Born on 10 October 1945 in Utiel, Spain. He studied for the priesthood in Valencia and then obtained a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca.
He was ordained to the priesthood on 21 June 1970 and had various teaching and pastoral positions in the archdiocese of Valencia.
He was appointed as Bishop of Ávila on 6 March 1992 and consecrated on 25 April of that same year in the Cathedral of Ávila. He was later propoted to Archbishop of Granada on 10 December 1996 and appointed as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was transferred to be Archbishop of Toledo on 24 October 2002 and was elected vice-president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.
He was created Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 March 2006.