Sérgio da Rocha

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Sérgio da Rocha
Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia
Primate of Brazil
Rocha in 2011
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseSão Salvador da Bahia
SeeSão Salvador da Bahia
Appointed11 March 2020
PredecessorMurilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Santa Croce in Via Flaminia (2016–)
Ordination14 December 1984
by Constantino Amstalden
Consecration11 August 2001
by José Antônio Aparecido Tosi Marques
Created cardinal19 November 2016
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Born (1959-10-21) 21 October 1959 (age 64)
Previous post(s)
Alma materAlphonsian Academy
MottoOmnia in Caritate
(All in Love)
Coat of armsSérgio da Rocha's coat of arms
Ordination history of
Sérgio da Rocha
Priestly ordination
Date14 December 1984
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorJosé Antônio Aparecido Tosi Marques
Co-consecratorsJoviano de Lima Junior, SSS
Bruno Gamberini
Date11 August 2001
Elevated byPope Francis
Date19 November 2016
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Sérgio da Rocha as principal consecrator
Valdir Mamede16 March 2013
José Aparecido Gonçalves de Almeida 13 July May 2013
Marcos Antônio Tavoni1 March 2014
Styles of
Sergio da Rocha
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Sérgio da Rocha (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɛʁʒiu ˈʁɔʃɐ]; born 21 October 1959) is a Brazilian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been a cardinal since 2016 and the Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia since 11 March 2020. He has been a bishop since 2001, first as auxiliary bishop of Fortaleza from 2001 to 2007, coadjutor and then archbishop of Teresina from 2007 to 2011, and archbishop of Brasília from 2011 to 2020. He is a member of the Council of Cardinals.


Rocha was born in Dobrada in the state of São Paulo on 21 October 1959[1] and grew up in a rural area.[2] After his elementary studies in Matão, he took courses in philosophy at the seminary of the Diocese of São Carlos and theology at the Theological Institute of Campinas. He earned a licentiate in moral theology from the Theological Faculty Nossa Senhora da Assunção in São Paulo, and a doctorate in the same discipline from the Alphonsian Academy, Rome. He was ordained a priest in Matão on 14 December 1984.[1]

He worked as a pastor in the Água Vermelha neighborhood of São Carlos and was coordinator of Youth Ministry of the Diocese of São Carlos in 1985/1986; professor of philosophy at the seminary and spiritual director of the House of Theology in Campinas in 1986/1987 and in 1991; rector of the Philosophy Seminary in 1987–1988 and in 1990; coordinator of Vocational Ministry in 1987 and 1989; vicar of the Cathedral of São Carlos in 1988/1989; vicar of Nossa Senhora de Fátima parish in 1990; coordinator and rector of São Judas Tadeu Chapel in 1991; professor of moral theology at the PUC Campinas and rector of the Diocesan Seminary of Theology from 1997 to 2001. On the diocesan level, he was a member of the training team for permanent deacons, and a member of the Council of Priests and the College of Consultants.[1]

On 13 June 2001, Pope John Paul II appointed him titular bishop of Alba and auxiliary bishop of Fortaleza.[1] He received his episcopal consecration on 11 August. He was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Teresina on 31 January 2007[3] and he became archbishop there on 3 September 2008.[4]

Pope Benedict XVI named Rocha to succeed João Braz de Aviz as archbishop of Brasilia on 15 June 2011.[5] He took possession of that see on 6 August. In Brazilia, he erected 11 new parishes, created new plans for supporting the homeless and young people, reorganized the seminary, and restructured the leadership of the archdiocese.[2]

On 14 November 2015, Pope Francis named him as one of his three appointees to the 15-member council of the Synod of Bishops,[6] following the Synod on the Family which Rocha attended as president of the Brazilian Bishops Conference.[2]

Rocha has been a member of the Commission for Doctrine of the Episcopal Conference of Brazil (CNBB), and a member of its Task Force to Overcome Poverty and Hunger. For the Northeast Regional Conference, he led the Youth and Vocational Ministry, and served as its secretary, a member of its Doctrine Commission, a member of its permanent council, and as its president. For the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) he has led the Vocations and Ministries Department.[5] On 20 April 2015, he was elected to a four-year term as president of the CNBB.[7]

Pope Francis raised him to the rank of cardinal on 19 November 2016, naming him Cardinal-Priest of Santa Croce in Via Flaminia.[8]

In November 2017, Pope Francis appointed Rocha relator general of the October 2018 Synod on Youth and Vocations.[9]

On 11 March 2020, Pope Francis named him archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia.[10]

On 21 May 2021, at the request of local LGBT rights organizations, Rocha celebrated a Mass for murdered members of the LGBT community. In his homily he said:[11]

The Church is called to be a merciful mother; it suffers with the violence perpetrated against the people.... Violence against the LGBTI+ population is a sad signal of a society which is used to constant violations of life, of dignity, of the rights of so many victims of brutal death.

On 7 March 2023, Pope Francis appointed him to the Council of Cardinal Advisors.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Rinunce e Nomine, 13.06.2001" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 13 June 2001. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c San Martin, Inéz (12 October 2016). "Brazil's red hat is a young pastor in the mold of Pope Francis". Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  3. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 31.01.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 03.09.2008" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Rinunce e Nomine, 15.06.2011" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Comunicato della Segreteria Generale del Sinodo dei Vescovi, 14.11.2015" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Arcebispo de Brasília é eleito presidente da CNBB". Jornal Grande Bahia (in Portuguese). 20 April 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  8. ^ "Titular churches and diaconates of the new cardinals". Holy See Press Office. 19 November 2016. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Pope names Brazilian cardinal as relator general of Youth Synod". Catholic Herald. Catholic News Agency. 21 November 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  10. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 11.03.2020" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  11. ^ Campos Lima, Eduardo (11 June 2021). "Mass for LGBT community criticized by Traditionalists in Brazil". Crux. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  12. ^ "Pope renews Council of Cardinals". Vatican News. 7 March 2023. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
Additional sources

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Titular Bishop of Alba
13 June 2001 – 31 January 2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Teresina
3 September 2008 – 15 June 2011
Succeeded by
Jacinto Furtado de Brito Sobrinho
Preceded by Archbishop of Brasília
15 June 2011 – 11 March 2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference
20 April 2015 – 6 May 2019
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal-Priest of Santa Croce in Via Flaminia
19 November 2016 –
Preceded by Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia
11 March 2020 –
Order of precedence
Preceded byas Vice President of Brazil Brazilian order of precedence
3rd in line
as Brazilian cardinal
Followed by
Foreign ambassadors