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Mario Casariego y Acevedo

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Styles of
Mario Casariego y Acevedo
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Guatemala City

Mario Casariego y Acevedo, CRS (February 13, 1909—June 15, 1983) was a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Guatemala City in Guatemala from 1964 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1969.

Biography

Mario Casariego y Acevedo was born in Castropol to Mario and Ágata (née Acevedo) Casariego. He entered the Clerics Regular of Somasca, more commonly known as the Somascan Fathers, in 1924, and made his profession on October 3, 1930. Casariego studied at the Somascan houses of studies in Bergamo and Genoa, and at the Somascan theological seminary in San Salvador.

He was ordained to the priesthood on July 19, 1936, and then did pastoral work at La Ceiba Institute in San Salvador until 1948, whence he became its rector. From 1954 to 1957, Casariego served as a counselor to his religious order. He was also its provincial superior of Central America from 1957 to 1958.

On November 15, 1958, Casariego was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Guatemala City and Titular Bishop of Pudentiana by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 27 from Pope John himself, with Bishops Girolamo Bortignon, OFM Cap, and Gioacchino Muccin serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. Casariego later attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, during which he was promoted to Coadjutor Archbishop of Guatemala City and Titular Archbishop of Perge on September 22, 1963. He succeeded the late Mariano Rossell y Arellano as Archbishop of Guatemala City on December 12, 1964. Casariego was kidnapped for several days by a terrorist group (right extremists from a death squad who wanted to blame Guatemalan leftist guerrilla) in March 1968.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Aquiro in the consistory of April 28, 1969; Casariego was the first cardinal from Guatemala. He 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 respectively.

The Cardinal was an ardent supporter of Guatemala's regime, so much so that his automobile was accompanied by a radio patrol and two armed motorcycle guards[1]. In response to the murder of many politically-active missionaries, Casariego said he knew of no murdered clergy in his country, where most accounts claimed there had been at least ten[2]. Moreover, he also stated, "If you mix in politics, you get what you deserve."

Cardinal Casariego died in Guatemala City, at the age of 74. He is buried in the metropolitan cathedral of the same.

References

  1. TIME Magazine. Papal Oddsmacking July 17, 1978
  2. TIME Magazine. The New Missionary December 27, 1982

External links

Preceded by
Mariano Rossell y Arellano
Archbishop of Guatemala City
1964–1983
Succeeded by
Próspero Penados del Barrio
no:Mario Casariego y Acevedo

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