Giuseppe Bertello

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His Eminence
Giuseppe Bertello
President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State
Giuseppe Bertello.png
Appointed 1 October 2011
Predecessor Giovanni Lajolo
Other posts
Ordination 29 June 1966
by Albino Mensa
Consecration 28 November 1987
by Agostino Casaroli
Created Cardinal 18 February 2012
by Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Birth name Giuseppe Bertello
Born (1942-10-01) 1 October 1942 (age 72)
Foglizzo, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Benin (1987–1991)
  • Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Ghana (1987–1991)
  • Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Togo (1987–1991)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda (1991–1995)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations in Geneva (1995–2000)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to México (2000–2007)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Italy (2007–2011)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to San Marino (2007–2011)
Motto narrabo nomen tuum
Coat of arms
Styles of
Giuseppe Bertello
Coat of arms of Giuseppe Bertello.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Giuseppe Bertello (born 1 October 1942) is a Catholic prelate and Cardinal currently serving as the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State.[1]

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 be able 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 Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli, with Bishops Albino Mensa and Luigi Bettazzi as the principal co-consecrators. On 12 January 1991, he was transferred to Rwanda, where 1994 saw the Genocide against the Tutsi.

In March 1995, John Paul II appointed him to the United Nations in Geneva. He held the post of Permanent Observer of 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 ingress of the Holy See as permanent observer, in the World Trade Organization, becoming its first representative.

On 27 December 2000, the Pope entrusted him with another task, that of Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico. On 30 July 2002, he received the Pope arriving on an apostolic visit in the country for the canonisation of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. In 2007, Bertello was appointed to the prestigious post of apostolic nuncio to Italy and the Republic of San Marino by Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2007 he was awarded with the Grand Cross of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle and in 2008 Archbishop Bertello was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.[2]

Curial work[edit]

On 3 September 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Bertello President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, offices assumed on 1 October 2011, his 69th birthday. On 6 January 2012, Pope Benedict announced that Archbishop Bertello and 21 others would be created cardinals in a consistory on 18 February. He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia on 18 February. On 21 April Cardinal Bertello was appointed, for the usual five-year period,[3] a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

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

On 13 April 2013 he was appointed to a group cardinals established by Pope Francis, exactly a month after his election to advise him and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, 'Pastor Bonus'. The other cardinals are: Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa from Chile; Oswald Gracias from India; Reinhard Marx from Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; George Pell from Australia; Cardinal Sean O'Malley from the United States; and Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga from Honduras. Bishop Marcello Semeraro will act as secretary for the group. The group's first meeting has been scheduled for 1–3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.[4]


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Paul Fouad Tabet
Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations in Geneva
March 1995 – 27 December 2000
Succeeded by
Diarmuid Martin
Preceded by
Leonardo Sandri
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico
27 December 2000 – 11 January 2007
Succeeded by
Christophe Pierre
Preceded by
Paolo Romeo
Apostolic Nuncio to Italy and San Marino
11 January 2007 – 1 October 2011
Succeeded by
Adriano Bernardini
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giovanni Lajolo
President of the Governorate of the Vatican
1 October 2011–present
President of the Pontifical Commission of the Vatican
1 October 2011–present
Preceded by
Umberto Betti, OFM
Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia
18 February 2012–present
Preceded by
José Roberto López Londoño
Archbishop of Urbs Salvia pro hac vice
17 October 1987 – 18 February 2012
Succeeded by
Georg Gänswein