Francesco Coccopalmerio

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His Eminence
Francesco Coccopalmerio
President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Appointed 15 February 2007
Predecessor Julián Herranz Casado
Other posts
  • Cardinal-Deacon of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami
  • Titular Archbishop of Coeliana
Ordination 28 June 1962
by Pope Paul VI
Consecration 22 May 1993
by Carlo Maria Martini
Created Cardinal 18 February 2012
by Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Birth name Francesco Coccopalmerio
Born (1938-03-06) 6 March 1938 (age 78)
San Giuliano Milanese
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Auxiliary Bishop of Milan (1993–2007)
  • Titular Bishop of Coeliana (1993–2007)
Motto Iustus Ut Palma Florebit
Coat of arms
Styles of
Francesco Coccopalmerio
Coat of arms of Francesco Coccopalmerio.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Emience
Informal style Cardinal

Francesco Coccopalmerio (6 March 1938) is the current president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 15 February 2007.

Early life[edit]

He received a licentiate in theology in 1963. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a Diploma in Moral Theology. In 1976 he obtained a Doctorate in Law at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.

He held positions in the Archdiocese of Milan until 1994. He was professor of Canon Law at the Faculty of Theology in northern Italy from 1966 to 1999. Since 1981, he was Professor in the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Milan[edit]

On 10 April 1993 Pope John Paul II appointed Coccopalmerio to be an Auxiliary Bishop of Milan with the titular see of Coeliana. He was consecrated on 22 May of that year. He is one of the Italian episcopate's lead voices on legal issues and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Since 2000, Coccopalmerio, is a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and was during this time the only auxiliary bishop in its membership all others being ordinaries.

Roman Curia[edit]

On 15 February 2007 he was raised to the level of Archbishop (pro hac vice) of the same see and appointed as President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

Coccopalmerio was said to have played a role in the removal of the excommunications of the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X.[1]

He was appointed as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 23 December 2010 for a five-year renewable term. Custom dicates that this will be renewed as necessary until his 80th birthday. In January 2011 the council began to circulate a draft of revisions to the penal section of the code of Canon Law, which governs crime and punishment in the church – including sexual abuse by clergy. The aim is to have a final draft ready for Benedict XVI by the end of 2012.

On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami. He will retain cardinalatial voting rights until 8 March 2018, his 80th birthday. On 21 April 2012 Cardinal Coccopalmerio was named a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Apostolic Signatura and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. On 22 December 2012 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[2] He will hold these memberships until his 80th birthday.

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.

After the election of Pope Francis in March 2013, Cardinal Coccopalmerio proposed to create a moderator of the Curia (moderator curiae), a prelate who would identify inefficiencies within the Curia and work for a solution. The idea was widely appreciated by the cardinals since many of them have experienced how slowly Rome responds to their requests and how the Curia’s bureaucracy can stall procedures for months.[3][4]

In 2013, having reached 75 years, Cardinal Coccopalmerio will submit his age induced resignation to the Pope.

"We want to make this delicate material more accessible, more understandable and easier for bishops to apply," Cardinal Coccopalmerio, told the Vatican newspaper, In the interview published July 24 2014 the cardinal said his office has been working since 2008 to revise "Book VI: Sanctions in the Church,". The penalties and punishments offered by church law should be applied, he said. "In the face of a negative action, which harms the good of a person and therefore the good of the church, penal law expects a reaction, that is the pastor inflicting a canonical penalty," the cardinal said. If a bishop does not react by imposing a punishment on a priest guilty of the crime of sexual abuse, he said, "in some way that would be, or would seem to be, consenting to the evil committed. A negative act necessarily must be condemned; it requires a reaction."[5]

In 2015 Cardinal Coccopalmerio, questioned the scope of the authority given to the Secretariat for the Economy and its prefect, Cardinal Pell. These questions involved not the demand for transparency in all financial operations, but the consolidation of management under the Secretariat for the Economy.[6][7]


  • Describing the code he said: "it is not just a collection of norms created by the will of ecclesiastical legislators," it "indicates the duties and rights inherent to the faithful and to the structure of the Church as instituted by Christ."


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Julián Herranz Casado
President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
15 February 2007–incumbent
Succeeded by