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Crescenzio Sepe (born June 2, 1943) is an Italian Cardinal and Archbishop of Naples. He is Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since 20 May 2006. He served as a priest in Italy and Brazil. Cardinal Sepe was appointed titular Archbishop of Grado on 2 April 1992. Besides his native Italian, he speaks English, French and Spanish.
Early life and ordination
Born at Carinaro, in the province of Caserta, he was ordained for the Diocese of Aversa on 12 March 1967 and holds degrees in theology and Canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University and in philosophy from the University of Rome La Sapienza. He taught theology at the Lateran and Urban Pontifical Universities and then studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He was posted to Brazil and then recalled to the Secretariat of State, where he was appointed Assessor for General Affairs in 1987. He was also President of the Commission for Vatican Telecommunications.
Career in the Curia
On 3 November 1997 he was named General Secretary of the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. He was President of Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem from 8 November 1997 until July 2001. On 9 April 2001 he was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He is also the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urban University. Created and proclaimed Cardinal-Deacon of Dio Padre misericordioso by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 February 2001. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.
|Styles of |
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
- Clergy, Doctrine of the Faith (congregations)
- Social Communications, Interreligious Dialogue, Christian Unity, Legislative Texts (councils)
- Latin America (commission)
- Special Council for Asia of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
Cardinal Sepe's move to Naples from the prefect's post at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples made him the first head of a Roman dicastery in decades to be dispatched to a diocese and, in the eyes of some, the first casualty of Pope Benedict's purge of the church's administration, which is expected to be picking up speed after September 2006.
Cardinal Sepe has been a member of Facebook, where he collected the maximum of 5 000 friends.
In 1997 he said a relaxing of the celibacy rule for Latin rite priests would not ease the vocations crisis and would have no theological or pastoral foundation. Linked to his position he also is active in evangelizing efforts.
In 1995 he helped implement a priest-sharing program among dioceses worldwide to help redress the geographical imbalance in vocations.
He criticized the media in 1995 for focusing too much on scandals involving priests and ignoring much of the good work done by the vast majority of clergy.
Return of priests
In that year he further said that the Vatican was facilitating the return of hundreds of priests who had left the active ministry and married in civil ceremonies, but who were now divorced or widowed and were “sincerely sorry” for having strayed from their vocation.
Crime in Naples
|Archbishop of Naples|
20 May 2006–present
| Succeeded by|
Jozef Cardinal Tomko
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples|
| Succeeded by|
Ivan Cardinal Dias