The Metropolitan Archbishop of Guatemala City, Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, thanked his fellow Catholic bishops of Guatemala for their help during his term as leader of the Central American republic’s Catholics. At Sunday homily on October 1, he also called upon the faithful to support the new archbishop of Guatemala City, Bishop Oscar Vian Morales, as he begins his episcopacy.
Cardinal Quezada Toruño has been an outspoken defender of human rights and the country’s poor and is frequently at loggerheads with Guatemala’s political elites. He has demanded good governance and has called on President Alvaro Colom to address rampant crime and murder.
Cardinal Quezada Toruño had served as archbishop of Guatemala and the neighboring Sacatepequez region since 2001. In an interview at the beginning of his archepiscopacy, he said that he wished to advance peace and reconciliation in a country long torn by violence and government oppression. Moreover, he said that Guatemalans deserve to “live in a society that is more, just, fraternal, and human.” A participant in negotiations that eventually led to peace accords between the Guatemalan government and armed rebels, the archbishop said that while positive steps have been taken towards peace there is much more work to do.
The incoming archbishop, Bishop Óscar Julio Vian Morales was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. He was born in 1947 to Isidoro Vian and Hortensia Morales, who had three other children. He was named to the see of Los Altos Quetzaltenango - Totonicapán in 2007. Quetzaltenango is the second largest city in Guatemala and close to the Mexican border.
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