His Eminence (HE), Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera (born 10 October 1945) is a Spanish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. Today, December 9, 2008, Cañizares was appointed as Prefect of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by His Holiness (HH), Pope Benedict XVI. HE, Cañizares is sometimes known by his nickname of “Little Ratzinger,” referring to the similar beliefs and opinions between him and HH, Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, who himself is aware of and “very amused by this expression.”
HE served as Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain from 2002 until 2008 when HE was appointed by HH, Pope Benedict XVI as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. HE was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.
HE, Antonio Cañizares Llovera was born in Utiel, and studied at the minor and major seminaries in Valencia and at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, from where HE obtained a doctorate in theology, specializing in catechesis. HE was ordained to the priesthood by HE, Archbishop José García Lahiguera on 21 June 1970, and then served as vice-pastor and delegate for catechesis in the Archdiocese of Valencia.
Following HE’s transfer to the Archdiocese of Madrid, HE taught catechetical theology at the University of Salamanca and fundamental theology at the Conciliar Seminary of Madrid. HE later became the director and a professor of the Institute of Religious Science and Catechesis “San Dámaso” in Madrid, and sat on several commissions and secretariats of the Spanish Episcopal Conference as well. From 1985 to 1992, HE served as director of the Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith. HE also founded and was the first president of Asociación Española de Catequistas, and was Director of the review Teología y Catequésis.
On 6 March 1992, HE was appointed as Bishop of Ávila by Pope John Paul II. HE received his episcopal consecration on the following 25 April from Archbishop Mario Tagliaferri, with Cardinals Ángel Suquía Goicoechea and Marcelo González Martín serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral of Ávila. Cañizares later became a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia on 10 November 1996, and was named Archbishop of Granada on 10 December of that same year. In addition to HE’s duties in Granada, was Apostolic Administrator of Cartagena from January to October 1998, and made President of the Episcopal Commission of Education and Catechesis in 1999.
HE was promoted to Archbishop of Toledo, and thus Primate of the Spanish Church, on 24 October 2002. He was elected Vice-President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference as well. HH, Pope Benedict XVI created HE Cardinal Priest of S. Pancrazio in the consistory of 24 March 2006. The Spanish primate was awarded a doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera on that same date.
HE has been a member of Real Academia de la Historia de España since November 2007. HE will be eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves until HE reaches the age of eighty on 10 October 2025.