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Archbishop Emeritus


Monsignor Juan José Asenjo Pelegrina was born on October 15, 1945, into a devout family to which he owes part of his vocation. He has never denied his Castilian origins, and wherever he has exercised pastoral responsibility, he has left the imprint of his love for the land where he was born, the town of Sigüenza in Guadalajara.

After being ordained a priest in his diocese (1969), he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo on April 20, 1997, a position he held until September 2003, when he left his native Castile for Andalusia. Since then, he has dedicated himself to the Diocese of Córdoba. There he had the opportunity to learn firsthand the idiosyncrasies of the Andalusian people, the uniqueness of their popular religiosity, the richness of their cultural heritage, and a history that has marked the faith of a “quality” Christian people, as he often repeats.

His arrival in the Archdiocese of Seville was on November 5, 2009, a date with marked symbolism as it coincided with the feast of Santa Ángela de la Cruz, Madre Angelita. Previously, on January 17 of that year, he was sworn in as coadjutor archbishop in a large ceremony that took place in the crossing of Seville Cathedral.

His presence in the governing bodies of the Spanish Episcopal Conference has been a constant feature of his episcopal career, and his time on the Cultural Heritage Commission has given him a broad vision of the situation, challenges, and needs of the Church in this field. Reviewing the last two decades highlights his involvement in the organization of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Spain in 2003 and the monitoring of the National Plan for Cathedrals, one of the best examples of collaboration between the administrations and the Church for the maintenance of first-class heritage.

The formation of future priests has been another of Monsignor Asenjo’s priorities. He often affirms that the seminary must be “the apple of the bishop’s eye,” and this has been precisely, together with family ministry and the formation of the laity, one of the pastoral areas in which he has been most involved since he arrived at the Sede de San Isidoro.