Norberto Rivera Carrera
Norberto Rivera Carrera
|Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Mexico City|
Primate Emeritus of Mexico
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||13 June 1995|
|Retired||7 December 2017|
|Predecessor||Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada|
|Successor||Carlos Aguiar Retes|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Priest of S. Francesco d'Assisi a Ripa Grande|
Member of Council for the Economy
|Ordination||3 July 1966|
by Pope Paul VI
|Consecration||21 December 1985|
by Antonio López Aviña
|Created cardinal||21 February 1998|
by Pope John Paul II
|Born||6 June 1942|
La Purísima, Durango, Mexico
|Alma mater||Pontifical Gregorian University|
|Coat of arms|
Norberto Rivera Carrera
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Ordination history of
Norberto Rivera Carrera
Early life and ministry
Norberto Rivera Carrera was born in La Purísima, a small town in Tepehuanes Municipality, to Ramón Rivera Cháidez and Soledad Carrera; he has a sister who is a nun. His father immigrated to the United States to support the family. Rivera entered the seminary of Durango in 1955. He later studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained his licentiate in theology. He was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI on 3 July 1966.
From 1967 to 1985, Rivera did pastoral work in Durango and Zacatecas while serving as a professor of dogmatic theology and the prefect of discipline at the Durango seminary. He also directed Social Communications for the Archdiocese of Durango, was the diocesan advisor to the Christian Family Movement, and taught ecclesiology at the Pontifical University of Mexico from 1982 to 1985. While at the Pontifical University, he founded the Movement for the Days of Christian Life.
On 5 November 1985, Pope John Paul II appointed Rivera Bishop of Tehuacán. Archbishop Antonio López Aviña consecrated him bishop on 21 December with Archbishops Adolfo Suárez Rivera and Rosendo Huesca Pacheco as co-consecrators. He headed the Mexican Episcopal Conference's Commission for the Family from 1989 to 1995 and the Family Section of the Latin American Episcopal Conference from 1993 to 1995.
Rivera was named Archbishop of Mexico City on 13 June 1995, which made him ex officio Primate of Mexico. John Paul II made him Cardinal-Priest of S. Francesco d'Assisi a Ripa Grande in the consistory of 21 February 1998.
In 2001, he called charges of sexual abuse on the part of Marcial Maciel Degollado, the leader of the Legion of Christ, "a plot." In 2002, Rivera criticized the US media for its coverage of clergy sexual abuse. He called it "an orchestrated plan for striking at the prestige of the Church." He compared it to "what happened in the past century with the persecutions in Mexico, in Spain, in Nazi Germany and in communist countries."
Rivera was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. He was mentioned as a possible choice for pope at the time, as he had been years earlier.
Within the Latin American Episcopal Conference, Rivera served as President of the Episcopal Committee of Culture from 2004 to 2006. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Congregation for the Clergy, and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He was made a member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life in 2014.
He is seen as a strong advocate of social justice: his criticism of globalization and political corruption so annoyed Mexico's Salinas government that it threatened to adopt a law forbidding priests from commenting on politics.
Rivera Carrera a conservative on virtually all church matters. In 1990, as Bishop of Tehuacán, he closed a seminary that he said was teaching Marxist theology. In 1996, he forced the resignation of the abbot of the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe after he had questioned the historical truth of Mary's appearance to Juan Diego. He denounced the legalization of same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in 2009 and 2010. He said: "Our children and youth run the grave risk of seeing these types of unions as normal and they can falsely understand that sexual differences are simply a personality type.... Homosexual acts, in effect, close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not come from a true affective and sexual complementarity."
In 2011, as the Supreme Court of Mexico prepared to deliberate on a ruling proposed by Justice Fernando Franco that would overturn anti-abortion constitutional amendments enacted in numerous Mexican states. Rivera Carrera said that "abortion is never a solution for anything." On 25 September he said: "The Church always reaches out to pregnant women who are being pressured at work, by family members or friends to remind each one of them of the great value of motherhood." He noted that the Mexican bishops emphasized that the "taking of human life through the various abortifacient techniques must not be tolerated, and the taking of the life a human being, even in its initial phases, is not licit."
On 13 February 2016, Francis addressed the bishops of Mexico and appeared to castigate them: "Do not lose time or energy in secondary things, in gossip or intrigue, in conceited schemes of careerism, in empty plans for superiority, in unproductive groups that seek benefits or common interests. Do not allow yourselves to be dragged into gossip and slander." In March, an editorial in the newspaper of the Mexico City Archdiocese defended the bishops and said that the pope had received "bad advice." Observers identified Rivera as both a target of the Pope's speech and the source of the editorial response.
Sexual abuse case
Beginning in 1989, Los Angeles prosecutors pursued a Mexican priest on charges of sex abuse while stationed in the US for more than a decade and a lawsuit filed there charged that as Bishop of Tehuacán and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony shielded a priest abuser. Rivera said that when he approved the priest's transfer to Los Angeles, he had heard "accusations of homosexuality, but not of pedophilia." Rivera asked the Vatican to defrock the priest in 2007.
- Cardinale, Gianni (June 2002). "Il primo santo indio e l'assassinio del cardinale". 30 Giorni (in Italian). Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Berry, Jason; Renner, Gerald (7 December 2001). "Sex-related case blocked in Vatican". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Allen Jr., John L. (19 July 2002). "U.S. media in anti-church plot says Mexican prelate". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "Who Will Be the Next Pope?". National Catholic Reporter. 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Stanley, Alessandra (20 May 2001). "Cardinals Campaign, Very Delicately, for Pope". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Goodstein, Laurie; Fisher, Ian (17 April 2005). "Cardinals Align as Time Nears to Select Pope". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Glatz, Carol (31 March 2014). "Pope confirms heads of Vatican curial agencies". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Dillon, Sam (8 September 1996). "Doubting Keeper of Mexico's Guadalupe Shrine Is Stepping Down". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "Cardinal Laments Same-Sex 'Marriage' Law". Zenit. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Malkin, Elizabeth (6 February 2010). "Gay Marriage Puts Mexico City at Center of Debate". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Catholic News Agency, 27 September 2011
- "Abortion solves nothing, Mexican cardinal tells court". Catholic News Agency. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "List of Cardinal Electors". Zenit. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Malkin, Elizabeth (13 February 2016). "Francis Admonishes Bishops in Mexico to 'Begin Anew'". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
'I have never seen a scolding so severe, so drastic, so brutal to any bishops' group,' said Roberto Blancarte, a scholar of the Mexican church at the Colegio de México. 'The bishops will have to examine their consciences.'
- San Martín, Inés (9 March 2016). "Newspaper close to Mexican cardinal says pope got 'bad advice' on trip". CRUX. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "Demanda improcedente contra el cardenal Rivera Carrera en Estados Unidos". Zenit (in Spanish). 3 March 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Allen Jr., John L. (2 March 2011). "Sex abuse ruling in Los Angeles doesn't affect Vatican, attorney says". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- McKinley Jr., James C. (21 October 2006). "Accused Priest Flees From Law in U.S. and Mexico". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- McKinley Jr., James C. (12 January 2007). "Mexico: Vatican Punishment Asked for Priest". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "Rivera Carrera Card. Norberto". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Zenit profile: Cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera
|Catholic Church titles|
Rafael Ayala y Ayala
| Roman Catholic Bishop of Tehuacan
Mario Espinosa Contreras
Ernesto Corripio Ahumada
| Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mexico
Carlos Aguiar Retes