Carlo Caffarra

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His Eminence
Carlo Caffarra
Cardinal, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra in 2012.
Province Bologna
See Bologna
Appointed 16 December 2003
Installed 15 February 2004
Term ended 27 October 2015
Predecessor Giacomo Biffi
Successor Matteo Zuppi
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of S. Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini
Ordination 2 July 1961
by Guglielmo Bosetti
Consecration 21 October 1995
by Giacomo Biffi
Created Cardinal 24 March 2006
by Pope Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Carlo Caffarra
Born (1938-06-01) 1 June 1938 (age 79)
Samboseto di Busseto, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
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Coat of arms

Carlo Caffarra (born 1 June 1938 in Busseto) is an Italian cardinal and Roman Catholic Archbishop emeritus of Bologna. He was educated at the Episcopal Seminary of Fidenza, Fidenza and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, graduating with a doctorate in Canon law and has a diploma of specialization in moral theology. He was created Cardinal in the consistory of 24 March 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Styles of
Carlo Caffarra
Coat of arms of Carlo Caffarra.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Bologna (emeritus)

Early life[edit]

Caffarra was born in Samboseto di Busseto (province of Parma), Emilia Romagna.

He was ordained priest on 2 July 1961 in Rome. He then returned to his Diocese of Fidenza in 1965, where he was taught moral theology in the seminaries of Fidenza and Parma; and later, at the Studio Teologico bolognese; at the Università Cattolica in Milan; and at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, specialising in the moral doctrine of marriage and the bioethics concerning human procreation.

He taught medical ethics at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in Università Cattolica's campus in Rome. He was a Member of the International Theological Commission from 1974–1984 he also held the position of Consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was the President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in 1980 and founded sections of the same institute in the United States, Spain and Mexico.


He 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, assisted by Giovanni Battista Re, then an official in the Roman Curia, and Carlo Poggi, Bishop of Fidenza. He was appointed Archbishop of Bologna on 16 December 2003 and installed there on 15 February 2004.

Caffara is a noted opponent of contraception, In 1988, Caffara 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."[1] The next year he argued that condom campaigns further exposed society to AIDS because "the means of protection are far from reliable".[2]


Caffarra was created cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 March 2006, becoming the Cardinal-Priest of S. Ioannis Baptistae Florentinorum. On 6 May 2006 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him a member of the executive committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family .[3]

In a note that Caffarra published on 14 February 2010, he wrote that "public officials who openly support same-sex marriage cannot consider themselves to be Catholic". He said: "It's 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."[4]

He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

In September 2015, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Caffarra to a five-year term as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[5][6] His resignation as archbishop was accepted on 27 October 2015.[7]

Amoris laetitia[edit]

Caffarra, along with three other cardinals, has issued a request to Pope Francis, entitled "Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia", seeking clarification on various points of doctrine in the Pope's apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. The cardinals had previously submitted dubia in private, but since he did not respond to these, the cardinals followed instructions in the Gospel of Matthew[8] and issued this public letter. The first dubium is regarding reception of the sacraments by the divorced and remarried. The other four ask about fundamental issues of the Christian life, and reference Pope John Paul II's encyclical Veritatis splendor.[9]

In June 2017 after seven months of not receiving a response from Pope Francis to their request that he clarify highly disputed parts in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), four cardinals asked the Holy Father for an audience in April but the Pope has yet to respond, it has emerged. In an April 25 letter hand-delivered to the Holy Father on May 6, Cardinals Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke and Joachim Meisner wrote to Francis asking for an audience, having received no response to the dubia they sent him on Sept 2016.[10]


External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giacomo Biffi
Archbishop of Bologna
16 December 2003 - 27 october 2015
Succeeded by
Matteo Zuppi