Raúl Cardinal Silva Henríquez, SDB was born on 27 September, 1907 in Talca and died on 9 April, 1999 at a Salesian retirement house in La Florida, at the age of 91, and is buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Santiago. Upon his death, he left Franz König as the only surviving cardinal elevated by John XXIII.
Raúl Silva Henríquez was the 16th of 19 children. Raul Henriquez was a Chilean prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.
Raul Henriquez served as Archbishop of Santiago from 1961 to 1983, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1962.
Raul Henriquez’s father, Ricardo Silva, was a farmer and industrialist of Portuguese descent. After studying at the Catholic University of Chile (from where he obtained his doctorate in law), Raul Henriquez joined the Salesians of Don Bosco on 28 January, 1930. Raul Henriquez later attended the Pontifical Salesian University in Turin, where he was ordained to the priesthood on 3 July, 1938. From the Salesian University he earned a doctorate in theology and in canon law.
On 24 October, 1959 Raul Henriquez was appointed Bishop of Valparaíso by Pope John XXIII. Raul Henriquez received his episcopal consecration on the following 29 November from Archbishop Opilio Rossi, with Archbishop Emilio Tagle Covarrubias and Bishop Vladimiro Boric Crnosija, SDB, serving as co-consecrators. Raul Henriquez was later named Archbishop of Santiago and thus Primate of the Church in Chile on 14 May,1961.
Pope John created him Cardinal Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme in the consistory of March 19, 1962. Raul Henriquez attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965and was one of the cardinal electors in the 1963 papal conclave, which resulted in the election of Pope Paul VI. Raul Henriquez later participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II respectively.
A strenuous defender of social change, public housing, and land reform, the Cardinal once said, “Social injustice and poverty foster Communism…It is necessary to be Christian with social justice, with charity, with brotherhood”. Raul Henriquez was awarded the Human Rights Prize from the United Nations on 11 December, 1978 and the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Prize on 19 October, 1979. The Cardinal was asked to resign as Santiago’s archbishop due to differences with Pope John Paul II, and did so on 3 May, 1983 after 21 years of service.
As founder of the Committee of Cooperation for Peace in Chile (COPACHI) and the Vicarite of Solidarity, he was an outspoken opponent of Augusto Pinochet, the military ruler of Chile from 1973 to 1990.
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