Facade of the Apostolic Nunciature in the Chilean capital. © Leonardo Rubilar
At the age of nearly 105, the oldest Catholic bishop in the universal church died Sunday in Chile. Bernardino Pinera Carvallo was archbishop emeritus of La Serena and an uncle of current President Sebastian Pinera.
Following Pinera's death, the former bishop of San Cristobal de La Laguna in Tenerife, Spain, Damian Iguacen Borau, is now the oldest Catholic bishop in the world. He was killed on 12. February 1916 born.
Born on 22. September 1915 in Paris, Pinera grew up in France. He studied medicine and theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In 1947, he received priestly ordination for the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile.
Participated in the Second Vatican Council
Pope Pius XII. appointed him auxiliary bishop in Talca in February 1958; Bishop Manuel Larrain Errazuriz of Talca consecrated him in April. In December 1960, Pope John XXIII appointed. Pinera to bishop of Temuco; Pinera attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
In order to be able to concentrate fully on the office of Secretary General of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Pinera resigned as Bishop of Temuco in 1977. In 1983 he was appointed archbishop of La Serena and from then until 1988 held the presidency of the Chilean Episcopal Conference. 1990, John Paul II. his resignation from office due to his age.
In the summer of 2019, the Vatican launched preliminary investigations against Pinera, according to the Papal Nunciature in Santiago. He was accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The incident in question occurred some 50 years ago, when Pinera was archbishop of La Serena. Church investigators were in contact with the alleged victim, but stressed the presumption of innocence for the bishop until proven otherwise.
Lived last in retirement home for priests
Pinera was the world's oldest Catholic bishop since the death of U.S. Peter Leo Gerety in September 2016. At the celebration of his 100th birthday. On his 60th birthday, according to the Chilean Bishops' Conference, he said: "All times in the Church are good times. For a bishop, a priest, a good Christian always has the possibility to love and to grow with love."
Most recently, Pinera lived in a retirement home for priests. According to the Chilean Bishops' Conference, he had been treated in a clinic for corona in May, but had already overcome the disease. According to the bishops' conference, President Pinera, his nephew, also attended his funeral in the closest family circle.