Antonio Quarracino

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His Eminence
Antonio Quarracino
Cardinal, Archbishop of Buenos Aires
Archdiocese Buenos Aires
Appointed 10 July 1990
Installed 22 November 1990
Term ended 28 February 1998
Predecessor Juan Carlos Aramburu
Successor Jorge Bergoglio
Other posts
Ordination 22 December 1945
Consecration 8 April 1962
by Anunciado Serafini
Created cardinal 28 June 1991
by Pope John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Antonio Quarracino
Born (1923-08-08)8 August 1923
Pollica, Province of Salerno, Kingdom of Italy
Died 28 February 1998(1998-02-28) (aged 74)
Buenos Aires
Buried Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral
Nationality Argentine
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Alma mater San José Seminary, La Plata
Motto ipsi gloria
Coat of arms Antonio Quarracino's coat of arms
Styles of
Antonio Quarracino
Coat of arms of Antonio Quarracino.svg
Informal style Cardinal
See Buenos Aires
Ordination history of
Antonio Quarracino
Priestly ordination
Date of ordination 22 December 1945
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Anunciado Serafini
Co-consecrators Adolfo Servando Tortolo,
Raúl Francisco Primatesta
Date of consecration 8 April 1962
Date of elevation 28 June 1991
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Antonio Quarracino as principal consecrator
Alejo Benedicto Gilligan 4 October 1969
Rubén Héctor di Monte 16 August 1980
Norberto Eugenio Conrado Martina 9 December 1990
Héctor Rubén Aguer 4 April 1992
Rubén Oscar Frassia 4 April 1992
Jorge Mario Bergoglio 27 June 1992
Raúl Omar Rossi 27 June 1992
Pedro Luis Ronchino 19 March 1993
José Luis Mollaghan 2 October 1993
Francisco Polti Santillán 22 August 1994
Guillermo Rodríguez Melgarejo 27 September 1994

Antonio Quarracino (8 August 1923 – 28 February 1998) was a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of Argentina and the Archbishop of Buenos Aires between 1990 and 1998.


Quarracino was born in Pollica, Province of Salerno, Italy. His family emigrated to Argentina when he was 4 years old, settling in the town of San Andrés de Giles in the province of Buenos Aires.

Quarracino was ordained priest on 22 December 1945, and became a professor at the Diocesan Seminar of Mercedes. He also taught theology at the Universidad Católica Argentina.

He was appointed Bishop of Nueve de Julio, Buenos Aires, by Pope John XXIII, on 3 February 1962, and received the episcopal see on 8 April of the same year. On 3 August 1968 Paul VI moved him to the diocese of Avellaneda (whose new cathedral was built during his rule).

John Paul II promoted him to the Archdiocese of La Plata on 18 December 1985, and then on 10 July 1990 to the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, a see to which is attached the title of Primate of Argentina. He was elected to preside the Argentine Episcopal Conference in the following November, and then reelected, until 1996. He was elevated to Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria della Salute a Primavalle in consistory on 28 June 1991.

On 27 June 1992 he was the principal consecrator of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., later Pope Francis, as bishop.[1]

Quarracino died in 1998 at the age of 74, due to a cardiac arrest. He was succeeded automatically by his coadjutor bishop, the Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio.


Inter-religious dialogue with Jews

Quarracino was a major figure of inter-religious discussion with Jews. During a visit to Israel in 1992 he was decorated by Jewish institutions for this cause, and in 1997 he had a mural painting set up in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires commemorating the victims of the Holocaust and the bombings of the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA.

Social communications

Quarracino was inclined to journalism and, while in La Plata, he renewed the informative magazine of the archdiocese, transforming it into a full-fledged cultural publication. As Bishop of Buenos Aires, he appeared on TV often and regularly; he was in charge of a segment in a religious program (Claves para un mundo mejor) in the state-owned channel ATC.

Dirty War

Quarracino was outspoken about controversial topics. One of his first notable public statements was his support, in 1982, of a project of law that would end all investigation of the crimes of the Dirty War, in order to "contribute to national reconciliation". This can be seen as a precedent of the Ley de Punto Final, sanctioned in 1986.

Argentine politics

Quarracino was opposed to the policies of president Raúl Alfonsín (1983–1989), and accused politicians of corruption, as the cause of "national poverty". However, he acknowledged being a friend of president Carlos Menem (1989–1999), who was himself heavily criticized by other Church leaders (such as Cardinal Primatesta).


In 1994, during his TV segment in ATC, Quarracino spoke against homosexuality saying that lesbians and gay men should be "locked up in a ghetto". This caused an accusation of discrimination, which was not considered by justice because anti-discrimination Law 23592 did not cover sexual orientation. Three years before he had termed homosexuality "a deviation of human nature, like bestiality".[2]

Boca Juniors

The Cardinal was an avowed fan of the Boca Juniors football team. When he celebrated his 50 years of priesthood he received a Boca Juniors shirt signed by all the team members.


  1. ^ "Bergoglio, Jorge Mario". Breve biografía de obispos (in Spanish). La Agencia Informativa Católica Argentina. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Página/12 El páis Happy together Domingo, 28 de agosto de 2005

External links

  • Zenit Catholic News Agency
  • Hoy magazine, La Plata, 1 March 1998.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Juan Carlos Aramburu
Archbishop of Buenos Aires
10 July 1990 – 28 February 1998
Succeeded by
Jorge Mario Bergoglio
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