|President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||15 February 2007|
|Term ended||7 April 2018|
|Predecessor||Julián Herranz Casado|
|Ordination||28 June 1962|
by Pope Paul VI
|Consecration||22 May 1993|
by Carlo Maria Martini
|Created cardinal||18 February 2012|
by Pope Benedict XVI
|Birth name||Francesco Coccopalmerio|
|Born||6 March 1938|
San Giuliano Milanese, Kingdom of Italy
|Motto||Justus Ut Palma Florebit|
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Emience|
Francesco Coccopalmerio (6 March 1938) is an Italian cardinal. He was president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts from his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 15 February 2007 until his resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on 7 April 2018. He spent his early years in the Archdiocese of Milan and became an auxiliary bishop in 1993. He moved to the Roman Curia in 2000.
Coccopalmerio was born in San Giuliano Milanese, Italy, where his parents were living during World War II, on 6 March 1938 and raised in Sernio, his mother's home town. He was ordained a priest on 28 June 1962 by Giovanni Montini (later Pope Paul VI), then the archbishop of Milan. He received a licentiate in theology in 1963. He received a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1968. In 1976 he obtained a doctorate in law at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.
He held positions in the archdiocese of Milan until 1994. He was professor of canon law at the Faculty of Theology in northern Italy from 1966 to 1999. Since 1981, he has been a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
On 10 April 1993, Pope John Paul II appointed Coccopalmerio an auxiliary bishop of Milan with the titular see of Coeliana. He was consecrated bishop on 22 May of that year. Within the Italian Episcopal Conference, he is one of the leading voices on legal issues and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Since 2000, Coccopalmerio has been a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
On 15 February 2007, he was given the personal title of archbishop and appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.Since 2008, at the direction of Pope Benedict, one of his principal responsibilities has been the revision to procedures for handling clergy sex abuse and the applicable punishments. In 2014, he explained: "We want to make this delicate material more accessible, more understandable and easier for bishops to apply." At issue is "Book VI: Sanctions in the Church".
Coccopalmerio was reported to have been one of the senior cardinals who, in preparing to announce the lifting of the excommunications of four leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X in January 2009, failed to take account of recent reports that one of them, Bishop Richard Williamson, was a Holocaust denier.
He was appointed a five-year renewable term as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 23 December 2010.
On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI created him cardinal-deacon of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami.On 21 April 2012, Cardinal Coccopalmerio was named a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Apostolic Signatura, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. On 22 December 2012, he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He can hold these memberships until his 80th birthday.
At the Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization in October 2012, Coccopalmerio argued that ecumenical efforts to further unify Christians across sectarian lines could play a pivotal role in countering the ongoing "de-Christianization" of Europe by presenting "an extraordinary sign to Islam" of Christian solidarity.
In the meetings of cardinals that preceded the papal conclave of March 2013,Cardinal Coccopalmerio proposed to create a moderator of the Curia, a prelate who would identify inconsistencies and devise methods of ensuring consistency among departments of the Roman Curia that sometimes contradict one another. The idea was widely appreciated by some cardinals but some were wary that such an appointment would act as a "vice-pope" that would effectively set Vatican and Curial policy or duplicate the already considerable authority of the Substitute in the Secretariate of State, who already fills the role of the Pope's "chief of staff".
In advance of that conclave, he said: "It's time to look outside Italy and Europe, in particular considering Latin America."He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis, and was mentioned in the Italian press as a possible pope. According to one report, he received more votes in the conclave than any other Italian cardinal because of his proposal for reform of the Roman Curia.
On 27 August 2014, Pope Francis named him to a working group tasked with speeding up the process for assessing the nullity of a marriage. Its work resulted in changes implemented by Francis in September 2015, which eliminated obligatory appeals, eased the dismissal of appeals in certain instances, and instituted a shorter process in some cases.
