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Francisco de Asís Vidal y Barraquer (October 3 1868September 13 1943) was a Spanishmarker Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Tarragonamarker from 1919 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1921.


Born in Cambrilsmarker to a family of rural landowners and liberal professionals, Francisco Vidal y Barraquer attended the Colegio San Ignacio in Manresamarker (1880–1885), earned his bachillerato at the seminary in Barcelonamarker (1885), and then practiced law for a year after studying at the Law Faculty of Barcelona. He entered the Seminary of Tarragonamarker in 1895, and was ordained to the priesthood on September 17 1899. On September 24 1900, Vidal obtained his doctorate in law from the University of Madridmarker. He sought to join the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits, but his father asked Francisco to finish a career first.

Vidal then did pastoral work in Tarragona, as well as serving as fiscal (1905), provisor and acting vicar general (1905–1909) in its archdiocesan curia. He was a canon of Tarragona's cathedral chapter from 1907 to 1913, vicar general from 1909 to 1913, archpriest in 1910, and vicar capitular from October 1911 until his promotion to the episcopate.

On November 10 1913, Vidal was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Solsonamarker and Titular Bishop of Pentacomia. He received his episcopal consecration on April 26 1914 from Archbishop Antolín López Peláez, with Bishops Ramón Barberá y Boada and Ramón Guillamet y Coma serving as co-consecrators, in the cathedral of Tarragona. He was Senator of the Spanish kingdom for the province of Tarragonamarker from 1914 to 1916, and renounced the mitre of Cádizmarker to help calm the political and social tensions of Cataloniamarker. Vidal was later Archbishop of Tarragonamarker on May 7 1919.

Pope Benedict XV created him Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabinamarker in the consistory of March 7 1921. Vidal was one of the cardinal electors in the 1922 papal conclave, which selected Pope Pius XI, and later rejected Pope Pius's offer of the primatial see of Toledo. He also refused appointments to Zaragozamarker and to the Roman Curia. Following the Republican government's exile of Cardinal Pedro Segura y Sáenz, Vidal became the leading prelate of the Spanish Church. He made fruitless attempts to mitigate the dispositions of the constitutional project which affected the rights of the Church, and to have the Vatican accept Luis Zulueta y Escolano as its Spanish ambassador.

During the Spanish Civil War, Vidal remained in a position of neutrality, unlike the majority of the Spanish bishops, who supported Generalissimo Franco. When the Revolution of 1936 broke out, the Cardinal found his life in danger and fled to Pobletmarker, Barcelonamarker, and then the Carthusian monastery of Farneta in Luccamarker, Italymarker. After the death of Pius XI, he participated in the conclave of 1939, which resulted in the election of Pope Pius XII. However, the Cardinal's Catalonianismmarker, good relations with the Republican authorities of Catalonia, and his refusal to sign the joint letter of the Spanish episcopate during the civil war caused Generalissimo Franco to forbid him from returning to his archdiocese in the Cardinal's lifetime; he nevertheless refused to renounce his post. Pius XII was outraged to hear that Franco desired to send Vidal, as a man hostile to Franco's regime, into exile.

Franco lifted his ban on Vidal in 1941, after he and the Vatican reached a concordat. However, the Cardinal remained in Italy, and in 1943, the German occupation of Italy forced him to move to Switzerlandmarker.

Vidal was an enthusiastic champion of collegiality and Catholic Action.

Cardinal Vidal died in Fribourgmarker, at the age of 74. He was initially buried at a Carthusian monastery in Valsainte, but his remains were transferred, in accord with his will, to Tarragona in May 1978. Vidal is buried beside his former auxiliary, Bishop Manuel Borràs, who was assassinated during the civil war while Vidal was in exile.


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