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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 06.02.2014]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.



Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain), was born on 29 April 1937 in Barcelona, Spain. He was ordained a priest on 17 September 1961 and obtained a doctorate in utroque iure in 1967 from the Pontifical Lateran University.

He served in parish ministry and then as secretary of the ecclesiastical tribunal of Barcelona, of which he was appointed judge in 1973. At the same, he was professor of canon law at the theology faculty in Barcelona.

In 1979, he became vicar general of the archdiocese of Barcelona. On 6 November 1987 John Paul II appointed him titular Bishop of Aliezira and Auxiliary of Barcelona. He was ordained a bishop on 27 December that same year.

In 1983, he was elected president of the Spanish Association of Canon Lawyers and in 1986 published a very successful book on associations of the faithful. He has also served as consultor to various Roman dicasteries.

He was appointed Bishop of Tortosa on 17 May 1991 and on 20 February 1997, Archbishop of Tarragona. On 30 March 2007, Tarragona awarded him the title of “Adopted Son”.

On 15 June 2004 he became Archbishop of Barcelona.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 November 2007, of the Title of San Sebastiano alle Catacombe (St. Sebastian at the Catacombs).

Member of:

  • Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
  • Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura;
  • Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

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