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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 09.09.2002]


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






Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, Archbishop emeritus of  São Salvador da Bahia, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops and President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America , was born on 16 September 1925 in São Joao del Rei, the first of 10 children. He entered the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) when he was very young, pursuing his philosophical studies from 1945 to 1947. After his solemn religious profession on 7 March 1948 he was sent to Var in France to study theology at the Ecole Teologique de Saint Maximin. He was ordained a priest on 9 July 1950. Returning to his country in January 1952, he was a teacher to the novitiates and to the students, then chaplain to the students of São Paulo. In 1954 he was transferred to Rio de Janeiro and nominated director of the review Mensagero do Santo Rosario, until 1962. Chaplain to the university students of Rio (1954-59), chaplain to the Christian Family Movement 1959 to 1965; he was also responsible for the religious formation within the conference of Brazilian religious.

On 9 June 1967 he was nominated Auxiliary of the then Archbishop of São Paulo, Cardinal Angelo Rossi, and elected titular Bishop of Feradi maggiore. On 26 August he received episcopal ordination in his native city. As Bishop, he also served as chaplain to the Christian Family Movement of Latin America, responsible for the Laity and then for Social Action and Social Communications of the Bishops’ Conference. He was a delegate of the Brazilian Bishops to the II General Conference of the Latin American Bishops in Medellin (1968).

Within CELAM, in 1972 he was nominated consultor of the Consilium de Laicis, the following year member of the Committee for the Family.

On 7 March 1974 he was nominated Vice President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and participated in the February 1979 III General Conference of Latin American Bishops in Pueblo.

On 15 October 1979, John Paul II nominated him Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, promoting him at the same time to Archbishop. He was also member of the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Tourism, and Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He was also consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses. On 3 January 1987 he was transferred to the titular see of Vescovio.

On 9 July 1987 he was elected Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory on 28 June 1988. Titular church Sts. Boniface and Alexius.  Transferred to order of cardinal bishops on 25 June 1998 , suburbicarian see of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto (keeping in commendam title of Sts. Boniface and Alexius).

Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia and Primate of Brazil until 25 June 1998 when John Paul II nominated him Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America .

Relator of the 8th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1990) on the formation of priests.

Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops and President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, 16 September 2000.

Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, O.P. died on 8 September 2002.


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