Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, C.M.F., Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona and Tudela (Spain), was born in Calatayud, in the province of Zaragoza and diocese of Tarazona, on 14 December 1929.
He entered the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians) and made his religious profession on 8 September 1946. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology in the seminaries of the congregation, he was ordained a priest on 28 June 1953.
He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, after which he attended and specialized courses in contemporary philosophy, fundamental theology, theology and pastoral ministry of the Sacrament in Leuven.
He is a member of the Sociedad Mariológica Española (1959) and director of the Revista Ephemerides Mariologicae (1966). In 1966, he founded the Iglesia Viva journal which he directed until 1971.
He taught dogmatic theology in his religious congregation in Valls and Salamanca. He then served as professor, from 1967, and subsequently rector, from 1971 to 1979, of the Pontifical University of Salamanca.
He was appointed as bishop of Leon on 22 August 1979, receiving episcopal ordination on 29 September of the same year. He served in this office until 28 July 1983 when, following his election as General Secretary of the Spanish Episcopal Conference in June 1982, he presented to the Holy Father his resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese.
On 8 April 1988 he was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Granada.
On 13 September 1991, he was entrusted with the apostolic administration of the diocese of Málaga.
On 26 March 1993 he was appointed as metropolitan archbishop of Pamplona and bishop of Tudela; seats he held until his resignation on 31 July 2007.
From September 2003 to May 2004, he served as apostolic administrator of Calahorra and La Calzada -Logroño.
From 1993 to 1996 and again from 1999 to 2002 he served as vice president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Commission for Inter-faith Relations.
He has taken part in numerous assemblies of the Synod of Bishops, and, appointed by Pope Francis hee participated in the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 2014) on The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014, of the Title of Sant’Angela Merici.