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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 14.07.2010]


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






Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, was born on 28 December 1943 in Lima. A champion basketball player, he studied industrial engineering at the National Institute of Engineering and joined Opus Dei in 1962. After working as an engineer, he was ordained for the Prelature on 21 August 1977 and holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre.

He did pastoral work in Lima and taught moral theology at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology. He was later Regional Vicar for Peru and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Piura.

On 23 May 1988 he was appointed titular Bishop of Turuzi and Auxiliary of Ayacucho, receiving episcopal ordination on 3 July.

He was promoted to Archbishop of Ayacucho on 13 May 1995.

He tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the siege of the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima (December 1996 to April 1997) and ministered to the Japanese and Peruvian hostages.

He was named Archbishop of Lima on 9 January 1999.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by the Bl. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Camillo de Lellis (St. Camillus de Lellis).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for Causes of Saints;
  • Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
  • Pontifical Commission for Latin America;
  • Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

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