Marcello Semeraro

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Marcello Semeraro
Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Semeraro in 2017.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
SeeSanta Maria in Domnica
Appointed15 October 2020
PredecessorGiovanni Angelo Becciu
Other post(s)
Ordination8 September 1971
by Francesco Minerva
Consecration29 September 1998
by Cosmo Francesco Ruppi
Created cardinal28 November 2020
by Francis
Personal details
Marcello Semeraro

(1947-12-22) 22 December 1947 (age 76)
Previous post(s)
Alma materPontifical Lateran University
MottoIn spiritu seminare
Coat of arms

Marcello Semeraro (born 22 December 1947) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints since October 2020. He was previously Bishop of Albano and secretary to the group of cardinals named by Pope Francis to advise him.

Pope Francis raised him to the rank of cardinal on 28 November 2020.


Semeraro was born in Monteroni di Lecce, Province of Lecce, Italy. He was ordained to the priesthood on 8 September 1971. He received his Doctor of Theology degree in 1980 from the Pontifical Lateran University. On 25 July 1998 he was named Bishop of Oria. He was consecrated on 29 September 1998 by Archbishop Cosmo Francesco Ruppi with Archbishops Domenico Caliandro and Donato Negro as co-consecrators.

He taught at the Pontifical Lateran University in 2001. Pope John Paul II chose him as Special Secretary of the 2001 Synod of Bishops,[1] which considered the role of the bishops in contemporary society. That Synod's final statement pointed to social injustice as the root cause of terrorism and decried third world debt and "the enduring drama of hunger and extreme poverty". Semeraro commented: "There is a strong will to dismantle the image of bishops as men of power and to reinstitute the image of bishops as men of service."[2]

On 1 October 2004 he was named Bishop of Albano.

He is a Consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy and the Italian Episcopal Conference (IEC), and a member of the IEC Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith.

On 4 May 2007 he was elected president of the administrative board of the IEC newspaper Avvenire, in place of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, who had been elected president of the IEC.

In June 2010, he became president of the IEC Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith.

On 13 April 2013 Pope Francis appointed him secretary of the commission of cardinals appointed to advise him on the government of the Church and the organization of the Roman Curia.[3]

On 4 November 2013, Pope Francis appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Exarchic Monastery and Territorial Abbacy of Saint Mary of Grottaferrata.[4]

In a 2017 interview, Semeraro described the work of the Council of Cardinals: listening, reflecting, and verifying. The Council, he said, listens to the contributions of the Church; reflects on those contributions, and looks into the details of them, considering the best way of going forward. It then makes proposals to the Pope; as Semeraro explained, the Council has a consultative role.[5]

On 15 October 2020, Pope Francis appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[6]

On 25 October 2020, Pope Francis announced he would raise him to the rank of cardinal at a consistory scheduled for 28 November 2020.[7] At that consistory, Francis made him Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica.[8] On 16 December he was named a member of the Congregation for Oriental Churches and the Dicastery for Communications.[9]


  • (in Italian) Mistero, comunione e missione - Manuale di ecclesiologia (Bologna, 2004)[10]
  • (in Italian) Dalla Parte del Padre (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010)[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "X Ordinary General Assembly (30 September-27 October 2001)". Synod of Bishops. Holy See. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  2. ^ Henneberger, Melinda (28 October 2001). "Social Justice And Terror Offer Bishops Tough Issue". New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  3. ^ O'Connell, Gerard (14 April 2013). "Pope Francis sets up a group of eight cardinals to advise him". La Stampa: Vatican Insider. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 04.11.2013" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  5. ^ Interview with Council Secretary
  6. ^ "Nomina del Prefetto della Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi". Bolletino sala Stampa della Santa Sede. 15 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  7. ^ O'Connell, Gerard (25 October 2020). "Pope Francis names 13 new cardinals, including Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington D.C." America. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Concistoro Ordinario Pubblico: Assegnazione dei Titoli, 28.11.2020". Holy See Press Office (in Italian). 28 November 2020. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 16.12.2020" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 16 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Nota al testo di M. Semeraro, "Mistero, comunione e missione"" (in Italian). La Casa di Miriam Torino. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  11. ^ Dalla Parte del Padre (in Italian). Libreria del Santo. Retrieved 15 April 2013.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Oria
25 July 1998 – 1 October 2004
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Albano Laziale
1 October 2004 – 15 October 2020
Succeeded by
Vincenzo Viva
Preceded by Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
15 October 2020 – present
Preceded by Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica
28 November 2020 – present