Jorge Medina

His Eminence
Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez
Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
See San Saba (titular)
Predecessor Jean Jérôme Hamer
Other posts Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (1998 - 2002)
Bishop of Valparaíso, Chile (1993 - 1996)
Bishop of Rancagua, Chile (1987 - 1993)
Titular Bishop of Thibilis (1984 - 1987)
Auxiliary Bishop of Rancagua, Chile (1984 - 1987)
Ordination 12 June 1954
by Pio Alberto Fariña Fariña
Consecration 6 January 1985
by Pope John Paul II
Created Cardinal February 21, 1998
Personal details
Birth name Jorge Arturo Augustin Medina Estévez
Born (1926-12-23) December 23, 1926
Santiago, Chile
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Jorge Arturo Agustín Medina Estévez (born December 23, 1926, in Santiago, Chile) is a Chilean Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Cardinal Protodeacon until February 23, 2007, and is Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Early life and ordination

Medina was born in Santiago in 1926, and studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (where he received a baccalaureate in the arts and biology) and the Major Seminary of Santiago. He was ordained a priest on June 12, 1954, by Bishop Pio Fariña Fariña, the vicar general and an auxiliary bishop of Santiago.

Church scholar

Earning a doctorate in theology in 1955, Medina taught philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of Santiago and of the Pontifical Catholic University, respectively. He also served as a dean of the university, and as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council; for the latter he later received an honoris causa doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 1996.


Pro-Grand Chancellor of the Catholic University from 1974 to 1985, he was named titular bishop of Thibilis and auxiliary bishop of Rancagua on December 18, 1984. Medina was consecrated to the episcopate on January 6, 1985 by Pope John Paul II himself, with Cardinals Eduardo Martínez Somalo and Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy acting as co-consecrators. He was made Bishop of Rancagua on November 25, 1987 and then Bishop of Valparaíso on April 16, 1993. He was appointed Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on June 21, 1996, resigning from his post in Valparaíso on the same day.


Medina was created a Cardinal-Deacon in the consistory of February 21, 1998, with the title of San Saba. He was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from February 23, 1998, until his retirement on October 1, 2002.

Styles of
Jorge Medina
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Valparaíso (emeritus)

Medina was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave, and, following the conclusion of the conclave, as Cardinal Protodeacon (the senior-most cardinal deacon), he had the honor of announcing to the world the election of Pope Benedict XVI with the famous Habemus Papam formula, being the first non-Italian to do so; as protodeacon, Cardinal Medina also imposed the petrine pallium on Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Medina also was one of the three cardinals who made the public act of obedience to the new pope at the papal inauguration [1][2][lower-alpha 1]

Cardinal Medina lost his right to participate in any future conclaves after December 23, 2006, when he turned 80 years of age. After his 80th birthday he went back to Chile in order to help as a priest in a parish. On March 1, 2008, he was elevated to Cardinal-Priest, the deaconry of San Saba being elevated pro hac vice to a "title". i.e. to the rank of seat of a Cardinal Priest.


Madonna concert

In December 2008, while giving a mass for the soul of former dictator Augusto Pinochet, Medina spoke out against a visit to Chile by pop musician Madonna. Medina used the pulpit to indirectly condemn Madonna's "performances", stating that they encouraged impure thoughts and actions.[3]

Pedophilia and homosexuality

Regarding the prominent 80-year-old priest Fernando Karadima, whom in January 2011 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, finding him guilty of having sexually abused minors, ordered to retire to a life of prayer and penitence and never to exercise the priesthood in public again,[4][5] and who was then accused under Chilean civil law of sexual abuse of minors,[6][7] Medina doubted that he would be sent to prison, since homosexual activity was not a crime in Chilean civil law and use of the term "sexual abuse" could be questioned: "With all due respect to the laws of my country, a child of 8 or 9 is very different from a 17-year-old ... A 17-year-old youngster knows what he is doing." He also remarked that priests are not immune from the devil's works: "Any informed Christian knows we are prone to weakness because of our human fragility. The devil gets in where he can. Priests are not immune from his snares." He defended the canonical sanctions imposed on Karadima as being the heaviest that could be imposed short of laicization, and as having taken into account Karadima's age and merits.[6][8][9][10]

One of Karadima's accusers called the cardinal's remark about 17-year-olds "an unwarranted attack".[11] Another added that it was an attack not only on those who had denounced Karadima, but on all who were honestly looking for truth and justice for their lives. He regarded Medina's statements as "extremely suspicious, as if he wanted to diminish the outline of these grave actions, reducing the issue to homosexuality in a very silly manner, as if, furthermore, homosexuality and abuse were synonymous". The statements, he said, "were an attempt to free from responsibility someone who took advantage of his position of power over more vulnerable persons".[12]



  1. The other two cardinals were the protopriest Stephen Kim Sou-hwan and the most senior Cardinal-Bishop and Sub-Dean of the College of Cardinals Angelo Sodano. In addition, nine non-cardinals made the public act of homage. The nine non-cardinals were: Bishop Andrea Erba the bishop of Benedict's former suburbicarian diocese of Velletri-Segni; Father Enrico Pomili the priest serving as pastor of Benedict's former titular church Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino when he was a Cardinal priest; a deacon; a religious brother; a Benedictine nun; a married couple from Korea; and a young woman from Sri Lanka and a young man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, each of whom had been recently confirmed.[1][2]


  1. 1 2 Pope Benedict XVI Starts His Papacy. article on Pope Benedict XVI's inauguration. Retrieved April 13, 2013
  2. 1 2 Ceremony of Papal Inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI [24.04.2005] on YouTube Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  3. New York Times
  4. EWTN
  5. 1 2 Nación
  6. New York Times
  7. El Mercurio (blog)
  8. Standard Newswire
  9. Catholic News Agency
  10. La Tercera
  11. La Segunda
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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antonio María Javierre Ortas
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Succeeded by
Francis Arinze
Preceded by
Luigi Poggi
Cardinal Protodeacon
February 24, 2005 February 23, 2007
Succeeded by
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
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