Following the first session of the Synod on the Family held in October 2014, he expressed disappointment that not all the participants addressed the pastoral needs of those "who are suffering through problems connected to their relationships" and instead "showed that they simply wanted to reaffirm the doctrine". He provided an example:
We have both doctrine and people to consider. Let's consider a very problematic topic, extremely current: the topic of homosexual couples. If I meet a same-sex couple, I observe right away that their relationship is illicit: That is what the doctrine says, and I reaffirm that with absolute certainty. Nevertheless, if I stop at doctrine, I don't see the people anymore. But if I observe that two people really do love each other, say they practice charity towards the needy...then I can also say that, while their relation remains illicit, in those two people there emerge positive elements. Instead of closing my eyes to those positive aspects, I want to underline them. It is a matter of being objective and recognizing, objectively, the positive points in a given relationship, that is illicit in itself.
He also endorsed the idea of access to the Eucharist for some Catholics in irregular marital situations. He offered the example of a woman who lives with a man who has three small children by a wife who abandoned him. He imagined her coming to Communion "during her father’s funeral Mass, or the day of one of the children’s confirmation". Fearing the consequences of asking her to abandon the man and the children, he asked: "So would it really be totally impossible to admit her to communion? In admitting her to communion, would I be going against the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage? I really don’t think so: In fact, this has to do with a case of exception."
In January 2015, Pope Francis named Coccopalmerio to a new board of review within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that reviews appeals from clergy found guilty of sexual abuse of minors.
In 2015, Cardinal Coccopalmerio questioned the scope of the authority given to the Secretariat for the Economy and its prefect Cardinal Pell. These questions involved not the demand for transparency in all financial operations, but the consolidation of management under the Secretariat for the Economy.
In 2017, he said provisions of Amoris Laetitia allow people in irregular marriage access to the sacraments only if they recognize their situation is sinful and desire to change it. The fact that such a couple also believes changing the situation immediately by splitting would cause more harm and forgoing sexual relations would threaten their current relationship does not rule out the possibility of receiving sacramental absolution and Communion.
A month after Coccopalmerio's 80th birthday, Pope Francis accepted his resignation and named Filippo Iannone to succeed him.
In June 2017,news surfaced that at some point during the month, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, the private secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, had been arrested by Vatican police after illegally using cocaine at a gay orgy party at his (Capozzi's) Vatican apartment. He was afterwards hospitalized at the Roman Pius XI clinic so that he could detox. After that, he had a short period of retreat at a nearby monastery and then spent time at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome. Despite the fact that Capozzi resided in the apartment, the apartment was owned by Coccopalmerio. Prior to the arrest, Coccopalmerio had also recommended having Capozzi appointed as a Bishop. A Jerusalem Post article dated July 24, 2019 revealed that following his arrest, Capozzi was ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation therapy and was no longer in the Vatican, but rather a spiritual retreat somewhere in Italy.
In the October 2018 issue of the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz, Benjamin Leven, a German theologian and editor of the said journal reported that, according to his own sources, it was Cardinal Coccopalmerio who approached the Pope in favor of the child abuser Don Mauro Inzoli in order to have him partially reinstated as priest. Leven also alleged that Coccopalmerio is known in Rome for generally opposing the removal of culprit priests from the priesthood, which for him is akin to the “death penalty”.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.
Bernardin Gantin was a Beninese prelate of the Catholic Church who held senior positions in the Roman Curia for twenty years and the highest position in the College of Cardinals for nine years. His prominence in the hierarchy of the Church was unprecedented for an African and has been equaled by few non-Italians. He began his career in his native country first as an auxiliary bishop and then as archbishop of Cotonou. In 1971 he began his thirty-year career in the Curia. After he had spent several years in the role of senior assistant, he held a series of senior positions as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops
Dionigi Tettamanzi was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who was named a cardinal in 1998. He was Archbishop of Genoa from 1995 to 2002 and Archbishop of Milan from 2002 to 2011.
