Rafael was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a Latin American lay theologian. Among his administrative responsibilities, he has been Director of the School of Theology and Coordinator for the creation of the Theology Area of the General Graduate Studies at the Jesuit‘s Catholic University Andrés Bello in Caracas. He has also been head of the Pontifical academic committee for evaluating and redesigning the Theology Pensum of the Ecclesiastical Faculty, being appointed by the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. He was a visiting professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, the Universität Wien in Austria, and Boston College (MA).