Giacomo Biffi

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His Eminence
Giacomo Biffi
Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna
Giacomo Biffi.jpg
Archdiocese Bologna
See Bologna
Installed 19 April 1984
Term ended 16 December 2003
Predecessor Enrico Manfredini
Successor Carlo Caffarra
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni Evangelista e Petronio
Ordination 23 December 1950
by  Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, O.S.B.
Consecration 11 January 1976
by  Giovanni Colombo
Created Cardinal 25 May 1985
by Pope John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Giacomo Biffi
Born(1928-06-13)13 June 1928
Milan, Italy
Died 11 July 2015(2015-07-11) (aged 87)
Bologna, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Titular Bishop of Fidenae (1975-1984)
  • Auxiliary Bishop of Milan (1975-1984)
Motto Ubi Fides Ibi Libertas
Coat of arms Coat of arms of Giacomo Biffi.svg
Styles of
Giacomo Biffi
Coat of arms of Giacomo Biffi.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Bologna (Emeritus)

Giacomo Biffi (13 June 1928 – 11 July 2015) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, having served as archbishop there from 1984 to 2003. he was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bologna archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Bologna is a metropolitan archbishopric of the Catholic Church in northern Italy. The cathedra is in the cathedral church of San Pietro in Bologna. The current Archbishop is Matteo Zuppi who was installed in 2015.



Biffi was born in Milan and studied at the seminaries of the Archdiocese of Milan. He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, O.S.B., Archbishop of Milan, on 23 December 1950. From 1951 to 1960, Biffi taught dogmatic theology at the Seminary of Milan, also publishing numerous works on theology, catechetics and meditation. He received a doctorate in theology from the Faculty of Theology at Venegono in 1955; his thesis was entitled: La colpa e la libertà nell'odierna condizione umana.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, and divinity school are educational institutions for educating students in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to server as clergy, in academics, or in Christian ministry. The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries. In the West, the term now refers to Catholic educational institutes and has widened to include other Christian denominations and American Jewish institutions.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Milan is a metropolitan see of the Catholic Church in Italy which covers the areas of Milan, Monza, Lecco and Varese. It has long maintained its own Latin liturgical rite, the Ambrosian rite, which is still used in the greater part of the diocesan territory. Among its past archbishops, the better known are Saint Ambrose, Saint Charles Borromeo, Pope Pius XI and Saint Pope Paul VI.

From 1960 to 1975, he did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Milan, serving as a parish priest at Santi Martiri Anauniani in Legnano (1960–1969) and later at Sant'Andrea in Milan (1969–1975). Biffi became Episcopal Vicar for Culture in 1974, and a canon theologian of the metropolitan chapter of Milan on 1 February 1975. He also served as director of the Istituto Lombardo di Pastorale and the Commission for the Ambrosian Rite.

Pastor ordained leader of a Christian congregation

A pastor is an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. A pastor also gives advice and counsel to people from the community or congregation.

Legnano Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Legnano is an Italian town and comune with 60,282 inhabitants in the north-westernmost part of the Metropolitan City of Milan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from central Milan. It is crossed by the Olona river, and it is the 13th most populous town in Lombardy.

A vicar general is the principal deputy of the bishop of a diocese for the exercise of administrative authority and possesses the title of local ordinary. As vicar of the bishop, the vicar general exercises the bishop's ordinary executive power over the entire diocese and, thus, is the highest official in a diocese or other particular church after the diocesan bishop or his equivalent in canon law. The title normally occurs only in Western Christian churches, such as the Latin Church of the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Among the Eastern churches, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Kerala uses this title and remains an exception. The title for the equivalent officer in the Eastern churches is syncellus and protosyncellus.

On 7 December 1975, Biffi was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Milan and Titular Bishop of Fidenae by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on 11 January 1976 from Cardinal Giovanni Colombo, with Bishops Bernardo Citterio and Libero Tresoldi serving as co-consecrators. Within the Italian Episcopal Conference, he served on commissions for doctrine, catechetics, culture and liturgy.

