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Mario Aurelio Poli
Mario Aurelio Poli

Mario Aurelio Poli (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈma.ɾjo au̯.ˈɾe.ljo ˈ]; born 29 November 1947) is an Argentine cardinal of the Catholic Church. He has served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires since his installation on 20 April 2013, succeeding Jorge Bergoglio, SJ, who was elected as Pope Francis. He previously served as the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa in Argentina.

Formally charged with discrimination and fraud during July 2019, before the National Chamber of Economic Criminal Appeals of Argentina.

Early life, education, and presbytariate

Mario Poli was born in Buenos Aires in 1947. He began his philosophical and theological studies in 1969 at the Inmaculada Concepción Seminary in Villa Devoto. He obtained degrees as bachelor of social services at the University of Buenos Aires and as doctor of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. Poli was ordained a priest by Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu on 25 November 1978,[1] and led the Parish of San Cayetano in Liniers for two years.[2]

In 1992, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Antonio Quarracino appointed him Director of the Vocational Institute "Saint Joseph", place of formation of the future priests, where he exercised a peculiar and striking selective discrimination on the postulants or candidates to the entrance, for internal ideological, socio-economic reasons, for carrying face and geographical origin.


Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 2002, and Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Santa Rosa in 2008.[2][1]

Poli has opposed same-sex marriage in Argentina and commented that he would have a respectful but distant relationship with the administration of Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner,[3] a political stance similar to that of Bergoglio.[4] He has requested an increased dialogue between the church and the state.[5]

News of his appointment as Archbishop of Buenos Aires was leaked to the press on 27 March 2013, which was not well received by the church.[4] Poli's appointment was officially announced on 28 March and he was enthroned on 20 April at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral,[6] taking the place of Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., who had been elected pope on 13 March. He received the pallium from Pope Francis in Rome on 29 June 2013.


Poli was created Cardinal-Priest in the consistory of 22 February 2014.[7] and assigned the titular church of San Roberto Bellarmino, whose previous occupant was Bergoglio (now Pope Francis),[1] also from the see of Buenos Aires.

On 19 February 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and Pontifical Council for the Laity.[8]

Poli spoke in the Te Deum at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral for the 2014 First National Government holiday. The Kirchners ceased to attend the celebrations when Bergoglio criticized the president Néstor Kirchner; Cristina Kirchner returned in 2014. Poli quoted Francis and requested more political dialogue. [9]

He was formally charged with discrimination and fraud during July 2019, before the National Chamber of Economic Criminal Appeals of Argentina.

See also

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