Cardinal José Alí
Lebrún Moratinos, Archbishop emeritus of Caracas (Venezuela), was
born in Puerto Cabello in the diocese of Valencia, Venezuela, 19 March
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
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.