Angelo Amato

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Angelo Amato

Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Visita de Cardenal Angelo Amato - 17792469768 (cropped).jpg
Cardinal Amato in 2015.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed9 July 2008
Term ended31 August 2018
PredecessorJosé Saraiva Martins, C.M.F.
SuccessorGiovanni Angelo Becciu
Other postsCardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Aquiro (2010-)
Ordination22 December 1967
Consecration6 January 2003
by Pope John Paul II
Created cardinal20 November 2010
by Pope Benedict XVI
Personal details
Birth nameAngelo Amato
Born (1938-06-08) 8 June 1938 (age 81)
Molfetta, Apulia, Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post
Alma mater
MottoSufficit gratia mea
("My grace is sufficient")
Coat of armsAngelo Amato's coat of arms

Angelo Amato, S.D.B. (born 8 June 1938) is an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints between 2008 and 2018. He served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2002 to 2008 and became a cardinal in 2010.


Amato was born in Molfetta, Apulia, Italy. He entered the Salesians after completing his novitiate at a Salesian high school. He studied philosophy and theology.

He was ordained a priest on 22 December 1967, becoming a member of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco. He studied at the Salesian Pontifical University gaining a licentiate in philosophy, specializing in Christology. In 1972 he began to teach at the Salesian as an assistant. In 1974 he obtained his doctorate at the Pontifical Gregorian University with a dissertation on The Tridentine pronouncements on the need for sacramental confession in canons 6–9, Session XIV.

In the years 1978 to 1979 he was a fellow of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Thessaloniki, Greece, at the monastery Orthodox Moní Vlatádon, home of the renowned Institute of patristic studies. In 1988 he spent a sabbatical year in Washington, DC, USA, where he began to study the theology of religions.

Academic life[edit]

He was professor of dogmatics at the Salesian Pontifical University, and for twelve years (from 1981 to 1987 and then 1993 to 1997) was dean of the Faculty of Theology.

He served as a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as well as for the Congregation for Bishops.

His publications include: Trinità in contesto, Biblioteca di Scienze Religiose 110 (Roma: LAS, 1994); La Catechesi al traguardo. Studi sul Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica, a cura di Angelo Amato, Enrico dal Covolo e Achille M. Triacca, Biblioteca di Scienze Religiose 127 (Roma: LAS, 1997); Il vangelo del Padre (Bologna: EDB, 1998); Gesù il Signore. Saggio di cristologia, Corso di Teologia Sistematica 4 (Bologna: EDB, 1999); Maria e la Trinità. Spiritualità mariana ed esistenza cristiana – Alma Mater (Roma: San Paolo Edizioni, 2000); Il celibato di Gesù (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010); I santi della chiesa (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010).

Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith[edit]

On 19 December 2002, Pope John Paul II appointed him as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and titular archbishop of Sila. He was consecrated bishop on 6 January 2003 by Pope John Paul II.[1]

In addition to his role as CDF Secretary, Amato served as a consultor to the Pontifical Councils for Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue.

In an April 2007 address to chaplains, he denounced same-sex marriage and abortion and criticized the Italian media's coverage of them. He said that they are evils "that remain almost invisible" due to media presentation of them as an "expression of human progress."[2]

Church treatment of Galileo Galilei[edit]

According to Amato, a 1633 letter discovered in the Vatican's archive proved that the Roman Inquisition, the predecessor of his Congregation, had not persecuted Galileo Galilei for maintaining that the Earth goes round the Sun. The letter from the Commissioner of the Holy Office to Francesco Barberini expressed the Pope's concern that the trial of the scientist accused of heresy be concluded quickly as his health was poor. Archbishop Amato said the letter proved that the church's attitude to the great astronomer was benign.[3]

Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints[edit]

Archbishop Amato at a beatification ceremony in the Esztergom Basilica

After the 2005 Papal conclave, Amato was the first person received in private audience by the new Pope Benedict XVI, who until his election had been Prefect of the Congregation of which Amato continued to be Secretary until 9 July 2008, when Pope Benedict named him Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[4][5] Thus, Amato oversees the process which leads to the canonisation of saints, which includes preparing a case, including the approval of certified miracles. The case is presented to the pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonisation. Amato is the second CDF Secretary to lead the Causes of Saints dicastery, the first being Alberto Bovone.

Styles of
Angelo Amato, SDB
Coat of arms of Angelo Amato.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

On 6 July 2010 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.[6] On 16 October 2010 he was appointed by Pope Benedict as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a five-year renewable term. It will be renewed until his 80th birthday.[7] Being resident in Rome, he is invited to attend not only the plenary meetings of those departments, which in principle are held every year, but also the ordinary meetings.

Amato was created Cardinal-Deacon of S. Maria in Aquiro by Pope Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010.

On 29 December 2010, Cardinal Amato was appointed member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.[8]

On Friday 14 January 2011, Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree attributing a miracle to the intercession of Pope John Paul II, clearing the way for his beatification on 1 May 2011. Amato said that the "Papal dispensation of the 5-year waiting period before opening a cause, and the second was the placing of the cause on a 'fast track' that by-passed the waiting list. There were, however, no corners cut with regard to the rigor and accuracy of procedure. The case was treated like any other, following all the steps prescribed by the law of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. On the contrary, if I may speak further to one of my first observations: precisely in order to honor the dignity and the memory of this great Pope, to avoid any doubt and overcome any difficulties, the case was subjected to particularly careful scrutiny."[9]

Amato was considered papabile for the papal conclave of 2013 that elected Pope Francis.[10]

His replacement by Giovanni Angelo Becciu as Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints as of 31 August was announced on 26 May 2018.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profiles of Dozen New Bishops". Zenit. 6 January 2003. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  2. ^ Pullella, Philip (23 April 2007). "Gay marriage evil, abortion terrorism: Vatican". Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 April 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  3. ^ "Vatican rewrites history to insist it did not persecute Galileo". The Independent. 23 August 2003. Archived from the original on 19 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 09.07.2008" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 9 July 2008.
  5. ^ "Pope names new head of saint-making office". Associated Press. 9 July 2008. Archived from the original on 14 July 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  6. ^ Press Office of the Holy See Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Rinunece e Nomine, 29.12.2010" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Pope John Paul II to be beatified 1 May 2011". 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011.
  10. ^ "One of These Men Will Be The Next Pope". Business Insider. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 26.05.2018" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Leoncio Leviste Lat
Titular Archbishop of Sila
Succeeded by
Savio Hon Tai-Fai, S.D.B.
Preceded by
Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Secretary of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith

Succeeded by
Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J.
Preceded by
José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, C.M.F.
Prefect of the Congregation
for the Causes of Saints

Succeeded by
Giovanni Angelo Becciu
Preceded by
Antonio Innocenti
Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Aquiro