Cipriani to vacate archbishopric of Lima

17 December 2018

On 28 December, Juan Luis Cipriani, the arch-conservative archbishop of Lima, will step down when he reaches his 75th birthday. He will remain a cardinal, however. Those rumoured to be in line to replace him include Miguel Cabrejos (the archbishop of Trujillo), Salvador Piñeiro (archbishop of Ayacucho) and Alfredo Vizcarra (bishop of Jaén).

For the 20 years in which Cipriani has occupied his top position within the Catholic hierarchy, he has adopted a highly conspicuous political role, supporting some of Peru’s most retrograde politicians and fiercely supporting the most conservative positions on matters of church doctrine. Unlike his predecessors, Cipriani never realised his ambition to become head of the Consejo Episcopal. Before becoming archbishop of Lima, he had been archbishop of Ayacucho where his disdain for the politics of human rights became famous.

Earlier this year, he was snubbed by Pope Francis’ decision to declare Pedro Barreto, the archbishop of Huancayo, as second cardinal for Peru. Barreto, a progressive, has taken up an equally conspicuous role (but from the opposite direction) particularly on matters pertaining to corruption in government. Because of his age (he will be 75 in February) he is out of the running to become archbishop of Lima. 

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