Giacomo Biffi

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Styles of
Giacomo Biffi
Coat of arms of Giacomo Biffi.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Bologna

Giacomo Biffi (born 13 June 1928) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the Cardinal-Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna having served as archbishop from 1984 to 2003, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985.

Biography[edit]

Biffi was born in Milan, and studied at the seminaries of the Archdiocese of Milan. He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Archbishop Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, O.S.B., on 23 December 1950. From 1951 to 1960, Biffi taught dogmatic theology at the Seminary of Milan, also publishing numerous works on theology, catechetics and meditation. He received a doctorate in theology from the Faculty of Theology at Venegono in 1955; his thesis was entitled: "La colpa e la libertà nell’odierna condizione umana."

From 1960 to 1975, he did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Milan, serving as a parish priest at Santi Martiri Anauniani in Legnano (1960–1969) and later Sant'Andrea in Milan (1969–1975). Biffi became Episcopal Vicar for Culture in 1974, and a canon theologian of the metropolitan chapter of Milan on 1 February 1975. He also served as director of the Istituto Lombardo di Pastorale and the Commission for the Ambrosian Rite.

On 7 December 1975, Biffi was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Milan and Titular Bishop of Fidenae by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on 11 January 1976 from Cardinal Giovanni Colombo, with Bishops Bernardo Citterio and Libero Tresoldi serving as co-consecrators. Within the Italian Episcopal Conference, he served on commissions for doctrine, catechetics, culture and liturgy.

Following the sudden death of Enrico Manfredini, Biffi was named Archbishop of Bologna on 19 April 1984, being installed as such on the following 1 June. He was later elected President of the Episcopal Conference of Emilia-Romagna on 7 July 1984. Pope John Paul II created him Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni Evangelista e Petronio in the consistory of 25 May 1985. Biffi preached the Lent spiritual exercises for the pope and Roman Curia in 1989. He retired from the governance of the archdiocese in December 2003, being succeeded by Carlo Caffarra.

Biffi was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. According to a leaked diary, he received one vote on the fourth ballot. In 2008, he turned 80 and lost the ability to participate in future conclaves.

Views[edit]

In 2000, Biffi told a Bologna conference that the Antichrist would most likely be a prominent philanthropist promoting the ideas of ecumenism, vegetarianism, and pacifism.[1][2] Many of these predictions originate from the 19th century Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov, in whom Biffi is well-studied.[3] Biffi believes ecumenicism promotes the dilution of Catholic doctrine (a view common among conservative Catholics), thereby encouraging acceptance of the Antichrist.[4]

He also holds views that, while conservative, are in agreement with the Catholic teaching on homosexual acts, freemasonry, and feminism.[citation needed] Biffi has stated that an "ideology of homosexuality" threatens to marginalize whoever disagrees with the homosexual agenda,[5] and that Catholics must prepare for persecution by homosexual activists and their allies.[6]

Biffi has stated that the Church should be "exceedingly rich", that clergy and parishioners should be accepting of the Church's wealth, and that Catholics should literally impoverish themselves donating to the church, thereby following Christ's example of poverty.[7]

Cardinal Biffi also once said that the Italian government should favour Catholic immigrants to offset the number of Muslim immigrants to protect Italy's "national identity".[8] He has denounced journalists as "rats".[6]

In 2007, Biffi published Memorie e digressioni di un italiano cardinale (Memoirs and digressions of an Italian cardinal), expounding on many of his views.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cardinal: Antichrist is a vegetarian". BBC. 6 March 2000. 
  2. ^ NewsMax
  3. ^ Biffi, H.E. Giacomo Cardinal. "Vladimir Sergeievich Soloviev: an unheeded prophet". Saint Benedictine Center.  – reprint of Biffi's writing on Soloviev and the Antichrist
  4. ^ "Antichrist is an ecumenist, Vatican preacher warns". Catholic World News. Trinity Communications. 2007-03-01. 
  5. ^ Brother André Marie (10 December 2008). "Cardinal Biffi versus 'A Mysterious Cabal of Maniacs'". 
  6. ^ a b Caldwell, Simon (17 November 2010). "Italian cardinal warns gay activists are persecuting Christians". London: Telegraph Media Group. 
  7. ^ Carroll, Rory (13 May 2000). "Cardinal tells Catholics way to God is to line church's coffers". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). 
  8. ^ Whispers in the Loggia blog
  9. ^ Magister, Sandro (16 November 2010). "The Inconvenient Memoirs of Cardinal Biffi". Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso Spa.  – English translation of selected excerpts
Preceded by
Enrico Manfredini
Archbishop of Bologna
19 April 1984 – 16 December 2003
Succeeded by
Carlo Caffarra