Sergio Obeso Rivera

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Sergio Obeso Rivera
Archbishop of Xalapa
Coat of arms of Sergio Obeso Rivera.svg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed12 March 1979
Term ended10 April 2007
PredecessorEmilio Abascal y Salmerón
SuccessorHipólito Reyes Larios
Other postsCardinal Priest of San Leone I (2018–2019)
Ordination31 October 1954
by Clemente Micara
Consecration21 June 1971
by Emilio Abascal y Salmerón
Created cardinal28 June 2018
by Pope Francis
RankCardinal priest
Personal details
Birth nameSergio Obeso Rivera
Born(1931-10-31)31 October 1931
Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
Died11 August 2019(2019-08-11) (aged 87)
Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico
BuriedXalapa Cathedral
Previous post
Alma mater
MottoVirtus in infirmitate
('Power in weakness', 2 Cor 12:9)

Sergio Obeso Rivera (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈseɾ.xjo oˈβeso riˈβeɾa]; 31 October 1931 – 11 August 2019) was a Mexican prelate of the Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Xalapa from 1979 to 2007 after serving as Bishop of Papantla from 1971 to 1974 and then as coadjutor in Xalapa from 1974 to 1979. Pope Francis created him a cardinal on 28 June 2018.


Sergio Obeso Rivera was born in Xalapa, Mexico on 31 October 1931.[1] His father was a native of Asturias, Spain, and his mother was from Las Vigas de Ramírez, where he was raised.[2] He entered the seminary in Xalapa on 23 January 1944[3] and was ordained in Rome on 31 October 1954 and while earning his doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.[1] Until 1971 he held various positions at the Xalapa seminary, including prefect of philosophy, spiritual director, and rector.[3]

On 30 April 1971, Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop of Papantla[1] and he was consecrated a bishop on 29 July.[4]

On 18 January 1974, Pope Paul appointed him titular archbishop of Uppenna and Archbishop Coadjutor of Xalapa, and on 12 March 1979 he became Archbishop of Xalapa.[1]

He was elected to the three three-year terms as president of the Episcopal Conference of Mexico in 1982, 1985, and 1994.[3] He was also president of the Conference's Commission for Social Pastoral Care in 2002 when it called for reform of Mexico's Law of Indian Rights and Culture in a statement that said: "It is not possible to continue to live in a Mexico divided by racism and discrimination. The Indian peoples justly deserve the recognition of their cultures, of their way of seeing things, and of their autonomy."[5]

Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation on 10 April 2007.[6]

Pope Francis made Obeso a cardinal on 28 June 2018, assigning him the titular church of San Leone I.[7] He took possession of his titular church at a Mass on 1 July.[8]

In August 2018, Obeso said that while some accusations made by victims of Catholic Church sexual abuse cases are valid, about those who make accusations of pedophilia against Catholic clerics some should be "ashamed" to point their finger and "should have a little pity because they have tails that are stepped on, very long."[9][10]

He died on 11 August 2019 at his home in Coatepec.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annuncio di Concistoro il 29 giugno per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali, 20.05.2018" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 20 May 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Histórico: Sergio Obeso, cardenal; México ha tenido 12 cardenales". Diario de Xalapa (in Spanish). 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Paredes, Yhadira (20 May 2018). "Nombran a Sergio Obeso Rivera, arzobispo emérito de Xalapa, nuevo Cardenal de México". El Democrata (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Obeso Rivera Card. Sergio". Holy See Press Office. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Mexican Bishops Call for National Dialogue in Favor of Indians". Zenit. 10 September 2002. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 10.04.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 10 April 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Concistoro Ordinario Pubblico: Assegnazione dei Titoli, 28.06.2018" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Avviso dell'Ufficio delle Celebrazioni Liturgiche, 29.06.2018" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  9. ^ "El cardenal Obeso ridiculiza a las víctimas de abusos: "Tienen cola que les pisen"". Religion Digital. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 'deberían tener tantita pena porque suelen tener una cola que les pisen, muy larga'
  10. ^ Martín, Inés San (21 August 2018). "Mexican cardinal says abuse victims should think about skeletons in their own closet". Crux. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  11. ^ Sánchez Silva, Walter (11 August 2019). "Fallece Cardenal que presidió 3 veces el Episcopado Mexicano" (in Spanish). ACI Prensa. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  12. ^ Villa, Itzel (11 August 2019). "Cardenal Sergio Obeso Rivera fallece en Veracruz". El Financiero (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Alfonso Sánchez Tinoco
Bishop of Papantla
30 April 1971 – 15 January 1974
Succeeded by
Genaro Alamilla Arteaga
Preceded by
Emilio Abascal y Salmerón
Archbishop of Xalapa
12 March 1979 – 10 April 2007
Succeeded by
Hipólito Reyes Larios
Preceded by
Karl Lehmann
Cardinal-Priest of San Leone I
28 June 2018 – 11 August 2019