Fernando Sáenz Lacalle

Fernando Sáenz Lacalle (born 16 November 1932) was the tenth Bishop and sixth Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador. He was the successor of Msgr. Arturo Rivera y Damas. Archbishop Sáenz held the post once held by Archbishop Óscar Romero, who was assassinated in 1980.

The Most Reverend

Fernando Sáenz Lacalle
Archbishop Emeritus of San Salvador
SeeSan Salvador
Installed22 April 1995
Term ended27 December 2008
PredecessorArturo Rivera y Damas
SuccessorJosé Luis Escobar Alas
Other post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Santa Ana
President of the Conferencia Episcopal de El Salvador
Ordination9 August 1959
Consecration6 January 1985
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Born (1932-11-16) 16 November 1932 (age 89)
Cintruénigo, Spain
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Styles of
Fernando Sáenz Lacalle
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor

Role as bishopEdit

Liberation theologyEdit

In the years following his installation, Sáenz was accused by critics of eviscerating the "preferential option for the poor" of his predecessors, notably Romero, by clamping down on progressive church movements affiliated with Liberation Theology with a series of personnel movements, closing of programs, and changes to seminary curriculum.[1] Sáenz has defended his stances by saying that the Church must speak on behalf of the poor and defenseless, but never become involved in activism or politics.[2] Sáenz is a member of the Opus Dei. He has supported the canonization cause of his predecessor, Romero.

Metropolitan cathedralEdit

Sáenz presided over the completion of the Metropolitan Cathedral on March 19, 1999.[3] Sáenz seemed to find his voice after two deadly earthquakes struck El Salvador a year apart in 2000 and 2001, with the archbishop springing into action to marshal international relief.[4] In more recent years, Sáenz has advocated conservative Catholic views on sex and contraception, called for civil cooperation with police authorities to combat gang violence, and criticized labor strikes in the health sector as an unjustifiable denial of service to hospital patients.[5]


In accordance with Canon law, Sáenz tendered his resignation as archbishop on December 27, 2008, and it was accepted. Bishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Vincente, El Salvador, was named the eleventh Bishop and seventh Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador on Monday, December 29, 2008, by Pope Benedict XVI.[6]


  1. ^ "NotiSur - Latin American Political Affairs; February 16, 1996". Ssdc.ucsd.edu. Archived from the original on 15 November 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-12-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2006-12-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Pope sends second message after Central American quake". Cathtelecom.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Archbishop calls on Salvadorans to collaborate in eradication of violence". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador". Gcatholic.org. Retrieved 8 June 2019.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Archbishop of San Salvador
Succeeded by