Styles of
Dionigi Tettamanzi
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Milan

Dionigi Tettamanzi (born 14 March 1934) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Archbishop of Milan, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998. Previous to his service in Milan, Tettamanzi was Archbishop of Genoa.


Early years

Tettamanzi was born in Renate, then in the province of Milan (now in the province of Monza and Brianza).

He was educated at the Minor Seminary of Seveso and the Seminary of Venegono Inferiore and finally at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology.

After studying in local seminaries, he was ordained a priest on 28 June 1957 by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini (the future Pope Paul VI). He served in the Archdiocese of Milan as a pastor and faculty member of the Minor Seminary of Masnago and of Seveso San Pietro from 1960 until 1966. As well as a faculty member of the Seminary of Venegono from 1966 to 1986.


On 1 July 1989 when Pope John Paul II named Tettamanzi archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, he received his episcopal consecration from Jesuit Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini at the cathedral on the following 23 September. Upon being chosen Secretary-General and Vice President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Tettamanzi submitted his resignation as bishop on 6 April 1991.

John Paul II called Tettamanzi back into active ministry by appointing him to the Archdiocese of Genoa. He was appointed its archbishop on 20 April 1995, and in the consistory of 21 February 1998, Tettamanzi Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo. Upon the announced retirement of Cardinal Martini, Tettamanzi was reassigned as archbishop of Milan on 11 July 2002.

With the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II came intense speculation as to his successor. Tettamanzi's position as head of an archdiocese that was historically seen as a step towards the papacy (and considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful of Italian dioceses), as well as his charisma and popularity among the people, placed him in the view of the Italian press as one of the overall favorites to become John Paul II's successor. He himself seemed to count on success, arranging an elaborate photo-call on his departure from the diocese for the conclave. The press presented him as one of the leading Italian candidates, but the Italian cardinals are now a minority in the college. Moreover, Tettamanzi's less than imposing figure did not impress on an international level. There were reports that he never got more than two votes in the ballots. The choice in fact fell on far better known German Cardinal Ratzinger, who become Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Tettamanzi remains eligible to vote in any future conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on 14 March 2014.

Tettamanzi is said to speak only Italian, which would be a disadvantage in a time when national leaders, and especially popes, are sometimes required to master foreign languages. He is accordingly little known outside his own country.

In response to the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict, Cardinal Tettamanzi controversially stated that the document did not apply to the northern Italian archdiocese since it uses the Ambrosian Rite rather than the Roman one [3]

On 20 March 2008, Tettamanzi issued the New Ambrosian Rite Lectionary, previously confirmed by the Holy See, that supersedes the 1976 experimental edition.

In March 2009, following canon 401 of Canon Law, he has resigned from his post as archibishop pf Milan; Pope Benedict XVI has not yet accepted the resignation and it is believed that Tettamanzi will not leave his post in the next two years.[1]

Social teaching

Cardinal Tettamanzi has declared that the goal of a company is not only to create a profit for the shareholders but that the company has to be a community of women and men that work together to satisfy the needs of the people involved in the company. He also affirmed that a person needs to have stability in his work in order to be able to plan his life. In his speech to the Diocese, in the day of St. Ambrose 2008, he said that Muslims have the right to build their mosque in cities of mainly Catholic countries.[2]


  1. An article about his resignation [1]
  2. An article about Tettamanzi speech of the Day of Milan patron [2]

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Camillo Ruini
Secretary-General of the Italian Episcopal Conference
14 March 1991–20 April 1995
Succeeded by
Ennio Antonelli
Preceded by
Giovanni Canestri
Archbishop of Genova
20 April 1995–11 July 2002
Succeeded by
Tarcisio Bertone
Preceded by
Carlo Maria Martini
Archbishop of Milan
11 July 2002 - Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ugo Poletti
Cardinal Priest of Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo
Succeeded by
eo:Dionigi Tettamanzila:Dionysius Tettamanzi

lmo:Dionigi Tettamanzino:Dionigi Tettamanzipt:Dionigi Tettamanzi ru:Теттаманци, Диониджи fi:Dionigi Tettamanzi sv:Dionigi Tettamanzi

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