Lorenzo Baldisseri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
His Eminence
Lorenzo Baldisseri
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri.JPG
See Sant’Anselmo all’Aventino
Appointed 21 September 2013
Predecessor Nikola Eterovic
Other posts
Ordination 29 June 1963
by Ugo Camozzo
Consecration 7 March 1992
by Angelo Sodano
Created Cardinal 22 February 2014
by Pope Francis
Rank Cardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Birth name Lorenzo Baldisseri
Born (1940-09-29) 29 September 1940 (age 75)
Barga, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Titular Archbishop of Diocletiana (1992-2014)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti (1992-1995)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay (1995-1999)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to India (1999-2002)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Nepal (1999-2002)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil (2002-2012)
  • Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops (2012-2013)
  • Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals (2012-2014)
Alma mater University of Perugia, Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Pontifical Lateran University
Motto itinere laete servire domino
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Lorenzo Baldisseri
Coat of arms of Lorenzo Baldisseri.svg
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Lorenzo Baldisseri[pronunciation?] (born 29 September 1940, in Pisa) is an Italian cardinal. He has been the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops since his appointment was announced by Pope Francis on 21 September 2013. He had previously served as Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.[1][2]


Ordained in 1963, Baldisseri studied at the Pontifical Lateran University, the University of Perugia from 1970 to 1973. He earned a doctorate in canon law, with a thesis entitled: “The Nunciature in Tuscany”. In 1971 he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy -.[3] He was assigned to Guatemala as part of the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. He worked in many other areas of the world before, in 1992, he was relocated to Haiti when Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Nuncio.[4] At the same time he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Diocletiana. Subsequent assignments include Paraguay (1995-1999), India (2000-2002) and Brazil (2002-2012).

The Congregation for Bishops, which he serves as secretary, oversees the selection of new bishops that are not in mission territories or those areas that come under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches who deal with the Eastern Catholics, pending papal approval. It also schedules the papal audiences required quinquennially for bishops and arranges the creation of new dioceses. Traditionally, the secretary of the Congregation for Bishops is also secretary of the College of Cardinals. On 7 March 2012 he was appointed to this role in which he served until 28 January 2014.[5][6]

He served as secretary of the 2013 conclave as a result of his role of secretary of the College of Cardinals. It was first reported by Brazilian journalist Filipe Domingues, for the daily "O Estado de S. Paulo", that Archbishop Baldisseri received the cardinalitial zucchetto from Pope Francis at the end of that conclave.[7] Radio Vaticano, Portuguese section, officially confirmed the information in the following day.[8] Traditionally, if the conclave secretary received the new pope's cardinal skullcup, it meant he would be made cardinal at an upcoming consistory. This was an old tradition that had last been practiced by Pope John XXIII in 1958, when he placed his skullcap on the head of Monsignor Alberto di Jorio, who was secretary of the conclave, creating him a cardinal formally in December of that year.

Archbishop Baldisseri is the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops since his appointment was announced by Pope Francis on 21 September 2013. On 16 December 2013 he was appointed as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.[9] He was created cardinal on 22 February 2014 with the title of Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Anselmo all'Aventino. In October 2013 Archbishop Baldisseri, has asked national bishops' conferences around the world to conduct a wide-ranging poll of Catholics asking for their opinions on church teachings on contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce.[10]

Baldisseri asked the episcopal conferences to distribute the poll "immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received." The poll, which comes in a questionnaire sent to national bishops' conferences globally in preparation for a Vatican synod on the family next October, is the first time the church's central hierarchy has asked for such input from grass-roots Catholics since at least the establishment of the synod system following the Second Vatican Council. The upcoming synod, which Pope Francis announced is to be held Oct. 5-19, 2014, on the theme "Pastoral Challenges of the family in the context of evangelization."

The Irish,[11] Canadian[12] and Maltese[13] Bishops released results.

In May 2014 in an interview with Belgian newspaper De Standaard, Cardinal Baldisseri says it is time to update Church marriage doctrine, for example in connection with divorce, the situation of divorcees and people who are in civil partnerships. His comments will appear in an exclusive interview with the Christian weekly magazine Tertio, published on Wednesday. "The Church is not timeless, she lives amidst the vicissitudes of history and the Gospel must be known and experienced by people today," Cardinal Baldisseri says. "It is in the present that the message should be, with all respect for the integrity from whom the message has been received. We now have two synods to treat this complex theme of the family and I believe that these dynamics in two movements will allow a more adequate response to the expectations of the people", says the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.[14]

In an interview Cardinal Baldisseri said that the structure of the upcoming extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will be shorter than a usual synod and will include new rules aimed at helping the bishops really grapple with the issues together, said the general secretary of the synod. "We want a frank, open, civilized discussion,". The extraordinary synod will meet at the Vatican Oct. 5-19, bringing together the presidents of national bishops' conferences, the heads of Eastern Catholic churches and Vatican officials. The world Synod of Bishops, which will include more bishops—many elected by their peers—will meet at the Vatican Oct. 4-25, 2015, to continue the discussion on pastoral approaches to the challenges facing families today.[15]

The topics raised in the questionnaire included contraception, divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage, premarital sex and in vitro fertilization. Some responses questioned the church's teaching or encouraged greater understanding of people who cannot always live up to that teaching. Cardinal Baldisseri said that the bishops "must recognize that the faithful perceive the truth" about the Gospel and its values and their input cannot be ignored. "But the bishops have the responsibility and authority to discern ways to apply the constant teaching of the church," he said. The big change from past synods is that the voting members of the extraordinary synod will be asked to submit their presentations in writing at least two weeks before the meeting opens, the cardinal said."This is not to limit the discussion, but to help organize it," he said. The report opening the synod, which used to be a rephrasing of the synod working document, now will be a first summary of the bishops' submissions, he said.[15]

In September 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

In October 2014 during a press conference revealing the official working calendar for the Synod of bishops, he said “The Synod is about family, not divorce. Let's not monopolize it with Western problems,” Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said Oct. 3 in response to a question surrounding the topic of divorced and remarried Catholics. “We need to present the beauty of the family to the world” and “we want to walk and view the global challenges to find an answer in the light of the Gospel.” Reflecting on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization,” the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family will kick-off with a public Mass presided over by Pope Francis this Sunday, and will culminate with the beatification of Pope Paul VI, institutor of the synod of bishops, by the Pope on Oct. 19.[16]

In September 2015 he submitted his age induced resignation as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops to Pope Francis.

See also[edit]


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Giuseppe Leanza
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
15 January 1992–6 April 1995
Succeeded by
Christophe Pierre
Preceded by
José Sebastián Laboa Gallego
Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay
6 April 1995–19 June 1999
Succeeded by
Antonio Lucibello
Preceded by
Georg Zur
as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio
Apostolic Nuncio to India
19 June 1999–12 November 2002
Succeeded by
Pedro López Quintana
Apostolic Nuncio to Nepal
23 June 1999–12 November 2002
Preceded by
Alfio Rapisarda
Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil
12 November 2002–11 January 2012
Succeeded by
Giovanni d’Aniello
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Manuel Monteiro de Castro
Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops
11 January 2012–21 September 2013
Succeeded by
Ilson de Jesus Montanari
Secretary of the College of Cardinals
7 March 2012–28 January 2014
Preceded by
Nikola Eterović
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
21 September 2013–present