Leonardo Sandri

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His Eminence
Leonardo Sandri
Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
BISHOP card leonardo sandri 2014.jpg
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, on 11th October 2014, to the Chair of Saint Peter.
Appointed 9 June 2007
Predecessor Ignatius Daoud
Other posts Cardinal-Bishop of Santi Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari
Orders
Ordination 2 December 1967
by Juan Carlos Aramburu
Consecration 11 October 1997
by Angelo Sodano
Created cardinal 24 November 2007
by Pope Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Deacon (2007-18)
Cardinal-Priest (2018)
Cardinal-Bishop (from 2018)
Personal details
Birth name Leonardo Sandri
Born (1943-11-18) 18 November 1943 (age 74)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nationality Argentine
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto Ille fidelis (He [remains] faithful)
2 Timothy 2:13
Coat of arms Leonardo Sandri's coat of arms

Leonardo Sandri (born 18 November 1943) is an Argentine Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He has been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches since June 2007 and a cardinal since November of that year. He served in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1974 to 1991, in several overseas assignments including as permanent observer of the Holy See before the Organization of American States from 1989 to 1991, and in Rome as Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State from 1977 to 1989.

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Sandri was born in Buenos Aires to Antonio Enrico Sandri and Nella Righi, who had emigrated to Argentina from Ala, a village in Trentino in Italy.[1] He studied humanities, philosophy and theology at the Metropolitan Seminary of Buenos Aires, and earned a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. On 2 December 1967 he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Juan Carlos Aramburu.[2]

He then served as parochial vicar of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in Villa Urquiza and as secretary to Archbishop Aramburu until 1970, when he was sent to further his studies in Rome. He there attended the Pontifical Gregorian University, from where he obtained a doctorate in canon law, and the Pontifical Latin American College.[3] In 1971, he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains papal diplomats.[1]

Diplomat[edit]

In 1974, Sandri became an official of the Apostolic Nunciature in Madagascar and Mauritius, which also serves as the Apostolic Delegation in the islands of Comoros and Réunion in the Indian Ocean.[1]

He then served in the Vatican Secretariat of State, as secretary of the Substitute for General Affairs, from 1977 to 1989; and in the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States as permanent observer of the Holy See before the Organization of American States, from 1989 to 1991.

He became regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household on 22 August 1991 and assessor of the Section for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State on 2 April 1992.[3]

On 22 July 1997, Sandri was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela and Titular Archbishop of Aemona by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 11 October from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, with Cardinal Aramburu and Archbishop Giovanni Battista Re serving as co-consecrators, at St. Peter's Basilica.[2] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Ille Fidelis", meaning, "He (Christ) remains faithful" (2 Timothy 2:13). After two years in Venezuela, he briefly served as Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico from 1 March to 16 September 2000, when he was named Substitute for General Affairs.[2]

Coat of arms of Cardinal Sandri

As Substitute, Sandri held the third most important position within the Vatican (after the Cardinal Secretary of State and the Pope himself), serving essentially as the chief of staff of the Secretariat of State.[4]

As John Paul II's health declined, he would read aloud the texts that the Pope could not deliver himself. On the evening of 2 April 2005 he announced the Pope's death from Saint Peter's Square, saying "We all feel like orphans this evening."[5][6]

Congregation for the Oriental Churches[edit]

On 9 June 2007, Sandri was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches by Pope Benedict XVI.[7] Succeeding Ignatius I Daoud, he heads the curial congregation that handles matters regarding the Eastern Catholic Churches and is the ex officio Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

Sandri, who visited the Holy Land in February 2008,[8] has lamented the emigration of Christians from that region, saying, "This lack of peace makes Christians emigrate and leave their land behind. So we're left with a purely geological, physical presence of Jesus, and not with the presence of those that grew with him and lived his faith, and that continue to follow him today like disciples of his very homeland."[9] Some have attributed the delay in the canonization process for John Paul II to Sandri's apparent reluctance to testify in the effort.[10]

In November 2014 the Vatican lifted its ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in Eastern Catholic churches outside their traditional territories, including in the United States, Canada and Australia. Cardinal Sandri signed the decree 14 June 2014.[11]

Cardinal[edit]

Styles of
Leonardo Sandri
Coat of arms of Leonardo Sandri.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of San Carlo ai Catinari in the consistory of 24 November 2007.[3] He delivered the message of thanksgiving to the Pope on behalf of the new cardinals on that occasion.[12]

He was mentioned in the press as papabile, a possible candidate for election to the papacy at the time of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2013.[13]

Sandri is also a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.[1] On 2 March 2010 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for Bishops.[14] On 31 May 2011 he was appointed a member of the Apostolic Signatura.[15] On 12 June 2012 Cardinal Sandri was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education.[16]

Cardinal Sandri, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, was named by Pope Benedict XVI as one of two co-presidents of the Special Synod of Bishops for the Middle East held at the Vatican in October 2010.

