On June 23, 1869, Carlos Maria de la Torre y Nava Cerrada started his term as the new Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines.
Pope Pius X appointed him Bishop of Loja on 30 December 1911 and de la Torre worked as a parish priest throughout this period.
Despite his unusually youthful appointment as a bishop, it took a long time for him to advance further: he was only transferred to the more important diocese of Guayaquil in 1926 and promoted to Archbishop of Quito at the age of fifty-eight in 1933.
Cardinal de la Torre participated in the conclave of 1958 but his efforts to ameliorate social inequality in Latin America were rapidly defeated by his exceedingly advanced age.
By 1962, his health was so poor that he could, at eighty-nine, attend neither any of the sessions for Vatican II nor the 1963 conclave.
A Carlist army officer, he was sent from Spain by Francisco Serrano after the ouster of Queen Isabel II as result of the La Gloriosa revolution.
He was considered a liberal Spaniard who practiced the liberal and democratic principles for imposing liberal laws.
He wanted to have the bronze statue of Isabel II, first unveiled in 1860, melted so that it would be put to better use.
However, the Manila City Council saved it by declaring the statue municipal property.
After finishing his studies at the Conciliar Seminary in Quito, Carlos María moved to the prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned doctorates in theology and canon law.
He was ordained a priest on 19 December 1896, served as Professor of dogmatic theology at the Seminary where he had been a student and was for a time pastor in Pelileo.
During his term he posed and acted as a true democrat.