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Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (born October 18, 1936 in Jagüey Grandemarker, Matanzasmarker, Cuba) is the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Havana and a Latin Rite Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is the second Cuban elevated to Cardinal.

Early life and ordination

He studied for priesthood at the Seminary of San Alberto Magno in Matanzas and in the Seminary of the Fathers of Foreign Missions in Quebec, Canada. He was ordained a priest on August 2, 1964 by Bishop Jose Maximino Dominguez-Rodriguez of Matanzas. He was assigned to various parishes in the Diocese of Matanzas from 1964 to 1966. He was imprisoned by the Communist government from 1966 to 1967. From 1967 to 1978 he resumed his work in the Diocese of Matanzas and was a professor at the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary in Havana.


On December 4, 1978, Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of the Diocese of Pinar del Rio. He was consecrated bishop on January 14, 1979 by Mons. Mario Tagliaferri, Titular Archbishop of Formia, Pro-Nuncio in Cuba and assisted by Mons. Francisco Oves-Fernandez, Archbishop of Havana and Mons. José Maximino Eusebio Domínguez-Rodríguez, Bishop of Matanzas. He was later promoted to Archbishop of Havanamarker in 1981. He was proclaimed Cardinal-Priest of Santi Aquila e Priscilla on November 26, 1994 and was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.


In 2004, the Humanitarian Institution of Merit in Barcelonamarker, Spainmarker awarded him with the "Gran Cruz al Mérito Humanitario." He has been given an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Saint Thomas, Barry University, University of San Franciscomarker, Providence Collegemarker, Boston Collegemarker and St. John's Universitymarker.


Like John Paul II , Ortega y Alamino has urged his nation not to construct a post-communist future on the basis of hyper-capitalist principles. In 1998, he warned of the insidious influence in Cuba of a "species of American subculture that invades everything: It is a fashion, a conception of life."


  • The Miami Herald, April 13, 2005, From Enemy to Possible Pope

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