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Rodríguez Zorrilla, José Santiago


Chilean bishop and politician; b. Santiago, 1752; d. Madrid, 1832. He studied with the Jesuits in Santiago and at the universities of San Felipe in Santiago and San Marcos in Lima. He was ordained and received the doctorate in theology in 1775, and in 1802, the doctorate in both civil and canon law. He was a professor in the University of San Felipe and twice held the post of rector (178890, 180305). Before ordination he had accompanied Bishop Alday to the provincial council at Lima (177173); and since he kept the confidence of succeeding bishops, he held a number of ecclesiastical positions, being appointed vicar capitular in 1807. When he opposed the formation of the junta in 1810 and did not recognize the appointment of Bp. martÍnez de aldunate, his own appointment as vicar was not renewed. Rodríguez Zorrilla objected to the elimination of the word "Roman" in reference to the title of the Church in the constitution of 1812, and the government of Chile retaliated by refusing to recognize his designation as bishop-elect of Santiago, which had been made by the Spanish council of regency. Upon the restoration of Spanish power, he was consecrated in 1816. However, he took part in the persecution of the Chilean patriots (181417); and although he supported the peaceful entrance of the victorious Chileans into the capital in 1817, he was exiled until 1821. He returned to his see in 1822 and managed to hold it for two years, although the various governments were suspicious of his loyalty. He did not cooperate with the unsuccessful muzi mission of 1824, and the civil authorities took over the government of the see, exiling Rodríguez Zorrilla to Spain in 1825. He lived in Madrid, bereft of income, while the Holy See appointed an administrator for his diocese, leaving him his rights as bishop. Just before his death, he had obtained restoration of his income and his civil rights and was preparing to return to Chile. His remains were taken home in 1852. Because of his great involvement in politics, he had left the diocese practically without guidance for many years during a crucial period of Chilean history.

Bibliography: c. silva cotapos, Don, José Santiago Rodríguez Zorrilla (Santiago de Chile 1915). l. f. prieto del rÍo, Diccionario biográfico del clero secular de Chile (Santiago de Chile 1922).

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