Fidenae human settlement

Fidenae was an ancient town of Latium, situated about 8 km north of Rome on the Via Salaria, which ran between Rome and the Tiber. Its inhabitants were known as Fidenates. As the Tiber was the border between Etruria and Latium, the left-bank settlement of Fidenae represented an extension of Etruscan presence into Latium. The site of the arx of the ancient town was probably on the hill on which lies the contemporary Villa Spada, though no traces of early buildings or defences are to be seen; pre-Roman tombs are in the cliffs to the north. The later village lay at the foot of the hill on the eastern edge of the high-road, and its curia, with a dedicatory inscription to Marcus Aurelius by the Senatus Fidenatium, was excavated in 1889. Remains of other buildings may also be seen.

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Saint Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Giovanni Colombo Catholic cardinal

Giovanni Colombo was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Milan from 1963 to 1979, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.

Following the death of Enrico Manfredini, Biffi was named Archbishop of Bologna on 19 April 1984 and installed on the following 1 June. He was elected President of the Episcopal Conference of Emilia-Romagna on 7 July 1984. Pope John Paul II created him Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni Evangelista e Petronio in the consistory of 25 May 1985. Biffi preached the Lent spiritual exercises for the pope and Roman Curia in 1989. He retired from the governance of the archdiocese in December 2003 and was succeeded by Carlo Caffarra.

Enthronement Wikimedia disambiguation page

An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration, involving a person—usually a monarch or religious leader—being formally seated for the first time upon their throne. Enthronements may also feature as part of a larger coronation rite.

Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy

Emilia-Romagna is an administrative region of Northeast Italy comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. Its capital is Bologna. It has an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq mi), and about 4.4 million inhabitants.

Pope John Paul II 264th Pope of the Catholic Church, saint

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.

Biffi was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. According to a leaked diary, he received one vote on the fourth ballot.[ citation needed ] In 2008, he turned 80 and lost the right to participate in future conclaves. He died on 11 July 2015. [1]

Pope Benedict XVI 265th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a senior prelate of the Catholic Church who served as its head and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "Pope Emeritus" upon his resignation.


In 2000, Biffi told a Bologna conference that the Antichrist would most likely be a prominent philanthropist promoting the ideas of ecumenism, vegetarianism, and pacifism. [2] [3] Many of these predictions originate from the 19th century Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov, in whom Biffi is well-studied. [4] Biffi believed that ecumenicism promotes the dilution of Catholic doctrine (a view common among conservative Catholics) and thereby encourages the acceptance of the Antichrist. [5]

He also held views that, while conservative, are in agreement with the Catholic teaching on homosexual acts, freemasonry, and feminism.[ citation needed ] Biffi has stated that an "ideology of homosexuality" threatens to marginalize whoever disagrees with the homosexual agenda, [6] and that Catholics must prepare for persecution by homosexual activists and their allies. [7]

Cardinal Biffi also once said that the Italian government should favour Catholic immigrants to offset the number of Muslim immigrants to protect Italy's "national identity". [8] He has denounced journalists as "rats". [7]

In 2007, Biffi expounded on many of his views by publishing Memorie e digressioni di un italiano cardinale (Memoirs and digressions of an Italian cardinal). [9]

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  1. Italian Cardinal Biffi dies at 87
  2. "Cardinal: Antichrist is a vegetarian". BBC. 6 March 2000.
  3. NewsMax
  4. Biffi, H.E. Giacomo Cardinal. "Vladimir Sergeievich Soloviev: an unheeded prophet". Saint Benedictine Center . reprint of Biffi's writing on Soloviev and the Antichrist
  5. "Antichrist is an ecumenist, Vatican preacher warns". Catholic World News . Trinity Communications. 1 March 2007.
  6. Brother André Marie (10 December 2008). "Cardinal Biffi versus 'A Mysterious Cabal of Maniacs'".
  7. 1 2 Caldwell, Simon (17 November 2010). "Italian cardinal warns gay activists are persecuting Christians". London: Telegraph Media Group.
  8. Whispers in the Loggia blog
  9. Magister, Sandro (16 November 2010). "The Inconvenient Memoirs of Cardinal Biffi". Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso Spa. English translation of selected excerpts
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Enrico Manfredini
Archbishop of Bologna
19 April 1984 – 16 December 2003
Succeeded by
Carlo Caffarra