Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco
Bishop Angelo Bagnasco (2005)
Title Cardinal-Priest of Gran Madre di Dio
Coat of arms
Christus spes mea
Ordained priest 29 June 1966
by Giuseppe Cardinal Siri
Consecrated bishop 7 February 1998
by Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi

Angelo Bagnasco (born 14 January 1943) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.

He is considered to be conservative in his views, and a theological ally of his predecessor in the CEI, Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Early life

Bagnasco was born to Alfredo and Rosa Bagnasco in Pontevico, where his family was evacuated during World War II. He said in an interview: "I became an altar boy in my parish in the historic center of Genoa, in Piazza Sarzano, when I was six years old. My old parish priest was Abbot Giovanni Battista Gazzolo, first, and afterwards Monsignor Carlo Viacava while his deputy was a young curate, Don Gianni Zamiti—the latter two are still alive and overjoyed that their little altar boy has become their archbishop—who supervised us on afternoons in the parish club where we went to play. The desire to become a priest was born precisely when I was in elementary school, but I didn’t confide it to anybody. Afterwards I went to a co-ed middle school, always with that desire in my heart"[1].


He was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1966 by Cardinal Giuseppe Siri. While a priest in Genoa, he received a degree in philosophy from the University of Genoa, served as professor of metaphysics and atheism at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, and led the archdiocesan liturgical and catechesis offices. He was once the diocesan representative to the FUCI (the Italian Catholic Federation of University Students) and led efforts for the pastoral care of students in the region.

Early episcopal career

Bagnasco was appointed Bishop of Pesaro on 3 January 1998. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 7 February from Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi, with Bishops Gaetano Michetti and Giacomo Barabino serving as co-consecrators. Bagnasco became Metropolitan Archbishop of the same see on 11 March 2000.

Since 2001, he has held several posts within the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), including president of the administrative board of its newspaper Avvenire, and secretary for schools and universities. On 20 June 2003, he was appointed Archbishop of the Military Ordinariate of Italy. He described his appointment as "totally unexpected" and that he accepted it "with surprise and some trepidation. First of all because the military world was totally unknown to me, and then because it was a matter of an extensive diocese, covering the whole country and even beyond, with our soldiers on missions to foreign countries"[2].

Archbishop of Genoa

Styles of
Angelo Bagnasco
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Genoa

Following the resignation of Tarcisio Bertone, Bagnasco was appointed Archbishop of Genoa on 29 August 2006. He was installed on the following 24 September. He defended Pope Benedict XVI in the Regensburg controversy.

On 7 March 2007, Benedict XVI selected Bagnasco to succeed Camillo Ruini as President of the Italian Episcopal Conference for a five-year term. "The choice is a compromise between two of Benedict's two most influential policy-movers—Bagnasco is a confirmed Ruini-ite, 'but Bertone likes him,' as one op put it."[3]

On 27 June 2007, Archbishop Bagnasco, along with several other prelates, attended a briefing at the Apostolic Palace on Pope Benedict's impending motu proprio allowing wider celebration of the Tridentine Mass[4]. Two days after this meeting, on 29 June, he and forty-five others were invested with the pallium, a woolen vestment reserved for metropolitan bishops, by Benedict in St. Peter's Basilica.

Cardinalate and curial assignments

On 17 October 2007 it was announced by Pope Benedict that Bagnasco along with 22 other prelates would be created cardinal in a consistory on the 24 November. He was created and proclaimed Cardinal-Priest of Gran Madre di Dio. On 12 June 2008 in addition to his duties as Archbishop of Genoa he was appointed by Benedict as a member of congregations in the Roman Curia [2]. These are: the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for Bishops.

As he now holds the rank of cardinal, Bagnasco is eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on 14 January 2023.



Cardinal Bagnasco has expressed strong opposition to abortion, especially with regards to the RU-486 pill, which has abortive effects on the conceptus.[5]

Condemnation of same-sex unions

In April 2007, following a condemnation of same-sex unions—in which he said, "Why say 'no' to forms of legally recognised co-habitation which create alternatives to the family? Why say 'no' to incest? Why say 'no' to the paedophile party in Holland?"[6]—Bagnasco found himself the target of death threats from gay-rights activists. The Genoa police department, while dismissing any serious cause for concern, assigned an armed officer to guard him[7].

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, Italy's environment minister and a vocal supporter of gay rights, said Bagnasco had made a "grave, foolish comparison which offends millions of people"[8]. Italy's bishops have called on Catholic politicians to vote against the bill which would grant rights in areas such as health care and inheritance to unmarried couples—including same-sex ones—who register their relationship.

On 12 June 2007, the Archbishop "received a second package containing a death threat as well as a number of bullets. "The latest threat follows one sent previously on April 27, in which a single bullet was posted"[9].

Social teaching

Bagnasco affirmed that each man has the right to be employed. He also advised that the flexibility of the workforce has to be limited.


External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Tarcisio Bertone
Archbishop of Genoa
29 August 2006—present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Camillo Ruini
President of the Italian Episcopal Conference
7 March 2007–present
et:Angelo Bagnascola:Angelus Bagnasco

lmo:Àngiul Bagnascono:Angelo Bagnascopt:Angelo Bagnasco ru:Баньяско, Анджело fi:Angelo Bagnasco sv:Angelo Bagnasco

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