Crescenzio Sepe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

His Eminence
Crescenzio Sepe
Cardinal, Archbishop of Naples
Crescenzio Sepe.jpg
Province Naples
See Naples
Appointed 20 May 2006
Installed 1 July 2006
Predecessor Michele Giordano
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Dio Padre misericordioso
Ordination 12 March 1967
by Antonio Cece
Consecration 26 April 1992
by Pope John Paul II
Created cardinal 21 February 2001
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1943-06-02) 2 June 1943 (age 75)
Carinaro, Caserta, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto in nomine domini
Coat of arms Crescenzio Sepe's coat of arms
Styles of
Crescenzio Sepe
Coat of arms of Crescenzio Sepe.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Naples

Crescenzio Sepe (born 2 June 1943) is an Italian Cardinal and Archbishop of Naples. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples until 20 May 2006.[1] Earlier, he served as a priest in Italy and Brazil.


Early life and ordination[edit]

Born at Carinaro, in the province of Caserta, he was ordained for the Diocese of Aversa on 12 March 1967 and holds degrees in theology and canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University and in philosophy from the University of Rome La Sapienza. He taught theology at the Lateran and Urbanian Pontifical Universities and then studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

Career in the Curia and elevation to Cardinal[edit]

Coat of arms of Cardinal Sepe

He joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was posted to Brazil from 1972 to 1975, when he was recalled to the Secretariat of State, becoming Assessor for General Affairs in 1987. Sepe was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy and Titular Archbishop of Gradum on 2 April 1992.

On 3 November 1997, he was named General Secretary of the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. He was President of Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem from 8 November 1997 until July 2001. On 9 April 2001 he was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He is also the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urban University. He was created and proclaimed Cardinal-Deacon of Dio Padre misericordioso by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 February 2001. He was one of the Cardinal electors who participated in both the 2005 and 2013 conclaves that selected Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis respectively.

Curial membership:

A statue of Sepe in the Church of S. Chiara, Naples

Archbishop of Naples[edit]

He was appointed Archbishop of Naples and became a Cardinal-Priest on 20 May 2006, with his deaconry elevated pro hac vice to title. (It was too early for him to opt for the order of cardinal priests.)

Cardinal Sepe's move to Naples from the prefect's post at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples made him the first head of a Roman dicastery in decades to be dispatched to a diocese and, in the eyes of some, the first casualty of Pope Benedict's purge of the church's administration.

Investigation for corruption[edit]

In June 2010, Sepe was under investigation by Perugia's public prosecutor's office over alleged corruption cases.[2] Media reports alleged that during his time as prefect, various "Propaganda Fide" apartments were made available, free or for a very low rent, to a variety of public figures including politicians, lawyers and journalists. However, Cardinal Sepe has reportedly said that he has "nothing to hide" and he is expected to waive his Vatican extraterritorial privilege in order to meet investigators.[3]


Clerical celibacy[edit]

Many of his memorable statements came from 1995 to 1997 and involved disagreement with the idea of ending the celibate priesthood.

In 1997 he said a relaxing of the celibacy rule for Latin Rite priests would not ease the vocations crisis and would have no theological or pastoral foundation. Linked to his position he also is active in evangelizing efforts.

In March 2018 Sepe submitted 1,200-page dossier to the Vatican that sought to identify 40 actively gay Catholic priests and seminarians across the country, after the list was compiled by a male escort called Francesco Mangiacapra.[4]

Priest-sharing program[edit]

In 1995 he helped implement a priest-sharing program among dioceses worldwide to help redress the geographical imbalance in vocations.

Return of priests[edit]

In 1995 he further said that the Vatican was facilitating the return of hundreds of priests who had left the active ministry and married in civil ceremonies, but who were now divorced or widowed and were "sincerely sorry" for having strayed from their vocation.

Crime in Naples[edit]

As Archbishop in 2007 he called on "the youth of Italy's murder capital to unsheathe [their] courage and hand over their knives in church, anonymously and without penalty".[5]


  1. ^ "Vatican appoints seasoned diplomat to direct church's worldwide missionary work". Malaysia Star. AP. 20 May 2006. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Corruzione, indagati Sepe e Lunardi" Archived 23 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine., La Stampa, 19 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Cardinal may be witness in 'favours' case". Irish Times. 19 June 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Michele Giordano
Archbishop of Naples
20 May 2006–present
Preceded by
Jozef Tomko
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Succeeded by
Ivan Dias