Salazar Gómez, Rubén
Order in College: Cardinal Priest
With Title: San Gerdardo Maiella
Native Country: Colombia
Appointed by: Pope Benedict XVI on 24 November 2012
Ecclesiastical Office:  Archbishop of Bogotá, Colombia 
Papal Elector: Eligible; Ineligible on 22 September 2022

Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez was born in Bogotá on 22 September 1942. He studied for the priesthood at Inmaculada Concepción Archdiocesan Seminary of Ibague. In 1962 he was sent to perfect his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where four years later he earned a licence in dogmatic theology. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Ibagué on 20 May 1967 and exercised his priestly ministry as spiritual director and teacher at the Colegio Tolimense. In 1968 he became Vicar Cooperator in the Parish of Nuestra Senora del Perpetuo Socorro. That same year he returned to Rome to study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute where, in 1971 he earned a licence in biblical sciences. Back in Colombia, from 1972 to 1987 (and from 1990 al 1992) he was Professor of Sacred Scripture at the Major Seminary. From 1973 he served for three years as chaplain of the male reformatory in Ibagué and, from 1976 to 1978, as parish priest of Inmaculado Corazón de María and chaplain of an infantry battalion. In 1987 he became director of the National Secretariat of Social and Pastoral Ministry of the Colombian Bishops' Conference. he was also a member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and a representative of the Bolivarian countries in the executive Council of Caritas Internationalis until 1990. In that year he became Parish Priest of Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá and Pastoral Vicar of the Archdiocese. On 11 February 1992 John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Cúcuta and he was ordained a bishop on the following 25 March. Three years later he was appointed Apostolic Administrator, first of the Prelature of Tibú and, from 1998 to 1999, of the Archdiocese of Nueva Pamplona. From 1996 to 1999 he headed the Doctrinal Commission of the Colombian Bishops' Conference. On 18 March 1999, Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Barranquilla. A member of the Administrative Council of the Bishops' Conference from 2002 to 2005, he spent the next three years as President of the Pastoral and Social Commission and of Caritas. In 2008 he was elected President of the Bishops of Colombia and his three-year mandate was renewed in 2011. On 8 July 2011, Benedict XVI transferred him to the Archdiocese of Bogotá. Here he faced the challenges of secularization and of the negotiations for peace between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in which the Church maintains her independent position but effectively encourages dialogue. The Cardinal is a champion of the need to achieve real peace and is an outstanding figure of the Church in Colombia.