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Angelo Comastri

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Angelo Comastri
Archpriest Emeritus of Saint Peter's Basilica
ChurchCatholic Church
Appointed31 October 2006
Term ended20 February 2021
PredecessorFrancesco Marchisano
SuccessorMauro Gambetti, O.F.M. Conv.
Other post(s)
Ordination11 March 1967
by Luigi Boccadoro
Consecration12 September 1990
by Bernardin Gantin
Created cardinal24 November 2007
by Pope Benedict XVI
RankCardinal-Deacon (2007–18)
Cardinal-Priest (from 2018)
Personal details
Born (1943-09-17) 17 September 1943 (age 80)
Previous post(s)
MottoDeus Charitas Est
Coat of armsAngelo Comastri's coat of arms

Angelo Comastri (born 17 September 1943) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He was Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica from 2006 to 2021, and Vicar General for the Vatican City State and President of the Fabric of Saint Peter from 2005 to 2021. He previously served as Bishop of Massa Marittima-Piombino (1990–1994) and Territorial Prelate of Loreto (1996–2005). He was named a cardinal in 2007.


Comastri was born in Sorano, in the province of Grosseto[1] to Fernando and Beneria (née Scossa) Comastri. He received his early education at schools in his native town and attended the seminary of Pitigliano and the Regional Seminary S. Maria della Quercia in Viterbo. He continued his studies at the Pontifical Lateran University where he earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology and at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. On 11 March 1967, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Luigi Boccadoro.[citation needed]

Comastri served as vice-rector of the minor seminary of Pitigliano and, at the same time, did pastoral work in the parish of San Quirico'. He was later assigned to the Roman Curia as an official of the Congregation for Bishops. He served as spiritual director of the Pontifical Minor Roman Seminary and a chaplain at Roman jails before returning to Pitigliano, where he became rector of the seminary in 1971. In 1979, he was named pastor of the parish of San Stefano Protomartire in Porto Santo Stefano. He was also a member of the diocesan college of consultors, and served as episcopal delegate for the seminarians residing outside of the diocese and professor of religion at the Professional Institute for Maritime Activities in Porto Santo Stefano.

On 25 July 1990, Comastri was appointed Bishop of Massa Marittima-Piombino by Pope John Paul II.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on 12 September from Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, with Archbishop Gaetano Bonicelli and Bishop Eugenio Binini serving as co-consecrators, in the parish church San Stefano Protomartire. He resigned as bishop for health reasons on 3 March 1994.[3] Following his recovery, he was named president of the National Italian Committee for the Jubilee of the Year 2000 and placed in charge of the National Center for Vocations of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

Comastri was named Territorial Prelate of the Territorial Prelature of Loreto, with the personal title of archbishop, on 9 November 1996.[4] On 5 February 2005, he was appointed President of the Fabric of Saint Peter, Vicar General of His Holiness for the State of Vatican City, and Coadjutor Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica.[5] He preached the Lenten spiritual exercises for Pope John Paul II and the Roman Curia in 2003 and the meditations for the Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum on Good Friday 2006.[6] Upon the retirement of Cardinal Francesco Marchisano on 31 October 2006, Comastri succeeded him as Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica.[7]

Pope Benedict XVI created him a cardinal in the consistory of 24 November 2007,[8] assigning him the titular church of San Salvatore in Lauro with the rank of cardinal-deacon.[9] In addition to his main duties, he also serves as vice-president of the Pontifical Academy of the Immacolata and he has been a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints since 2005.[10]

Comastri participated in the papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.[11] After ten years as a cardinal-deacon, he was raised to the rank of cardinal-priest on 19 May 2018.[12]

In a 2020 television interview, Comastri objected to Turkey's decision to turn Hagia Sophia, once a church and long a museum, into a mosque. He said:[13]

No mosque was ever turned into a Catholic Church, and no Catholic has ever shot at an imam. They’ve even shot the pope himself, on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter’s Square: If they want dialogue, it must be done with fair and honest weapons, with the honesty of looking into each other’s eyes and answering with facts.

Comastri said COVID-19 "does not come from God" and that powerful states are "organizing world wars, including bacteriological wars"; he said it was possible that Chinese government research was the source of COVID-19, a charge China has denied.[13]

Pope Francis accepted Comastri's resignation as vicar general, archpriest, and president of the Fabric on 20 February 2021.[14]


  1. ^ "Comastri Card. Angelo". College of Cardinals Biographical Notes, 13 June 2008. Press Office of the Holy See. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  2. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). Vol. LXXXII. 1990. p. 926. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Comastri Card. Angelo". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  4. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). Vol. LXXXVIII. 1996. p. 972. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 05.02.2005" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 5 February 2005. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Way of the Cross to Focus on Loss of Sense of Sin". Zenit. 6 April 2006. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 31 October 2006" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Concistoro, ecco i nuovi cardinali 'Rappresentano universalità della Chiesa'". La Repubblica (in Italian). 24 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Titular Churches of the new Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church". The Holy See. Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. 24 November 2007. Archived from the original on 28 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 24.10.2005" (Press release) (in Italian). Press Office of the Holy See. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  11. ^ "List of Cardinal Electors". Zenit. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Concistoro per il voto su alcune Cause di Canonizzazione" [Consistory for the vote on several Causes for Canonization]. Sala Stampa della Santa Sede (in Italian). 19 May 2018. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b San Martín, Inés (21 July 2020). "Vatican cardinal suggest COVID-19 made in laboratory, condemns 'bacteriological wars'". Crux. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 20.02.2021" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 20 February 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by President of the Fabric of Saint Peter
5 February 2005 – 20 February 2021
Succeeded by
Vicar General of His Holiness for the State of Vatican City
5 February 2005 – 20 February 2021
Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica
31 October 2006 – 20 February 2021