He obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology in 1971 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He was vice-rector and later rector of the San José Seminary of El Hatillo and rector of the interdiocesan seminary of Caracas, where he was a professor of philosophical anthropology.
He was also president of the Organization of Venezuelan Seminaries and vice-president of the Organization of Latin American Seminaries.
Pope John Paul II named him auxiliary bishop of Caracas on July 3, 1982, and he was ordained on Sept. 22 of that year, aged just 40 years old.
On March 16, 1990, he was appointed archbishop of Valencia, an archdiocese in the northwestern state of Carabobo, where he served for 15 years.
On Sept. 19, 2005, he was named archbishop of Caracas
Pope Benedict XVI gave him the red hat at a consistory on March 24, 2006.
He also attended the family synod in October 2015, standing out for his strong defense of Catholic doctrine, reported ACI Prensa.
In his speech at the synod, Urosa encouraged the synod fathers not to forget the teachings of Jesus and the Church while discussing the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the Eucharist.
He was also one of the 13 cardinals who sent a letter to Pope Francis expressing concerns about the synod’s procedures.
The pope accepted Urosa’s resignation as archbishop of Caracas on July 9, 2018, after he passed the retirement age of 75.
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Being an archbishop emeritus, he did not attend the Amazon synod in Rome in October 2019, but he wrote several articles in which he recalled the importance of priestly celibacy and highlighted the need for the proclamation of Christ and his Gospel in the Amazon.
He was a sharp critic of the socialist regime of Hugo Chávez, which earned him more than one public attack by the late president. He was also critical of the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro, whom he publicly and repeatedly requested, together with the bishops of Venezuela, to leave power, calling for fair and democratic elections.
For years, he promoted the cause of Dr. José Gregorio Hernández, the doctor of the poor, who was beatified on April 30, 2021.
A version of this story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, written by Walter Sánchez Silva. It has been adapted by CNA.
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