Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archdiocese of San Salvador
Archidioecesis Sancti Salvatoris in America
Arquidócesis de San Salvador
Catedral de San Salvador.jpg
Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador
Country El Salvador
Area 3,295 km2 (1,272 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
2,322,000 (74%)
Rite Roman Rite
Cathedral Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador
(Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior)
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas
Auxiliary Bishops Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez
El Salvador - Arcidiocesi di San Salvador.jpg

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador is the chief ecclesiastical jurisdiction of El Salvador, serving the Salvadoran capital, San Salvador, and surrounding region.

The current Metropolitan Archbishop of San Salvador is Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas. His cathedral archiepiscopal see is in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador). The city also has a Former Cathedral: Basílica del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a Minor basilica: Basílica de la Ceiba de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, dedicated to the Virgin of Guadelupe.


As per 2014, it pastorally served 2,322,000 Catholics (74.0% of 3,137,000 total) on 3,295 km² in 163 parishes and 6 missions with 354 priests (158 diocesan, 196 religious), 1 deacon, 1,471 lay religious (343 brothers, 1,128 sisters) and 107 seminarians.


What is currently the territory of the Republic of El Salvador previously was part of the Spanish colonial Captaincy General (governorship) of Guatemala and, ecclesiastically, of the Archdiocese of Guatemala. Until 1842, there were four church regions in El Salvador, which reported to the San Salvador region, the most important one: Santa Ana, Sonsonate, San Vicente and San Miguel.

Twentieth century policy[edit]

Under three archbishops, Luis Chávez y González, Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez, and Arturo Rivera y Damas (see picture), the archdiocese saw over fifty years of a progressive pastoral ministry influenced by the currents of the Second Vatican Council and a Latin American church trend that later was known as Liberation Theology. Critics interpreted the Church's advocacy for the poor as fomenting a socialist revolution and targeted the clergy for assassination. Two bishops, including Archbishop Romero, were assassinated, as were twenty six priests (including Fr. Rutilio Grande, pictured), three nuns and countless catechists and Church workers.

The post-Civil War period saw a return to traditional spirituality under the watch of the conservative Archbishop Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, a former military chaplain and member of Opus Dei.

Ecclesiastical province[edit]

This comprises the whole country, consisting of the Metropolitan's archbishopric and the following suffragan sees :

Internal Hierarchy[edit]

  • The auxiliary bishop of San Salvador is Msgr. Gregorio Rosa Chávez, whom Pope Francis created a Cardinal on 28 June 2017, which is very unusual in that he thus outranks his metropolitan, and as the previous Archbishops of San Salvador- including Oscar Romero and the current Archbishop- has never been a Cardinal.
  • The vicars general are Auxiliary Bishop Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez and the Rev. Msgr. Jesús Delgado Acevedo. The archdiocesan chancellor is Msgr. Rogelio Esquivel.
  • Four other clerics also hold leading posts in the archdiocese: Msgr. Rafael Edgardo Urrutia Herrera, Msgr. Richard Antall, Msgr. Fernando Arturo Rodríguez, and Fr. Joaquín Alonso Álvarez.
  • The San Salvador Archdiocese covers three provinces or departments of El Salvador: San Salvador, La Libertad, and Cuscatlán. The archdiocese is organized into fifteen vicariates or diocesan districts. Eleven of the vicariates cover San Salvador, and are named aftersaints as well as the archbishops Belloso, Chávez, Romero and Rivera, and Father Rutilio Grande.

Episcopal Ordinaries[edit]

The following is a list of the Roman Catholic Bishops and Archbishops of the Diocese and Archdiocese of San Salvador (and their terms of service).

