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Norberto Rivera Carrera
Styles of
Norberto Rivera Carrera
CardinalCoA PioM.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Mexico

Norberto Rivera Carrera (born on June 6, 1942) is a Mexican Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the current Archbishop of Mexico, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.


Early life and ministry

Norberto Rivera Carrera was born in La Purísima, a small town outside Tepehuanes, 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, from 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

On November 5, 1985, Rivera was appointed Bishop of Tehuacán by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on 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 later promoted to Archbishop of Mexico, and thus Primate 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.

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.

Legal controversy

In 2006 he was named as a defendant in a lawsuit [1] brought by Joaquín Aguilar Méndez because Carrera allegedly helped priest Nicolás Aguilar escape prosecution for lewd acts against minors. [2] [3]


The cardinal is a conservative on virtually all Church matters. In 1990, as bishop of Tehuac, he closed a seminary that he charged was teaching "Marxist" theology. He is also close to the Legionaries of Christ, one of the new right-wing movements in the life of the church that sprung up after the Second Vatican Council. [1]

Episcopal Succession

Episcopal Lineage
Consecrated by: Antonio López Aviña
Date of consecration: December 21, 1985
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
José de Jesús Martínez Zepeda April 12, 1997
Marcelino Hernández Rodríguez February 5, 1998
Felipe Tejeda García March 4, 2000
José Luis Fletes Santana March 4, 2000
Guillermo Rodrigo Teodoro Ortiz Mondragón March 4, 2000
Francisco Clavel Gil June 27, 2001
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ernesto Corripio Ahumada
Archbishop of Mexico
Succeeded by
Religious titles
Preceded by
Rafael Ayala y Ayala
Bishop of Tehuacan
Succeeded by
Mario Espinosa Contreras

External links




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