Styles of
Alfredo Scherer
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Porto Alegre (emeritus)

Alfredo Vicente Scherer (February 5, 1903—March 9, 1996) was a German-Brazilian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Porto Alegre from 1946 to 1996, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1969.


Alfredo Vicente Scherer was born in Bom Princípio, Rio Grande do Sul, as the second child of Peter and Anna (née Opermann) Scherer. He studied at the seminary in Porto Alegre and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood on April 3, 1926. He then served as private secretary to Archbishop João Batista Becker until 1933, when he began pastoral work in Porto Alegre.

On June 13, 1946, Scherer was appointed the first Auxiliary Bishop of Porto Alegre and Titular Bishop of Hemeria by Pope Pius XII. However, Archbishop Becker died two days later, on June 15, before Scherer received his episcopal consecration. Scherer was named as his successor as Archbishop of Porto Alegre on the following December 30. He was consecrated on February 23, 1947 by Archbishop Carlo Chiarlo, with Bishops José Baréa and José de Almeida Baptista serving as co-consecrators. In reference to divorce, the Archbishop once called for "prayers to God to take away from Brazil the calamity which threatens Christian families"[1]. Scherer also gave weekly radio broadcasts against "anarchists and followers of Communism" within the Church[2].

From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council, and was recognized as one of the leading conservative prelates during the 1960s and 1970s[3]. However, Scherer did support the succession of the left-wing João Goulart as President of Brazil following the resignation of Jânio Quadros, in accord with the constitutional rules[4].

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of Nostra Signora de La Salette in the consistory of April 28, 1969. Scherer was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II respectfully. In January 1980, he was stabbed and robbed by unknown assailants, who left him in a ditch outside Porto Alegre when he could not meet their demands for more money. After thirty-four years of service, the Cardinal resigned as Archbishop on August 29, 1981.

Scherer died in Aparecida, at age 93. He is buried near the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady, Mother of God in Porto Alegre. In 2003, a commemorative site was arranged at his place of birth in Bom Princípio.



  1. TIME Magazine. Land of No Divorce September 10, 1951
  2. TIME Magazine. Latin America: A Divided Church August 23, 1968
  3. New York Times. Cardinal Scherer, 93, Brazil Conservative March 13, 1996
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ibid.
  5. New York Times. Brazil's Catholics Join Crusade for Family Planning August 15, 1981

External links

Preceded by
João Batista Becker
Archbishop of Porto Alegre
Succeeded by
João Colling
no:Alfredo Vicente Schererpt:Alfredo Vicente Scherer

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