Carlo Caffarra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

His Eminence

Carlo Caffarra
Cardinal, Archbishop of Bologna
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra in 2012.
Appointed16 December 2003
Installed15 February 2004
Term ended27 October 2015
PredecessorGiacomo Biffi
SuccessorMatteo Zuppi
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of S. Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini
Ordination2 July 1961
by Guglielmo Bosetti
Consecration21 October 1995
by Giacomo Biffi
Created cardinal24 March 2006
by Pope Benedict XVI
Personal details
Carlo Caffarra

(1938-06-01)1 June 1938
Died6 September 2017(2017-09-06) (aged 79)
Bologna, Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
Coat of armsCarlo Caffarra's coat of arms
Styles of
Carlo Caffarra
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Carlo Caffarra (1 June 1938 – 6 September 2017) was an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Bologna from 2003 until 2015, when he retired. His previous positions included President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family from 1981 to 1995 and Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio from 1995 to 2003. He was created a Cardinal in the consistory of 24 March 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Early life[edit]

Caffarra was born on 1 June 1938 in Samboseto di Busseto (province of Parma), Emilia Romagna. He was educated at the Episcopal Seminary of Fidenza and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he completed a doctorate in Canon law.[1] He was ordained a priest on 2 July 1961 in Rome.[2]

Beginning in 1965, he taught moral theology in the seminaries of Fidenza and Parma and later at the Studio Teologico Accademico Bolognese, the Università Cattolica in Milan, and at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy. His academic specialty was the moral doctrine of marriage and the bioethics of human procreation. He also taught medical ethics in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the Università Cattolica's campus in Rome.

Pope Paul VI named him a member of the International Theological Commission where he served from 1974 to 1984.[2] In 1980, Pope John Paul II named him an expert advisor to the Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family.[1] He was the first President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family from its establishment in 1980[3] until 1995 and founded sections of the same institute in the United States, Spain and Mexico.[1][2] John Paul II appointed him a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1983.[2] He was an advisor to John Paul II on sexual issues.[4]


Caffarra was named Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio on 8 September 1995, and consecrated on 21 October 1995 in the Cathedral of Fidenza by Giacomo Biffi, Archbishop of Bologna. He was installed on 4 November.[1]

Caffarra was appointed Archbishop of the Bologna on 16 December 2003[3] and installed there on 15 February 2004.[1]

Caffarra was a noted opponent of contraception. In 1988, Caffarra weighed the sin of condom use against acquiring the AIDS virus: "Even the smallest moral wrong is so much greater than any physical wrong. I know this is hard for some to accept when the dangers are great, but the Church is here to combat moral wrongs."[5] The next year, Caffarra argued condom campaigns further exposed society to AIDS because "the means of protection are far from reliable".[6]

On 24 August 2005 Caffarra held the central intervention "Freedom as liberation" at the annual Rimini Meeting of Communion and Liberation.[7] Subsequently, he and Marcello Pera presented the Ratzinger's book L'Europa di Benedetto nella crisi delle culture.[8]


In the consistory of 24 March 2006, Pope Benedict XVI named Caffarra Cardinal-Priest of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini.[9] On 7 May 2006 he was made a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Executive Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family.[10] He was identified at the time as "a strong conservative" voice for the opposition of the Catholic Church to the modern world[11] and one of Benedict XVI's less centrist appointments to the College of Cardinals.[12]

In a note Caffarra published on 14 February 2010, he wrote "public officials who openly support same-sex marriage cannot consider themselves to be Catholic". He said: "It is impossible for the Catholic faith and support for putting homosexual unions on equal footing with marriage to coexist in one's conscience – the two contradict each other."[13]

He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.[14]

Pope Francis named him to participate in the Synod on the Family in October 2014, in advance of which Caffarra authored an essay that argued that Catholics who divorce and remarry must be denied access to the Eucharist because their situation "is in objective contradiction with that bond of love that unites Christ and the Church, which is signified and actualized by the Eucharist". Allowing them access would mean the Church recognize their extramarital sexual relations as legitimate and contradict Church doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage.[15] When accused of opposing Pope Francis with that essay, he called the statement a "slander" and said he would rather be charged with taking a lover than harboring views not shared by the pope.[1]

On 26 September 2015, Pope Francis appointed Caffarra to a five-year term as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[16]

His resignation as archbishop was accepted on 27 October 2015.[17]

In September 2016, Caffarra and three other cardinals publicly asked Pope Francis to clarify five points of doctrine in the Pope's apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. They issued this public letter after the Pope did not reply to the same query made privately.[18] In June 2017, Caffarra wrote on behalf of the four asking Francis for an audience to discuss their questions.[19] He said that varying interpretations were producing inconsistency: "What is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta."[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Agasso Jr., Domenico (6 September 2017). "È morto Caffarra. Dichiarò: "Io contro il Papa? Preferirei si dicesse che ho un'amante"". La Stampa. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Arocho Esteves, Junno (6 September 2017). "Cardinal Caffarra, outspoken defender of marriage, family, dead at 79". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Successor Named Cardinal Biffi in Bologna". Zenit. 16 December 2003. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Vatican AIDS Meeting Hears O'Connor Assail Condom Use". The New York Times. 14 November 1989. p. 10. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  5. ^ Suro, Roberto (29 January 1988). "Vatican and the AIDS Fight: Amid Worry, Papal Reticence". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Vatican AIDS Meeting Hears O'Connor Assail Condom Use". New York Times. Associated Press. 14 November 1980. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  7. ^ Libertà come liberazione
  8. ^ Presentation of the book "L'Europa di Benedetto nella crisi delle culture"
  9. ^ "Roman Churches Assigned to New Cardinals". Zenit. 24 March 2006. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  10. ^ "New Cardinals Get Curial Assignments". Zenit. 7 May 2006. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  11. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (21 October 2006). "Tettamanzi and the challenge of being Catholic on the left". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  12. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (3 November 2006). "Papal appointments have been moderates and pastors". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  13. ^ Glatz, Carol (16 February 2010). "Politicians who support gay marriage are not Catholic, says cardinal". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  14. ^ "List of Cardinal Electors". Zenit. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  15. ^ Rocca, Francis X. (18 September 2014). "Doctrinal wars? Both sides fire over Communion for divorced, remarried". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Cardinals Caffarra, Burke Named to Congregation for Saints' Causes". Zenit. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  17. ^ Allen Jr., John (27 October 2014). "Francis' Pastoral Revolution rolls on with two big picks in Italy". CRUX. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  18. ^ Pentin, Edward (14 November 2016). "Four Cardinals Formally Ask Pope for Clarity on 'Amoris Laetitia'". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  19. ^ Pentin, Edward (19 June 2017). "Dubia Cardinals Seek Papal Audience". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  20. ^ Pentin, Edward (19 June 2017). "Full Text of Dubia Cardinals' Letter Asking Pope for an Audience". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
New title President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
1981 – 1995
Succeeded by
Preceded by
(Bishop) Luigi Maverna
Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio
8 September 1995 – 16 December 2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Bologna
16 December 2003 – 27 October 2015
Succeeded by