He is eligible to participate in a papal conclave until he reaches the age of 80 on 18 November 2023. He speaks English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.[3]

In April 2005 Archbishop Sandri was awarded Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.[17]

Pope Francis raised him to the rank of Cardinal Bishop effective 28 June 2018.[18]

Views[edit]

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri

Jewish-Christian relations[edit]

Cardinal Sandri was present at Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Yad Vashem memorial and commented that his speech was a source of joy for both Christians and Jews.[19]

Iraqi Christians[edit]

Sandri has said that although the regime of Saddam Hussein was dictatorial, it is undeniable that Iraqi clergy and laity felt more secure under his regime and that their liturgical life went on undisturbed.[20]

Religious illiteracy[edit]

Cardinal Sandri has praised L'Osservatore Romano and the Vatican Publishing House for their work in combating religious, biblical and ecclesial illiteracy.[21]


Knowledge of Sex Abuse[edit]

On September 7, 2018, Father Boniface Ramsey, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church Yorkville in New York City, revealed to the Catholic News Service a secret letter which Sandri wrote to him concerning sex abuse committed against seminaries by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.[22] Sandri, who was then serving as the Vatican substitute for general affairs, stated in the letter, dated October 11, 2006,[22] “I ask with particular reference to the serious matters involving some of the students of the Immaculate Conception Seminary, which in November 2000 you were good enough to bring confidentially to the attention of the then Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, the late Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo.”[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "SANDRI Card. Leonardo". Holy See. 
  2. ^ a b c "Leonardo Cardinal Sandri". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. [self-published source]
  3. ^ a b c d "SANDRI, Leonardo". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. [self-published source]
  4. ^ O'Connell, Gerard (11 June 2007). "Key Vatican appointment signals that Benedict's chosen team fully in place". UCA News. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Pope John Paul II dies in Vatican". BBC. 3 April 2005. 
  6. ^ "World Mourns Passing of Pope John Paul II". Fox News. 3 April 2005. 
  7. ^ "RINUNCIA DEL PREFETTO DELLA CONGREGAZIONE PER LE CHIESE ORIENTALI E NOMINA DEL SUCCESSORE". Holy See. 9 June 2007. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Vatican Prelate Visiting Eastern Catholics in Holy Land". Catholic World News. 27 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Vatican asks for help in stopping exodus of Christians from Holy Land". Rome Reports. 8 April 2009. 
  10. ^ Roberts, Tom (3 June 2009). "What's behind delay in JPII canonization?". National Catholic Reporter. 
  11. ^ Ieraci, Laura (17 November 2014). "Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholics in diaspora". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  12. ^ "Indirizzo di Omaggio del Card. Leonardo Sandri". Holy See (in Italian). 24 November 2007. 
  13. ^ "Pope: Runners and riders". BBC News. BBC. 
  14. ^ Press Office of the Holy See[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ NOMINA DI MEMBRI DEL SUPREMO TRIBUNALE DELLA SEGNATURA APOSTOLICA Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  17. ^ http://www.quirinale.it/elementi/DettaglioOnorificenze.aspx?decorato=161542
  18. ^ "Rescriptum ex Audientia Ss.mi" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018. 
  19. ^ "Le pape à Yad Vashem : « un moment de grande émotion », pour le card. Sandri". Zenit (in French). 15 May 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2018. 
  20. ^ "Christians are in danger of disappearing from Iraq". 30 Days (Interview). 1 April 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2018. 
  21. ^ "ZENIT". Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  22. ^ a b c https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/09/07/letter-confirms-vatican-officials-knew-of-mccarrick-allegations-in-2000/

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Oriano Quilici
Apostolic Nunico to Venezuela
22 July 1997–1 March 2000
Succeeded by
André Pierre Louis Dupuy
Preceded by
Justo Mullor García
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico
1 March 2000–16 September 2000
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Bertello
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giovanni Battista Re
Substitute for General Affairs
16 September 2000–1 July 2007
Succeeded by
Fernando Filoni
Preceded by
Ignatius Daoud
Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
1 July 2007–present
Incumbent