Pope names Jorge García Cuerva new Archbishop of Buenos Aires

The successor of 75 year-old cardinal Mario Poli is currently the bishop of Rio Gallegos

Jorge García Cuervo, who Pope Francis has named Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Source - Télam

Pope Francis appointed the current bishop of Río Gallegos, Jorge García Cuerva, as the new Archbishop of Buenos Aires, replacing cardinal Mario Poli, who had submitted his resignation last year after turning 75, the age limit for the position, the Vatican reported. 

The 55-year-old bishop will offer a press conference in Río Gallegos this afternoon for local media, and is expected to take office on Saturday, July 15, at the Buenos Aires archbishopric, said sources from the Argentine Episcopade.

García Cuerva is regarded as a bishop with significant academic knowledge and a profound pastoral engagement, mostly in the prison system, and a significant background of social work in low-income neighborhoods of the greater Buenos Aires area. 

Meanwhile, the Vatican has accepted the resignation submitted by cardinal Poli for turning 75 (on November 20, 2022) and appointed him apostolic manager of Buenos Aires, with capacities as archdiocesan archbishop, until his successor takes office. 

Born on April 12, 1968, García Cueva was named auxiliary bishop of Lomas de Zamora on November 20, 2017, and then bishop of Río Gallegos in January 3, 2019. 

The new Buenos Aires bishop is also a member of the Dicastery for Bishops since July 20, 2021, and a Pontifical Commissioner of the Miles Christi Institute of Diocesan Law since November 2022. 

García Cueva started Law School in 1986 at the University of Buenos Aires, while also doing missionary work in the low-income neighborhoods of El Palito and El Garrote in the city of Tigre. 

On March 14, 1989, García Cuerva joined the seminar at the San Isidro Diocese. He was ordained as a priest on October 24, 1997 at the San Isidro Cathedral by then-bishop Jorge Casaretto.

As part of his priesthood training, he studied Philosophy and Theology at the Institute of San Agustín and got a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. He also got postgraduate degrees in Theology (2003), specializing in Church history. His thesis focused on “The Church in Buenos Aires during the yellow fever epidemic of 1871”, while his Canon Law thesis (2016) was titled “Ecclesiastical funerals and cemeteries in canon law”. He also majored in Law from the Catholic University of Salta, Argentina, in 2009.

Following his priesthood ordination in 1997, he was made cardinal at the Diocese of San Isidro, where he began his work with low-income neighborhoods in the Buenos Aires suburbs and sat as parochial vicar of the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Cava, located in La Cava, Beccar, one of the most well-known shantytowns.

In 2006 he became parish priest of the Santa Clara de Asís Church in the town of El Talar, part of the Tigre district, in the lower-income neighborhoods of San Pablo and Almirante Brown. In 2014, he returned to La Cava as a parish priest.

He was a member of the National Commission on Drug Addiction of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (until 2013). In the diocese of San Isidro, he was vice president of Cáritas (2012-2017), a Canon Law adviser (since 2016); and a promoter of Justice in the Interdiocesan Court of San Isidro-Merlo-Moreno.

In the field of Prison Pastoral Care, he was a chaplain of prison units in the province of Buenos Aires (since 2011); a diocesan delegate of the Prison Pastoral Care (since 1997); a regional delegate of the Prison Pastoral Care, and representative of Latin America and the Caribbean before the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care (ICCPPC) in 2010 and 2017.


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