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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 02.01.2004]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.






Cardinal José Alí  Lebrún Moratinos, Archbishop emeritus of Caracas (Venezuela), was born in Puerto Cabello in the diocese of Valencia, Venezuela, 19 March 1919.
He entered the seminary in Caracas in 1933 and then studied at the Pian Latin American College. Having completed philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University and theology at the Pontifical Xaverian University of Bogota, he was ordained a priest on 19 December 1943, in Valencia. For several years he served in various parishes and colleges of the city until Pius XII, on 2 August 1956, appointed him titular Bishop of Arado and Auxiliary bishop of Maracaibo. Episcopal ordination was conferred the following 2 September. He then became the Apostolic Administrator of that same diocese, and later on, because of the ability he had shown, Pius XII appointed him on 21 June 1958 the first bishop of the new diocese of Maracay, where he did his utmost to establish a solid ecclesiastical organization.
On 19 March 1962, he was appointed by John XXIII bishop of the diocese of Valencia, Venezuela. There he dedicated himself in a special way to increasing vocations and to the erection of new parishes.
On 16 September 1972, Paul VI promoted him to titular Archbishop of Voncaria and Coadjutor with the right of succession of Cardinal Archbishop José Humberto Quintero of Caracas, and Apostolic administrator sede plena of the same diocese.
Following the pastoral lines already traced out by the same Cardinal Quintero, whom he succeeded as residential archbishop on 24 May 1980, he actively endeavoured to increase the pastoral zones of the archdiocese where the increased population called for a dynamic presence of the church in the new urbanized sections.
As Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela he continuously dedicated special attention to the problems of the clergy, committing himself with the utmost zeal to the ecclesial communion of all those involved in pastoral work, always showing a great openness to dialogue in regard to all.

Archbishop emeritus of Caracas, 27 May 1995

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the Consistory of 2 February 1983, of the title of St. Pancratius.

Cardinal José Ali Lebrún Moratinos died on 22 February 2001.


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