Skip to content

Cardinal Obeso, emeritus Xalapa archbishop, dies at 87

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

8/13/2019 (1 week ago)
Catholic Online (

Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera, the Archbishop Emeritus of Xalapa, died in his home Sunday at the age of 87, after an illness of several weeks.


Catholic Online (
8/13/2019 (1 week ago)

Published in Americas

Xalapa, Mexico, (CNA) - The cardinal's body can be visited in the Xalapa Cathedral Aug. 12. His funeral Mass will be said Aug. 13 at the Xalapa Cathedral, where his body will be buried.

"Innumerable are the works and the pastoral initiatives which Cardinal Sergio Obeso completed throughout his services in this archdiocese; we are witnesses to his closeness with his faithful, his capacity for dialogue with different actors and his exquisite capacity to converse, as well as his gift of people," Archbishop HipĂłlito Reyes Larios of Xalapa said Aug. 11.

"Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera lived with great discretion and did not like to talk about his qualities and his achievements. However, all of us are witnesses of his gifts and virtues."

Archbishop Reyes has asked Aug. 2 for prayers and commending the cardinal's health to God, saying, "he has been deteriorating" for several weeks. He had been hospitalized on several occasions in Veracruz and Xalapa.

Obeso was born in 1931, and entered seminary in 1944. He began studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1947, earning a doctorate in theology, and he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Veracruz-Jalapa in 1954, at the age of 23.

He worked in the seminary of Xalapa, teaching philosophy and serving as a prefect, spiritual director, and rector.

Obeso was appointed Bishop of Papantla in 1971, and Coadjutor Archbishop of Xalapa in 1974.

He succeeded as Archbishop of Xalapa in 1979, remaining there until his 2007 retirement at the age of 75.

Obeso was made a cardinal in 2018, at the age of 86.

He served three terms as president of the Mexican bishops' conference, being elected in 1982, 1985, and 1994.

Archbishop Reyes wrote that Cardinal Obeso "was a person admirable in ever way. We had the privilege of being guided by him, always  listening with much attention to his counsel and his guidance. We recognize him as a cultured man, as a kind, bright person with a human quality recognized by his own and by strangers. He was eloquent in speaking, his teachings manifested the profound solidity of his formation and the clarity of his thinking."

The archbishop said his predecessor had a closeness to the poor, often visiting "the rural communities and villages of the highlands of the state of Veracruz with a great disposition and pastoral charity."

"Cardinal Obeso taught us with the testimony of his life that the poor can and should be served without assuming radical positions and without demagogy. One can serve the most unprotected and be witnesses in the world without giving up Christian values or losing membership in Christ. Cardinal Sergio Obeso served the world because he had a great belonging to Christ."

The Mexican bishops said Aug. 11 that "We recognize his generous dedication to the pilgrim Church in our country, especially the great work of coordination and primary responsibility that he carried out as president of our bishops' conference."

The prelates recalled Cardinal Obeso's participation "in some significant episodes in our country's history, participating in the peace and reconciliation negotiations for the San Andrés Accords, in our efforts to reestablish relations between the Mexican state and the Holy See by promoting the regulatory law of Article 130 of the Constitution."

"In other three year periods he was responsible for the Commissions for Pastoral Social Ministry and for the Clergy, and also was a great promoter of the canonization of Saint Rafael GuĂ­zar y Valencia," they added.

"We ask you to commend his soul to God, offering three Masses for his eternal rest," concludes the statement.


More Americas

Law and Justice Party leader praises Polish archbishop for LGBT opposition Watch

Image of

The leader of Poland's ruling party praised the Archbishop of Krakow on Sunday for his opposition to the redefinition of marriage and ... continue reading

Canadian man receives assisted death after funding cut for in-home care Watch

Image of

The family of a Canadian man who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is urging the country's government to change the way it ... continue reading

Piracy and despair: The unique problems that plague sailors Watch

Image of

For most people in the 21st century, piracy probably conjures up images of illegal downloads from Limewire before it does thoughts of ... continue reading

Melbourne archbishop ready to defy law over seal of confession Watch

Image of

 The Archbishop of Melbourne has said he is prepared to defy a proposed new law that would force priests in the Australian state of ... continue reading

Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei elected Guatemalan president Watch

Image of

Alejandro Giammattei of the center-right Vamos party was elected president of Guatemala Sunday. Guatemala City, Guatemala, (CNA) - ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.