The Holy See Search


College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 24.12.2007]


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


LORSCHEIDER Card. Aloisio, O.F.M.




Cardinal Aloísio Lorscheider, O.F.M., Archbishop emeritus of Aparecida (Brazil), was born on 8 October 1924 in Estrela, archdiocese of Porto Alegre; ordained on 22 August 1948; ordained bishop of Santo Ângelo, Brazil, on 22 May 1962; archbishop of Fortaleza, 26 March 1973; archbishop of Aparecida, 12 July 1995; created and proclaimed Cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of 24 May 1976, titular church S. Pietro in Montorio.

Parents were immigrants of German descent. At the age of 9 he entered the minor seminary of the Franciscans Fathers of Taquari, passing later to Divinópolis to study philosophy and theology. At 18 years of age he took the Franciscan habit and 4 years later on 13 March 1946 he made his solemn profession. After having been ordained a priest (22 August 1948) he taught Latin, German and mathematics in the seminary of Taquari and here he remained until his superiors sent him to specialize in theology at the Pontifical Antonianum University in Rome, where he received his doctorate in 1952.

Returning to Brazil, he taught theology at the Franciscan seminary of Divinópolis in the state of Minas Gerais. He taught there until 1958. During the same period he held various positions, and wrote essays for Brazilian magazines on the fundamental problems of theology.

His scientific work made his major superiors recall him to Rome to teach at the Pontifical Antonianum University. During his 4 years in Italy, he worked actively in the catholic youth organizations, one of which was the Italian Catholic University Federation.

On 3 February 1962 he was nominated Bishop of Santo Ângelo and consecrated on 20 May 1962. In the diocese of Santo Ângelo, where he stayed for 11 years, he showed great organizational capacity and notable pastoral dedication: he revitalized the seminary, created a relationship with the priests and faithful, kept constant and systematic visits to the parishes in which he personally administered the sacraments, including penance. Already member of the theological commission of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops, he was successively called to cover always more important positions until he was elected president, a position which was reconfirmed many times (1971-1978). 

Nominated Archbishop of Fortaleza (26 March 1973 until 11 July 1995) he continued his pastoral ministry, giving particular care to the clergy. Already vice-president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) he became president in 1976-1979, succeeding Archbishop Pironio who was called to Rome. In 1979, he was president of the III General Conference of CELAM in Puebla, Mexico.

He participated in all the ordinary Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops held from 1967 to 1994 (from I through IX); 2 extraordinary Assemblies (1969 and 1985) and special Assembly for America (1997). He was Relator General of the 4th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1977). Since 1971 he was a member of the council of the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops.

Archbishop of Aparecida, 12 July 1995 - 28 January 2004.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of 24 May 1976, of the Title of S. Pietro in Montorio (St. Peter in Montorio).

Cardinal Aloísio Lorscheider, O.F.M., died on 23 December 2007.

Return to:

- List of Cardinals in alphabetical order
- Statistics

- Index Holy See Press Office
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]