Giuseppe Bertello

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Giuseppe Bertello
President of the Governorate of Vatican City State
Giuseppe Bertello 2016.jpg
Cardinal Bertello in July 2016
Appointed1 October 2011
PredecessorGiovanni Lajolo
Other post(s)
Ordination29 June 1966
by Albino Mensa
Consecration28 November 1987
by Agostino Casaroli
Created cardinal18 February 2012
by Benedict XVI
Personal details
Born (1942-10-01) 1 October 1942 (age 78)
Foglizzo, Italy
DenominationRoman Catholicism
Previous post(s)Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Benin (1987–1990)
Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Ghana (1987–1990)
Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Togo (1987–1990)
Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda (1990–1995)
Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations in Geneva (1995–2000)
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico (2000–2006)
Apostolic Nuncio to Italy (2006–2011)
Apostolic Nuncio to San Marino (2006–2011)
Alma materPontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
MottoNarrabo nomen tuum
Coat of armsGiuseppe Bertello's coat of arms
Styles of
Giuseppe Bertello
Coat of arms of Giuseppe Bertello.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Giuseppe Bertello (born 1 October 1942) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church, a cardinal since 2012, who has been the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State since October 2011. He worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1971 to 2011, became an archbishop in 1987, held appointments as Nuncio to several countries, including Rwanda, Mexico, and Italy, and was the Holy See's representative to a number of international organizations.

Early life[edit]

Bertello was ordained a priest on 29 June 1966 by Bishop Albino Mensa. He earned a licence in pastoral theology and a doctorate in canon law. He went on to attend the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy where he studied diplomacy.

Diplomatic service[edit]

He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1971, and worked until 1973 in the nunciature to the Sudan, which was also the apostolic delegation for the Red Sea region. From 1973 to 1976, he was secretary at the nunciature to Turkey, becoming a Chaplain of His Holiness on 9 February 1976. He was secretary in the nunciature to Venezuela from 1976 to 1981, and served with the rank of auditor in the Office of the Organization of the United Nations in Geneva from 1981 to 1987. In 1987, he headed the delegation of observers of the Holy See to the Conference of Foreign Ministers of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in Pyongyang, North Korea, where he was the first Catholic priest to visit the small Catholic community of that country, isolated since the Korean War.

On 17 October 1987, Pope John Paul II named him Titular Archbishop of Urbs Salvia and appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Togo and Benin. He was consecrated on 28 November by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, with Bishops Albino Mensa and Luigi Bettazzi as the principal co-consecrators. On 12 January 1990, he was transferred to Rwanda, where he supported human rights organizations and encouraged Catholic bishops to unite as forceful advocates for ending civil war.[1] He remained at his post and traveled into dangerous regions to bear witness to the Tutsi Genocide in 1994.[2] In March 1995, John Paul II appointed him Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva from 1997, with the same role at the World Trade Organization. Upon his appointment Bertello negotiated the status of the Holy See as permanent observer in the World Trade Organization, becoming its first representative that year.[3]

On 27 December 2000, John Paul named him Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico.[4] On 30 July 2002, he received the Pope arriving on an apostolic visit in the country for the canonisation of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. On 11 January 2006, Bertello was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Italy and the Republic of San Marino by Pope Benedict XVI.[5]

In 2007, Bertello was awarded the Grand Cross of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle and on 4 October 2008 he was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.[6]

Curial work[edit]

On 3 September 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bertello President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, effective 1 October 2011, his 69th birthday.[7] On 6 January 2012, Pope Benedict announced that Bertello would be made a cardinal.[8][9] He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia on 18 February.[10] On 21 April Benedict appointed him to a five-year term as a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for Bishops, and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.[11]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.[12]

On 13 April 2013 he was appointed to he Council of Cardinal Advisers established by Francis to advise him in devising a plan for restructuring the Roman Curia.[13] Francis made him a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See on 10 November 2014[14] and a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 3 December 2016.[15] Francis also renewed his appointment at the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State to 2021.[16]

On 15 October 2020, Pope Francis renewed his term on the Council of Cardinal Advisers.[17]


  1. ^ Linden, Ian (2009). "The Church and Genocide". In Baum, Gregory; Wells, Harold (eds.). The Reconciliation of Peoples: Challenge to the Churches. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 53. ISBN 9781606088005. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. ^ Maillard, Sébastien (29 September 2013). "Giuseppe Bertello, l'homme de confiance". La Croix (in French). Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Lo Stato Vaticano Entra Nel WTO". La Repubblica (in Italian). 17 July 1997. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 27.12.2000" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 27 December 2000. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 11.01.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Bertello S.E. Mons. Giuseppe". Presidenza della Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 03.09.2011" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  8. ^ Galeazzi, Giacomo (6 January 2012). "Oltre quota 120". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  9. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (6 January 2012). "Pope names 22 new cardinals, including Dolan and O'Brien". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Assegnazione dei Titoli e delle Diaconie ai nuovi Cardinali" [Assignment of Titles and Deaconries to the new Cardinals] (in Italian). Ufficio delle Celebrazioni Liturgiche del Sommo Pontefice. 18 February 2012. Archived from the original on 21 July 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 21.04.2012" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  12. ^ "List of Cardinal Electors". Zenit. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Comunicato della Segreteria di Stato, 13.04.2013" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 10.11.2014" (Press release) (in Italian). 10 November 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 03.12.2016" (Press release) (in Italian). 3 December 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  16. ^ "With new cardinals on the horizon, what's next for the Roman Curia? | Angelus News". 31 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 15.10.2020" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 15 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
José Roberto López Londoño
Archbishop of Urbs Salvia pro hac vice
Succeeded by
Georg Gänswein
Preceded by
Umberto Betti
Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Giovanni Battista Morandini
Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda
Succeeded by
Juliusz Janusz
Preceded by
Paul Fouad Tabet
Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations in Geneva
Succeeded by
Diarmuid Martin
Preceded by
Leonardo Sandri
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico
Succeeded by
Christophe Pierre
Preceded by
Paolo Romeo
Apostolic Nuncio to Italy
Succeeded by
Adriano Bernardini
Apostolic Nuncio to San Marino
Political offices
Preceded by
Giovanni Lajolo
President of the Governorate of the Vatican
President of the Pontifical Commission of the Vatican