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Théodore-Adrien Sarr

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Théodore-Adrien Sarr
Cardinal, Archbishop emeritus of Dakar
ChurchCatholic Church
Appointed2 June 2000
Term ended22 December 2014
PredecessorHyacinthe Thiandoum
SuccessorBenjamin Ndiaye
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Santa Lucia a Piazza d’Armi
Ordination28 May 1964
by Hyacinthe Thiandoum
Consecration24 November 1974
by Hyacinthe Thiandoum
Created cardinal24 November 2007
by Benedict XVI
Personal details
Born (1936-11-28) 28 November 1936 (age 87)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
Styles of
Théodore-Adrien Sarr
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeDakar (Emeritus)

Théodore-Adrien Sarr (born 28 November 1936)[1] is a Senegalese cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Dakar from 2000 to 2014, and before that as Bishop of Kaolack from 1974 to 2000. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.[1]


Early life and ordination[edit]

Théodore-Adrien Sarr was born in Fadiouth to Rôg[1] (baptised Edouard[1] or Roger) and Louise (maiden name : Louise Diakher Diouf) Sarr,[1] as one of seven children [2] (including two sons and four daughters)[clarification needed]. He was born to a Serer family and has many family members in Gambia.[3] He completed his secondary studies at the minor seminary in Hann, where he received a baccalaureate. Sarr then studied philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of Sébikhotane and the University of Dakar.[1][2]

He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Hyacinthe Thiandoum on 28 May 1964, and furthered his studies at the University of Dakar, from where he obtained his licentiate in the classical languages of Latin and Greek.[1][2]

Pastoral work[edit]

Sarr then did pastoral work at the parish of Saint-Thérèse in Dakar, as assistant to the groups of Catholic Action.[4] He also served as a professor at the Minor Seminary of N'Gasobil, later as its superior from 1970 to 1974.[4]


On 1 July 1974, Sarr was appointed the second Bishop of Kaolack by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 24 November from Archbishop Thiandoum, with Bishops Théophile Cadoux, MSC, and Augustin Sagna serving as co-consecrators, in an open-air ceremony at the grand square of Collège Pie XII in Kaolack. Bishop Sarr was later named the third Archbishop of Dakar on 2 June 2000.[1][2]

In addition to his duties as archbishop, he also serves as president of the Episcopal Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau, and the first vice-president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.[4]


Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Priest of S. Lucia a Piazza d'Armi in the consistory of 24 November 2007. On 17 January 2009 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture by Pope Benedict.[5][6]

Cardinal Sarr was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis. However, he is no longer eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves as he reached the age of eighty on 28 November 2016.



Sarr discourages abortion, noting that the synod fathers affirmed that life must be respected from beginning to its natural end. He further stated that pastoral ministers in Africa must seek to help women with unwanted pregnancies, and that there are ways to deal with a difficult pregnancy other than abortion.[7]

HIV/AIDS and condoms[edit]

In 2009, Cardinal Sarr defended the Pope over a controversy surrounding the latter's refusal to approve any sort of condom use in the fight against AIDS.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h (in French) Benoist, Joseph-Roger de, Histoire de l'Eglise catholique au Sénégal du milieu du XVe siècle à l'aube du troisième millénaire", KARTHALA Editions (2008), pp. 511–16, ISBN 2811141774 [1] (Retrieved : 16 July 2012)
  2. ^ a b c d (in English) All Africa : "Professional Information" of Théodore-Adrien Sarr (in) All Africa (Retrieved : 16 July 2012)
  3. ^ (in English) Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "The Gambia and Its People: Ethnic Identities and Cultural Integration in Africa", p 137, ISBN 9987160239
  4. ^ a b c Sarr, Théodore-Adrien [in] EWTN (The College of Cardinals) (Retrieved : 16 July 2012)
  5. ^ (in English) Catholic Culture.org "The Chosen" (Retrieved : 16 July 2012)
  6. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Anti-life ideology decried as rule of world". Archived from the original on 17 October 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Cardinal stunned at media manipulation of Pope's comments". Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Théophile Cadoux
Bishop of Kaolack
1 July 1974 – 2 June 2000
Succeeded by
Benjamin Ndiaye
Preceded by Archbishop of Dakar
2 June 2000 – 22 December 2014
Preceded by Cardinal-Priest of Santa Lucia a Piazza d'Armi
24 November 2007 –