Suffragan Bishops of San Salvador
  • Msgr. Dr. Jorge de Viteri y Ungo (1843.01.27 – 1846), next Bishop of León (Nicaragua) (1849.11.05 – death 1853.07.25)
  • Msgr. Tomas Miguel Pineda y Saldaña (born Guatemala) (1853.03.10 – death 1872.08.06), previously Titular Bishop of Antigonea (1848.07.08 – 1853.03.10) without actual prelature
  • Msgr. Luis Cárcamo y Rodríguez (1872.08.06 – 1885.09.12), succeeding as previous Titular Bishop of Arsinoë in Cypro (1871.11.06 – 1872.08.06) and Coadjutor Bishop of San Salvador (1871.11.06 – 1872.08.06)
  •  ? Miguel Vecchiotti (1885–1888)
  • Msgr. Dr. Antonio Adolfo Pérez y Aguilar (1888.01.13 – 1913.02.11 see below)
Metropolitan Archbishops of San Salvador
  • Msgr. Dr. Antonio Adolfo Pérez y Aguilar ( see above 1913.02.11 – death 1926.04.17)
  • Msgr. Dr. José Alfonso Belloso y Sánchez (1927.12.22 – death 1938.08.09), succeeding as former Titular Bishop of Sozusa in Palaestina (1919.12.18 – 1927.12.22) and Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador (1919.12.18 – 1927.12.22)
  • Msgr. Luis Chávez y González (1938.09.01 – 1977.02.03), died 1987; also Apostolic Administrator of suffragan Diocese of San Vicente (El Salvador) (1944 – 1948.11.27), President of Episcopal Conference of Central America (1958 – 1961), President of Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (1958 – 1967 & 1975 – 1977)
  • Blessed Msgr. Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1977.02.03 – murdered 1980.03.24); previously Titular Bishop of Tambeæ (1970.04.25 – 1974.10.15) as Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador (1970.04.25 – 1974.10.15), Secretary General of Episcopal Secretariat of Central America and Panama (1971 – 1972)
    • Auxiliary Bishop: Marco René Revelo Contreras (1978.01 – 1981.02.25), Titular Bishop of Germaniciana (1973.07.14 – 1981.02.25); previously Auxiliary Bishop of Santa Ana (El Salvador) (1973.07.14 – 1978.01); later Bishop of Santa Ana (1981.02.25 – retired 1998.10.19), President of Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (1983 – 1988), President of Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (1995 – 1998), died 2000
  • Msgr. Arturo Rivera y Damas (1983.02.28 – 1994.11.26), Salesians (S.D.B.), also President of Episcopal Secretariat of Central America and Panama (1984 – 1988), President of Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (1992 – 1994); previously Titular Bishop of Legia (1960.07.30 – 1977.09.19) as Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador (1960.07.30 – 1977.09.19), Bishop of Santiago de María (El Salvador) (1977.09.19 – 1983.02.28), Apostolic Administrator of San Salvador (1980 – 1983.02.28)
  • Msgr. Fernando Sáenz Lacalle (1995.04.22 – retired 2008.12.27), also President of Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (1998 – 2008.12.27); previously Titular Bishop of Tabbora (1984.12.22 – 1995.04.22) as Auxiliary Bishop of Santa Ana (El Salvador) (1984.12.22 – 1995.04.22) and Apostolic Administrator of the Military Ordinariate of El Salvador (1993.07.03 – 1997.06.19)
  • Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas (27 December 2008 – ...), also President of Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (2009.03 – ...); previously Titular Bishop of Thibica (2002.01.19 – 2005.06.04) as Auxiliary Bishop of San Vicente (El Salvador) (2002.01.19 – 2005.06.04), succeeding as Bishop of San Vicente (2005.06.04 – 2008.12.27).


    • Auxiliary Bishop: Pedro Arnoldo Aparicio y Quintanilla, S.D.B. (1946.02.22 – 1948.11.27)
    • Auxiliary Bishop: Rafael Valladares y Argumedo (1956.08.18 – 1961.08.31)
    • Auxiliary Bishop: José Eduardo Alvarez Ramírez, C.M. (1965.10.07 – 1968.11.04)

See also[edit]

Sources and external links[edit]