Photo: Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera Lopez
The new archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, is known for putting an emphasis on social ministries and serving poor populations—most recently in the southern state of Chiapas as archbishop of Tuxtla Gutierrez. The spokesman for the Mexican bishops’ conference, Father Manuel Corral, said Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera Lopez is also known as a no-nonsense administrator, for “showing leadership within the conference” and “not searching for a media profile.”
Archbishop Cabrera will take those characteristics to northern Mexico and a region being ripped apart by crime and corruption, having been tapped Oct. 3 by Pope Benedict XVI to lead the Archdiocese of Monterrey.
The archdiocese is considered one of Mexico’s most important, and its leader is often elevated to the position of cardinal. It is an important industrial key where society is known for its conservative mores. But it’s a city suffering through some of the worst of Mexico’s drug and organized crime violence, the result of warring between the Los Zetas and the Gulf cartels, whose leaders took up residence alongside polite society in an area considered the richest in Latin America
The cartels also recruited disaffected youth from marginalized areas and carried out some of the country’s worst crimes, including an August 2011 attack on a casino that killed 52 employees and patrons. Repairing the social fabric—and not simply serving the comfortable classes—should be a top priority, say church officials and observers.