Valdivieso, Rafael Valentín
VALDIVIESO, RAFAEL VALENTÍN
Archbishop of Santiago, strong opponent of regalism in Chile; b. Santiago, Nov. 2, 1804; d. there, June 8, 1878. As the son of Manuel Joaquín de Valdivieso y Maciel and María Mercedes Zañartu, he witnessed during his youth the changing fortunes of the independence movement. He obtained the title of lawyer in 1825. In 1833, after performing some spiritual exercises, he decided to become a priest; he was ordained the following year. In the summer of 1835–36 he gave missions for four months in the archipelago of Chiloé and later (1841) in the province of Atacama. For several years he gave his efficient cooperation to the work of the kindly Archbishop vicuÑa larraÍn. In 1843 he was selected the first dean of theology in the University of Chile and director of the recently founded Revista Católica. As an energetic man with executive ability, he was archbishop of Santiago from 1845 on, organizing the see and defending the prerogatives of the church against the regalist state. This struggle assumed importance after the expulsion of a sacristan (1856), who was defended by the cabildo, which gave two canons the opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice. The court's verdict was against the archbishop, who began preparations for exile. A tremendous disturbance followed. Fortunately, as a result of pressure exerted by Joaquín Tocornal, the canons withdrew, but the struggle continued. In defense of the church, the archbishop established the St. Thomas of Canterbury Society. Valdivieso participated in the Vatican Council of 1870. He founded the seminaries of Talca and Valparaíso. Through a papal delegation, he intervened, with a firm and not always reliable hand, in the reform of the old religious orders.
Bibliography: r. vergara antÚnez, Vide y obras del … Rafael Valentín Valdivieso 2 v. (Santiago de Chile 1886–1906). c. errÁzuriz, Algo de lo que he visto (Santiago de Chile 1934).
[a. m. escudero]