Jānis Pujats

Jānis Pujats (born 14 November 1930) is the archbishop emeritus of Riga, Latvia, and a Cardinal.

Jānis Pujats
Archbishop Emeritus of Riga
Jānis Pujats 2011.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed8 May 1991
Term ended19 June 2010
PredecessorAntonijs Springovičs
SuccessorZbigņevs Stankevičs
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santa Silvia (2001-)
Ordination29 March 1951
by Antonijs Springovičs
Consecration1 June 1991
by Francesco Colasuonno
Created cardinal21 February 1998 (in pectore)
21 February 2001 (revealed)
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Birth nameJānis Pujats
Born (1930-11-14) 14 November 1930 (age 90)
Nautrēni, Latgale, Latvia
Nationality Latvian
Previous postPresident of the Latvian Bishops' Conference (1998-2010)
MottoAd Jesum per Mariam
Coat of armsJānis Pujats's coat of arms
Styles of
Jānis Pujats
Coat of arms of Jānis Pujats.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal


Pujats was born in Nautrēni parish in Latgale. He attended the Theological Seminary in Riga until it was closed by the Soviet Union in 1951. Two months later, he was ordained in a secret ceremony by Archbishop Antonijs Springovičs. During the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, he implemented the Pope's liturgical reform and published the first missal in Latvian. Jānis Pujats was made Archbishop of Riga in 1991. On 21 February 1998, he was made a Cardinal in pectore by Pope John Paul II; his cardinalate was made public at the consistory of 21 February 2001.[1] He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. He speaks Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, German and Latin, in addition to his native Latvian.[2] He is noted for being the only member of the Synod of Bishops to speak exclusively Latin when at the microphone at both the 2001 and 2005 meetings.[3]

His resignation was accepted for reasons of age on 19 June 2010, when Pope Benedict appointed Zbigņevs Stankevičs as the new archbishop of Riga.[4]


Condemnation of homosexualityEdit

In a May 2007 open letter protesting a gay pride march scheduled for 3 June 2007 as part of the Riga Pride and Friendship Days, Pujāts referred to homosexuality as "absolute depravity in sexual behavior" and an "unnatural form of prostitution".[5] He told the faithful to "be prepared to go out into the streets"[6] to protest the events, "not to create disorder, but to offer a disciplined position in support of the government, because on this very important issue of morals, the government is on the side of Christians."[7]

Declaration of TruthsEdit

On June 10, 2019, Pujats, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, and Kazakh bishops Tomasz Peta, Jan Paul Lenga, and Athanasius Schneider published a 40-point "Declaration of Truths" claiming to reaffirm traditional Church teaching. The bishops wrote that such a declaration was necessary in a time of "almost universal doctrinal confusion and disorientation." Specific passages in the declaration implicitly relate to several writings by Pope Francis. The declaration states that "the religion born of faith in Jesus Christ" is the "only religion positively willed by God," seemingly alluding to a document signed by Pope Francis on February 4 called "Human Fraternity" which stated that the "diversity of religions" is "willed by God." Following recent changes to the Catechism to oppose capital punishment, the declaration states that the Church "did not err" in teaching that civil authorities may "lawfully exercise capital punishment" when it is "truly necessary" and to preserve the "just order of societies."[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Statistics on the Consistory". Vatican Press Office. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  2. ^ Holy See Press Office. Biographical notes
  3. ^ Cardinals call on Pope to save Latin from last rites, The Times, 24 October 2005
  4. ^ RINUNCIA DELL’ARCIVESCOVO METROPOLITA DI RIGA (LETTONIA) E NOMINA DEL SUCCESSORE Archived 22 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Vatican Information Service, 19 June 2010
  5. ^ Interfax: Homosexuality 'unnatural form of prostitution', Latvian Catholic leader says Archived 14 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax/Catholic Online, 10 May 2007
  6. ^ Gay pride parade to attract international audience, The Baltic Times, 23 May 2007
  7. ^ Cardinal: homosexuality a form of prostitution Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Pink News, 9 May 2007
  8. ^ Pentin, Edward (10 June 2019). "New 'Declaration of Truths' Affirms Key Church Teachings". June 20, 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.

External linksEdit