Papal Legate
Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra

Carlos Osoro Sierra was appointed Archbishop of Madrid by Pope Francis on August 28, 2014, and took office on October 25 of that year. Since June 2016, he is ordinary for the Eastern Catholic faithful residing in Spain. On November 19, 2016, he was created a cardinal by Pope Francis. On March 3, 2020, he was elected vice president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference for the period 2020 to 2024.

The prelate was born in Castañeda (Cantabria), on May 16, 1945. He studied teaching, pedagogy, and mathematics, and taught until he entered the seminary for late vocations at Colegio Mayor El Salvador in Salamanca, from whose Pontifical University he graduated in Theology and Philosophy. He was ordained a priest on July 29, 1973, in Santander, the diocese in which he developed his priestly ministry.

During the first two years of priesthood, he worked in parish ministry and teaching. In 1975, he was appointed general secretary of Pastoral, delegate of Secular Apostolate, episcopal delegate of Seminaries and Vocational Ministry and general vicar of Pastoral. A year later, in 1976, the General Vicariate of Pastoral and Administrative-Legal were unified and he was appointed vicar general, a position in which he remained until 1993, when he was appointed canon of the Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica of Santander, and one year later, president.

In addition, in 1977, he was appointed rector of the seminary of Monte Corbán (Santander), and exercised this mission until he was appointed bishop. During his last year in the diocese, in 1996, he was also director of the associated center of the International Institute of Distance Theology and director of the San Agustín Superior Institute of Religious Sciences, dependent on the International Institute and the Pontifical University of Comillas.

On February 22, 1997, he was appointed bishop of Orense by Pope Saint John Paul II. On January 7, 2002, he was appointed Archbishop of Oviedo, of whose diocese he took possession on February 23 of the same year. Furthermore, from September 23, 2006, to September 9, 2007, he was the apostolic administrator of Santander. On January 8, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Valencia. On April 18 of that year, he took possession of the archdiocese, where he remained until his appointment as Archbishop of Madrid in 2014.

After his participation in the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held from October 4 to 25, 2015, and dedicated to the family, on November 14 of that year, Pope Francis elected him as one of the members of the XIV Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops; a permanent body that, in collaboration with the Pontiff, has the task of organizing the Synod, as well as preparing the texts and documentation for the Assembly. His work served as the basis for the Synod dedicated to youth, faith, and vocational discernment, held from October 3 to 28, 2018.

On June 9, 2016, Pope Francis erected an Ordinariate for the faithful Eastern Catholics residing in Spain, to provide their religious and pastoral care, and appointed Monsignor Osoro as his ordinary.

On October 9, 2016, Pope Francis announced a consistory for the creation of new cardinals of the Catholic Church, including Monsignor Osoro. On November 19, 2016, he received the cardinal’s hat from the Supreme Pontiff at the Vatican.

On December 23, 2017, the Holy Father appointed him a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

On August 6, 2019, Pope Francis appointed him a member of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

On March 10, 2021, the Pontiff appointed him a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

In the Spanish Episcopal Conference he was president of the Episcopal Commission for the Clergy from 1999 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2005; President of the Episcopal Commission for Secular Apostolate until March 2014 (he was a member of this Commission since 1997) and a member of the Executive Committee between 2005 and 2011. He was vice president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference during the 2014-2017 triennium. In the period 2017-2020, he belonged to the Executive Committee as Archbishop of Madrid. In March 2020, he was again elected vice president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference for the period 2020-2024.

Since November 2008, he has been a patron for life of the Spanish University Foundation and director of its Theology seminary.