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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 27.08.2012]


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


SARR Card. Théodore-Adrien

Cardinal Théodore-Adrien Sarr, Archbishop of Dakar (Senegal), was born on 28 November 1936 in Fadiouth, Senegal. He was ordained a priest on 28 May 1964 and holds a degree in classical studies from the University of Dakar.

From 1967 to 1974 he carried out his pastoral ministry in various parishes, including Santa Teresa in Dakar, and assistant to Catholic Action groups. He also taught classical studies (latin and greek) in the minor seminary of Saint Joseph of Ngazobil, becoming director in 1970.

He was appointed Bishop of Kaolack on 1 July 1974 and was ordained on 24 November. He was the first African bishop of the diocese.

He served on various commissions within the Episcopal Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape-Verde and Guinea-Bissau. Since 1980 he is president of the Commission on Education.

On 2 June 2000 he succeeded Cardinal H. Thiandoum as Archbishop of Dakar.

From 1987 until November 2005 he was president of the Episcopal Conference of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape-Verde and Guinea-Bissau. 

From 1994 to 1998 he was president of the World Council of the international office of Catholic education. He has served as vice-president and as president of the Regional Episcopal Conference of Western Africa (CERAO). From 2003 to 2006 he served as the second vice-president of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), and in 2007 he became first vice-president.

In January 2012 he was elected president of the newly created Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA).

President Delegate of the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. 'You are the salt of the earth, ... you are the light of the world'" (4-25 October 2009).

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 November 2007, of the Title of Santa Lucia a Piazza d’Armi (St. Lucy at Piazza d’Armi).

 Member of:

  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Evangelization of Peoples;
  • Pontifical Council for Culture;
  • II Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

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