Pope’s Condolences on Death of Spanish Cardinal

Cardinal Francisco Alvarez Martinez, Archbishop Emeritus of Toledo

Pope’s Condolences on Death
Cardinal Francisco Álvarez Martínez © CEE

Pope Francis sent his condolences on the death January 5, 2022, of Cardinal Francisco Alvarez Martinez, Archbishop Emeritus of Toledo, Spain.

In a telegram sent to Monsignor Francisco Cerro Chaves, current Archbishop of Toledo, the Holy Father expressed his “deep sympathy, praying that he kindly transmit it also to the family members of the deceased Prelate and to all those that make up that ecclesial community.”

In remembering the deceased Cardinal, the Pontiff described him as an “abnegated Pastor that, for years and with fidelity gave his life to the service of God and of the Church,” adding that he prays “for the eternal rest of his soul, so that the Lord Jesus will grant him the crown of glory that does not wither and, as sign of Christian hope in the Risen Lord, I impart to all the Apostolic Blessing.”

Cardinal Francisco Alvarez Martinez

 According to the Holy See Press Office, the deceased was born in Santa Eulalia de Ferroñes Llanera, Archdiocese of Oviedo, on July 14, 1925. He completed his ecclesiastical studies in the diocesan Seminary of Valdedíos and Oviedo. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1950. He studied Canon Law from 1955 to 1958, at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, from where he graduated, and from 1960 to 1962 at the Pontifical University of Comillas, from which he obtained a doctorate. On February 11, 1958, he was appointed Canon of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Oviedo and on November 3, 1962, he was elevated to the dignity of Canon.

He was elevated to the dignity of Arch-Deacon on November 3, 1962. During the episcopate of Monsignor Lauzurica y Torralba, from 1950 to 1957, he was the Bishop’s private Secretary, an office he alternating with his priestly ministry in the neighborhood of the Corredoria de Oviedo. He was Chancellor-Secretary of the Archbishopric from 1958 to 1962, a post he occupied again during the episcopate of Monsignor Enrique y Tarancón, from 1965 to 1969. In 1969 Diaz Merchán being the Bishop, he was appointed Chancellor-Secretary and Episcopal Vicar of the group of Vicars. He alternated these ministries with the chaplaincy of the University Residence of the Teresian Institution of Oviedo, from 1960 to 1973.

Appointed Bishop of Tarazona by Pope Paul VI on April 13, 1973, he was ordained Bishop in this city by Monsignor Luigi Dadaglio, Apostolic Nuncio in Spain, the following June 3. Then on April 7 of 1975, he was also appointed Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Calahorra y La Calzada-Logroño.  He was appointed Bishop of this diocese on December 20, 1976.

He was a member of the Permanent Commission and of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Episcopal Conference from 1993 to 1999. In October of 1999, by the Holy Father’s designation, he took part in the 2nd Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Europe. He was Archbishop Emeritus of Toledo from October 24, 2002

Created and published Cardinal by Saint John Paul II in the Consistory of February 21, 2001, of the Title of Santa Maria Regina Pacis in Monte Verde, he took part in the Conclave of April 2005 that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester