Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, died Saturday of complications from diabetes. The cardinal had been in a hospital fighting different health complications for nearly four weeks before he passed away. Cardinal Trujillo, Archbishop emeritus of Medellin, Colombia, was 72.
Born on November 8, 1935 in the Colombian city of Villahermosa, he moved to the capital Bogotá when he was a young boy.
After entering seminary, he studied in Rome and obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the Angelicum, taking courses in theology and sociology and also studying Marxism. Ordained a priest on November 13, 1960, he continued his studies in Rome for another two years
Returning to Bogotá, he taught philosophy for four years at the local major seminary. In 1968, he was put in charge of a special course on Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Populorum Progressio” that was to be presented in all the principal cities in Colombia.
In February of 1971, Pope Paul VI appointed Trujillo as Auxiliary Bishop of Bogotá. He was ordained to the episcopate one month later. In 1972 Bishop Trujillo was elected General Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM). In May 1978, he was named Coadjutor Bishop of Medellín, becoming Archbishop in June 1979.
Trujillo was president of CELAM betwee 1979 and 1983. He was president of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 1990, and a participant in numerous assemblies of the Synod of Bishops held in the Vatican. He became Archbishop emeritus of Medellín in January of 1991.
Pope John Paul II elevated Archbishop Trujillo to the cardinalate in the February 1983 consistory, after which the new cardinal was appointed Cardinal-Priest of St. Prisca. In 2001 Cardinal Trujillo was appointed Cardinal-Bishop of the Suburbicarian Church of Frascati.
Cardinal Trujillo was named president of the Pontifical Council for the Family in November 1990. He held the office for the rest of his life.
Cardinal Trujillo had also been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for Bishops, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He was also a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.