Styles of
Vicente Enrique y Tarancón
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Madrid (emeritus)

Vicente Enrique y Tarancón (14 May 1907—28 November 1994), known in his country as Cardenal Tarancón or Tarancón, was a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Madrid from 1971 to 1983, and as president of he Spanish Episcopal Conference from 1971 to 1981, during the difficult years of the Spanish transition to democracy. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1969.


Vicente Enrique y Tarancón was born in Burriana to Manuel Enrique Urios and his wife Vicenta Tarancón Fandos. His siblings included an older brother, Manuel, and a younger sister, Vicenta. At Vicente's baptism, his cousins Dolores Enrique Planelles and Vicente Ríos Enrique acted as his godparents. The baptismal register was later destroyed in a fire of the parochial archive in August 1936. After completing his initial studies at Colegio de la Consolación in Burriana, he attended the seminaries in Tortosa and Valencia. Tarancón was ordained to the prieshood by Bishop Félix Bilbao y Ugarriza on 1 November 1929 in Tortosa, and then did pastoral work in the Diocese of Tortosa until 1933. He worked with Catholic Action in the Diocese of Madrid from 1933 to 1938, when he resumed his pastoral ministry in Tortosa.

On 25 November 1945, Enrique y Tarancón was appointed Bishop of Solsona by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on 24 March 1946 from Bishop Manuel Moll y Salord, with Bishops Casimiro Morcillo González and Juan Hervás y Benet serving as co-consecrators. Tarancón was made secretary of the Spanish Episcopal Conference in February 1953, and attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. He was later named Archbishop of Oviedo on 12 April 1964, and Archbishop of Toledo on 30 January 1969. As Archbishop of Toledo, Tarancón thus also served as Primate of Spain.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni Crisostomo a Monte Sacro Alto in the consistory of 28 April 1969. The Spanish primate was made Apostolic Administrator of Madrid-Alcalá from 30 May 1971, after the decease of archbishop Morcillo, until being appointed Archbishop of Madrid on 3 December. He also acted as President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference the same year (also to finish the three-years term of his predecessor Morcillo) before being formally elected in February 1972.

In this position, he had to confront the difficult last years of the regime of dictator Francisco Franco, in which relationships between Government and Church were tense. As a close ally of Pope Paul VI, Tarancón was seen as an enemy by the far right pro-regime elements. Some of them made popular the cray "Tarancón al paredón" ("Tarancón to the great wall", meaning to be executed by firing squad) during the funeral of primer minister admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, assassinated in Madrid by Basque terrorist organization ETA on 20 December 1973. Only one week after the death of Franco, Tarancón pronounced on 27 November 1975 an historical homily before King Juan Carlos I at the medieval church of Los Jerónimos: there the Cardinal asked him to be "the king of all Spaniards, and not only of part of them". During the first years of the Spanish Transition, Tarancón proved to be dialogant with all social and political forces, including those of Left ideology.

Tarancón 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. He resigned as Madrid's archbishop on 12 April 1983.

The Cardinal died in Valencia, at age 87. He is buried in the Collegiate of San Isidro, in Madrid.

External links

Preceded by
Valentín Comellas y Santamaría
Bishop of Solsona
Succeeded by
José Bascuñana y López
Preceded by
Francisco Lauzurica y Torralba
Archbishop of Oviedo
Succeeded by
Gabino Díaz Merchán
Preceded by
Enrique Pla y Deniel
Archbishop of Toledo
Succeeded by
Marcelo Gonzalez Martin
Preceded by
Casimiro Morcillo Gonzalez
Archbishop of Madrid
Succeeded by
Angel Suquía Goicoechea
ca:Vicent Enrique i Tarancónno:Vicente Enrique y Tarancónpt:Vicente Enrique y Tarancón

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