Back Top Print Search

PADRÓN SÁNCHEZ Card. Diego Rafael


Cardinal Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez, Archbishop emeritus of Cumaná (Venezuela), was born in Montalbán on 17 May 1939.

He completed his secondary studies at the minor seminary in Valencia and his priestly studies in Caracas, at the Santa Rosa de Lima Interdiocesan Seminary, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and letters.

He studied group dynamics and youth pastoral care at the Central de Juventudes in Bogotá, Colombia. He holds a degree in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a diploma in Oriental Biblical Sciences from the Franciscanum Institute in Jerusalem, Israel.

He is a professor of Spanish, literature and Latin, and a graduate of the Professional Institute of Teaching at the Pedagogical Institute in Caracas.

He served as professor of Latin and Biblical Greek at the Nuestra Señora del Socorro Seminary in Valencia; biblical theology at the University Seminary Institute of Caracas (IUSI) from 1983 - 1994 and philosophy of language and philosophy of history at the San Pablo Apóstol Major Seminary in Maturín.

He was ordained a priest on 4 August 1963. He has served as parish priest of several parishes in Valencia.

Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Caracas and titular bishop of Gisipa; he was consecrated on 27 May 1990 in the Cathedral of Caracas.

On 7 May 2002, the Holy Father John Paul II appointed him metropolitan archbishop of the archdiocese of Cumaná.

He was president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference for two consecutive periods.

He is currently parish priest of La Inmaculada de Camoruco in the archdiocese of Valencia in Venezuela.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 30 September 2023, of the Title of San Gaetano.