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El Papa y el Vaticano - Vatican Vocabulary in Spanish

For a lesson on general religion related words, click here.

el Papa

the Pope

el Pontífice the Pontiff
el Santo Padre the Holy Father
los Cardenales
the Cardinals
Colegio de Cardenales
College of Cardinals
el Vaticano
the Vatican
La Santa Sede
The Holy See
Plaza de San Pedro
St. Peter's Square
el Conclave
Curia Romana
Roman Curia
Los Apostoles
the Apostles

Worksheet/Activity: Vatican Vocabulary in Spanish

Quiz: Vatican Spanish Words


Latin American "Papabili"

Here are some potential Papal contenders among the 20 or so Latin American cardinals that will be attending the conclave in the next few weeks (note: I gathered these from various news sources, none of the opinions below reflect my own):


Jorge Mario Bergoglio (d.o.b. 12/17/36)

A Jesuit and the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio is seen as a genuine intellectual. If he were to be elected, Bergoglio's simplicity and humility could become a hallmark of his papacy. In Argentina, for example, he rides public transportation rather than a chauffer-driven car. (read more...) another long Spanish article here.


Claudio Hummes (d.o.b. 8/8/34)

A strong Latin American candidate, Hummes is a member of the Franciscan order, like the legendary Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns whom he replaced in Sao Paolo. Like Arns, Hummes was born in southern Brazil from German parents. Hummes could strike some electors as the right mix between doctrinal caution and social engagement. (read more...)


Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (d.o.b. 7/4/29)

Favorite of archconservatives, Cardinal Castrillon is the head of the Vatican office of the clergy. A defender of traditional doctrine, he's taken a bold stance against his country's powerful drug lords. He once dressed as a milkman and went to the house of notorious drug trafficker Pablo Escobar in Medellín to ask him to repent for his sins. (read more...)


Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (d.o.b. 12/29/42)

Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is widely seen as a rising star in the Latin American church. He speaks near-perfect Italian and English (along with passable French, Portuguese, German, Latin, and Greek), plays the piano, and has taken pilot training. He is ferocious on social justice issues. Rodriguez has a warm smile and a ready sense of humor. (read more...)


Norberto Rivera Carrera (d.o.b. 6/6/42)

Rivera Carrera, whose ancestors were Tepehuene Indians, and entered the seminary at age 13. Rivera Carrera is a traditionalist on doctrine and liturgy. His criticism of globalization and political corruption so annoyed Mexico's Salinas government that it threatened to adopt a law forbidding priests from commenting on politics. (read more...)

More Reading:

CNN's article on the next Pope - Papal Chase The Leading Contenders

Learn the fun way: The Complete Musical Spanish read more about Musical Spanish

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