CARLES GORDÓ, Ricardo María
Birth. September 24, 1926, Valencia, archdiocese of Valencia, Spain. Of a family from the bourgeoisie. Son of Fermín Carles, a lawyer, and Josefina Gordó. He had an older brother. His first name is also listed as Ricard.
Education. Initial studies at the Teresian school in Valencia; then, he completed his secondary education at the Jesuit Colegio de San José, also in Valencia; after a period of discernment, he entered the Major Seminary of Valencia, where he was a pupil at Colegio "Corpus Christi" (also called of the Patriarch); and finally, he studied at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, where he obtained a licenciate in canon law in 1953.
Priesthood. Ordained, June 29, 1951, Valencia. Further studies in Rome from 1951 to 1953. Successively, 1953-1969, pastoral ministry in the archdiocese of Valencia, including parish priest and archpriest of Sant Pere, Tavernes de la Valldigna, between 1953 and 1967; and rector of the parish of San Fernando in Valencia (1967); counselor of the Juventud Obrera Católica, JOC (Catholic Youth Workers); director of the boarding-school for deacons; episcopal delegate for the clergy; and diocesan counselor for the pastoral for the family. He founded the church of Sant Josep and promoted what later became the Centre Excursionista de Tavernes de la Valldigna. In 1969, he was proclaimed "Hijo Adoptivo" (Adoptive Son) of Tavernes de la Valldigna.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Tortosa, June 6, 1969. Consecrated, August 3, 1969, cathedral of Tortosa, by Luigi Dadaglio, titular archbishop of Lero, nuncio in Spain, assisted by Manuel Moll y Salord, titular bishop of Urbs Salvia, former bishop of Tortosa, and by Rafael González Moralejo, titular bishop of Dardano, auxiliary of Valencia. His episcopal motto was Ut omnes unum sint. He made the solemn entrance in his see on the same day of his episcopal consecration. He convoked and promoted the first post-conciliar diocesan synod. President of the commission for seminaries and universities of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. Promoted to the archiepiscopal see of Barcelona, March 23, 1990. He took possession of the see the following May 27. Attended the Eighth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 28, 1990. In Barcelona, he established presbyterial and pastoral diocesan councils. He reorganized the vast archdiocese into four episcopal zones entrusted to five auxiliary bishops, who were appointed after his arrival in the archdiocese of Barcelona.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of November 26, 1994; received the red biretta and the title of S. Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino, November 26, 1994. Named member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See on November 6, 1995. Vice-president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference from 1999 until 2002. Attended the Tenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 27, 2001. Resigned the pastoral government of the archdiocese on June 15, 2004. On that same day, the archiepiscopal see of Barcelona was elevated to the rank of metropolitan see. Participated in the conclave of April 18 to 19, 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. Lost the right to participate in the conclave when turned 80 years old on September 24, 2006.
Death. December 17, 2013, in the morning, from complications following a stroke he had suffered on the previous November 25 while in hospital, after being treated for an epileptic crisis three days earlier, in the Hospital Santa Cruz, Tortosa (Tarragona). Upon learning the news of the death of the cardinal, Pope Francis prayed for the eternal repose of his soul and sent Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, a telegram of condolence (1). The funeral mass, presided by Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, took place in the metropolitan cathedral of that city on Thursday December 19 at 11 a.m. Later, the body of the late cardinal was taken to the metropolitan cathedral of Valencia, where another funeral mass was concelebrated by Cardinal Martínez Sistach; Carlos Osoro Sierra, archbishop of Valencia; Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, O.F.M., archbishop emeritus of Sevilla; and eight other bishops. After the funeral, body of the late cardinal was taken to the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados of Valencia, where he was buried according to his wish (2).
Bibliography. Echeverría, Lamberto de. Episcopologio español contemporáneo, 1868-1985 : datos biográficos y genealogía espiritual de los 585 obispos nacidos o consagrados en España entre el 1 de enero de 1868 y el 31 de diciembre de 1985 . Salamanca : Universidad de Salamanca, 1986. (Acta Salmanticensia; Derecho; 45), p. 131.
Webgraphy. His photograph and biography, in English, Holy See Press Office; his photograph and biography, in Italian, Sala Stampa della Santa Sede; his photograph, arms and biography, in French, Wikipedia; his arms, Araldica Vaticana; photograph and biography, in Catalonian, archdiocese of Barcelona; Fallece el Cardenal Ricardo María Carles, arzobispo eméeito de Barcelona, Revista Ecclesia, 17 diciembre, 2013; Fallece a los 87 años el cardenal valenciano Ricard María Carles, que fue arcipreste de Tavernes de la Valldigna, Media Servicio Safor, 17 diciembre 2013; Las banderas del Ayuntamiento de Tavernes de la Valldigna ondean a media asta por el fallecimiento del cardenal Carles, Media Servicio Safor, 17 diciembre 2013; El cardenal Ricard Maria Carles ya descansa en la Basílica de la Mare de Déu, Media Servicio Safor, 0/12/2013.