Pope Francis Names Bishop of Diocese of Leiria-Fátima

Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, SCI

Appointments in Latin America
© Vatican Media

Poope Francis has appointed Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, SCI, as bishop of the Diocese of Leiria-Fátima, Portugal, transferring him from the diocese of Setúbal. The appointment came after the Holy accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Leiria-Fátima, Portugal, presented by His Eminence Cardinal António Augusto dos Santos Marto.

Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, SCI, was born on 5 January 1954 in Porto da Cruz, Madeira, diocese of Funchal.

After attending the diocesan seminary of Funchal (1964-1967), he began his formation in the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehonians), in which he attended the Colégio Missionário Sagrado Coração in Funchal (1967-1969) and the Instituto Missionário Sagrado Coração in Coimbra (1969-1971), and gave his religious vows on 29 September 1972.

He carried out his studies in philosophy in the Instituto Superior de Estudos Teológicos (1972-1974) and in theology in the Catholic Portuguese University in Lisbon (1976-1979), and obtained a licentiate and doctorate in biblical theology from the Biblical Institute in Rome.

On 9 August 1981, he received priestly ordination. He has since held the following offices: vice-rector and prefect of studies of the Seminário Nossa Senhora de Fátima in Alfragide; professor of sacred scripture and secretary in the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic Portuguese University. Within his religious province, he has served as a counselor, vice-provincial, and provincial superior. From 2003 to 2015 he was superior general of the Dehonian Fathers.

On 24 August 2015, he was appointed as bishop of Setúbal, and received episcopal ordination on the following 25 October. Since June 2020 he has been president of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.

The Diocese of Leiria-Fátima, whose patrons are Our Lady of Fátima and Saint Augustine, was created by Pope Paul III on May 22, 1545, at the request of King João III.

With about 302,000 inhabitants, the Diocese has an area of ​​approximately 1,700 km2 and is divided into 73 parishes, belonging to the municipalities of Leiria, Marinha Grande, Batalha, Porto de Mós, Ourém, and part of the municipalities of Pombal, Alcanena, and Alcobaça. The Sanctuary of Fátima also belongs to the Diocese.