Angelo Scola is an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church, philosopher and theologian. He was Archbishop of Milan from 2011 to 2017. He had served as Patriarch of Venice from 2002 to 2011. He has been a cardinal since 2003 and a bishop since 1991.
Crescenzio Sepe is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been Archbishop of Naples since 2006. He served in the Roman Curia as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2001 to 2006. He was made a cardinal in 2001. Before that he spent 25 years in increasingly important positions in the Roman Curia.
Julián Herranz Casado is a Spanish Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts in the Roman Curia from 1994 to 2007, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.
Georg Gänswein is a German prelate of the Catholic Church, who Prefect of the Papal household, and personal secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He is a professor of canon law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He has held the titular position of Archbishop of Urbs Salvia since 2012.
Attilio Nicora was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Verona and President Emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. He served as President of the four-person Executive Board of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (FIA) from January 2011 until January 2014.
Carlo Caffarra was an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Bologna from 2003 until 2015, when he retired. His previous positions included President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family from 1981 to 1995 and Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio from 1995 to 2003. He was created a Cardinal in the consistory of 24 March 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Leonardo Sandri 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 1999 to 2007. On 24 January 2020, Pope Francis approved his election as Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Mauro Piacenza JCD is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2010, he has served as Penitentiary Major of the Apostolic Penitentiary since his appointment by Pope Francis on 21 September 2013. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 7 October 2010 to 21 September 2013. where he had been Secretary since 2007. At that Congregation, Pope Benedict XVI, according to one report, valued "his efficiency and in-depth knowledge of how the Congregation worked and its problems" and "his traditionalist ecclesiastical line of thought".
Stanisław Marian Ryłko is a Polish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He held positions in the Roman Curia beginning in 1987 and was president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 2003 to 2016. He was made a cardinal in 2007. He has been Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore since 28 December 2016.
Lluís Martínez i Sistach is a Spanish prelate of the Catholic Church. He is Archbishop emeritus of Barcelona, having served as archbishop there from 2004 to 2015. He has been a cardinal since 2007.
Gianfranco Ravasi is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2010, he has been President of the Pontifical Council for Culture since 3 September 2007. He headed Milan's Ambrosian Library from 1989 to 2007.
Giuseppe Bertello 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.
Paolo Sardi was an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church who spent his career in the Roman Curia. He was patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 2009 to 2014.
Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle is a Filipino cardinal of the Catholic Church who has been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since December 8, 2019. He was the 32nd Archbishop of Manila from 2011 to 2019. Tagle also serves as the president of Caritas International, a federation of Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations, and of the Catholic Biblical Federation.
Santos Abril y Castelló is a Spanish prelate of the Catholic Church. After a career in the diplomatic corps of the Holy See, he held a number of positions in the Roman Curia and from 2011 to 2016 was Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
Lorenzo Baldisseri is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who served as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops from 21 September 2013 until 15 September 2020. He was made a cardinal in 2014. He previously served as Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops after more than twenty years in the diplomatic service of the Holy See that included stints as Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Paraguay, India, Nepal, and Brazil.
The 2013 papal conclave was convened to elect a pope to succeed Pope Benedict XVI following his resignation on 28 February 2013. After the 115 participating cardinal-electors gathered, they set 12 March 2013 as the beginning of the conclave. On the fifth ballot, the conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He took the pontifical name of Francis.
|Catholic Church titles|
Herberto Celso Angelo
|— TITULAR —|
Titular Bishop of Cœliana
8 April 1993 – 15 February 2007
|Himself as Titular Archbishop|
|Himself as Titular Bishop||— TITULAR —|
Titular Archbishop of Cœliana
15 February 2007 – 18 February 2012
Paul Robert Sanchez
Julián Herranz Casado
| President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts |
15 February 2007 – 7 April 2018
|Titular church established|| Cardinal-Deacon of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami |
18 February 2012 –