Norberto Rivera Carrera

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His Eminence
Norberto Rivera Carrera
Cardinal, Archbishop of Mexico
Primate of Mexico
Cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera.png
Diocese Mexico
Appointed 13 June 1995
Predecessor Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada
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
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1942-06-04) 4 June 1942 (age 74)
La Purísima, Durango, Mexico
Nationality Mexican
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Alma mater Pontifical Gregorian University
Motto Lumen Gentium
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Norberto Rivera Carrera
Coat of arms of Norberto Rivera Carrera.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Mexico

Norberto Rivera Carrera (born June 4, 1942) is a Mexican Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the Archbishop of Mexico City and the Primate Archbishop of Mexico He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.

Early life and ministry[edit]

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 and worked in the United States in order to support the family. Rivera entered the seminary of Durango in 1955. He later went to Rome to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he obtained his licentiate in theology. He was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI on July 3, 1966.

From 1967 to 1985, Rivera did pastoral work in Durango and Zacatecas, as well as 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.

Episcopal career and cardinalate[edit]

On November 5, 1985, Rivera was appointed Bishop of Tehuacán by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration the following December 21 from Archbishop Antonio López Aviña, with Archbishops Adolfo Suárez Rivera and Rosendo Huesca Pacheco serving as co-consecrators. During his tenure, he headed the Mexican Episcopal Conference's Commission for the Family (1989–1995) and the Family Section of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (1993–1995).

Rivera was promoted to Archbishop of Mexico City and Primate Archbishop of Mexico on June 13, 1995. John Paul II created him Cardinal-Priest of S. Francesco d'Assisi a Ripa Grande in the consistory of February 21, 1998. During his tenure, Juan Diego, to whom the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe reportedly appeared, was canonized. Rivera was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. He was suggested as a possible choice as pope.[1]

Within the Latin American Episcopal Conference, Rivera served as President of the Episcopal Committee of Culture from 2004 to 2006. He also holds membership in the Pontifical Council for the Family, Congregation for the Clergy, and Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Roman Curia.

Rivera Carrera 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 is seen as a conservative on virtually all church matters. In 1990, as Bishop of Tehuacán, he closed a seminary that he charged 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.[1] Rivera is known for his opposition to abortion and artificial birth control and for his insistence on strict church discipline.[2]

During the Supreme Court of Mexico's debate on legalizing abortion, Rivera Carrera said that "abortion is never a solution for anything". These comments came as the Supreme Court prepared to deliberate on a ruling proposed by Justice Fernando Franco that would overturn anti-abortion constitutional amendments enacted in numerous Mexican states.[3] On September 25 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 at a meeting in Monterrey 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".[4]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

On March 8, 2014, Pope Francis named him a Cardinal Member of the newly established Council for Economic Affairs, which oversees the work of the new Secretariat for the Economy, an agency which has financial regulatory authority over all departments of the Roman Curia.[5]

Sexual child abuse cover-up accusation[edit]

Rivera has been accused of covering up several cases of sexual child abuse by priests.[6][7][8][9] [10]


External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Rafael Ayala y Ayala
Roman Catholic Bishop of Tehuacan
Succeeded by
Mario Espinosa Contreras
Preceded by
Ernesto Corripio Ahumada
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mexico