascan Fathers, in 1924, and made his profession on 3 October 1930. Casariego studied at the Somascan houses of studies in Bergamo and Genoa, and at the Somascan theological seminary in San Salvador.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 19 July 1936, and then did pastoral work at La Ceiba Institute in San Salvador until 1948, whence he became its rector. From 1954 to 1957, Casariego served as a counselor to his religious order. He was also its provincial superior of Central America from 1957 to 1958.

On 15 November 1958, Casariego was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Guatemala City and Titular Bishop of Pudentiana by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 27 December from Pope John himself, with Bishops Girolamo Bortignon, OFM Cap, and Gioacchino Muccin serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. Casariego later attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, during which he was promoted to Coadjutor Archbishop of Guatemala City and Titular Archbishop of Perge on 22 September 1963. He succeeded the late Mariano Rossell y Arellano as Archbishop of Guatemala City on 12 December 1964. Casariego was kidnapped for several days by a terrorist group (right extremists from a death squad who wanted to blame Guatemalan leftist guerrilla) in March 1968.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Aquiro in the consistory of 28 April 1969; Casariego was the first cardinal from Guatemala. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II respectively.

The Cardinal was an ardent supporter of Guatemala's authoritarian regime,[2] so much so that his automobile was accompanied by a radio patrol and two armed motorcycle guards.[3] In response to the murder of many politically active priests, Casariego said he knew of no murdered clergy in his country, where most accounts claimed there had been at least ten.[4] Moreover, he also stated, "If you mix in politics, you get what you deserve."

Cardinal Casariego died in Guatemala City, at the age of 74. He is buried in the metropolitan cathedral of the same.


  1. ^ Mario Casariego, arzobispo de Guatemala. El País, 18 June 1983, Spain.(Spanish)
  2. ^ Poitevin, René. "La iglesia y la democracia en Guatemala". Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos, 16(1), 1990, pp 87–109. Universidad de Costa Rica.
  3. ^ TIME Magazine. Papal Oddsmacking 17 July 1978
  4. ^ TIME Magazine. The New Missionary 27 December 1982

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Mariano Rossell y Arellano
Archbishop of Guatemala City
Succeeded by
Próspero Penados del Barrio