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Giovanni Coppa

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Giovanni Coppa
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Giovanni Coppa (born November 9, 1925) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He has served as a diplomat of the Holy See, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.


Born in Alba, Giovanni Coppa attended the seminary there before studying at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, from where he obtain his doctorate in modern letters (with a dissertation entitled: "The iconography of the Most Holy Trinity from the origins to the 14th century"). He was ordained to the priesthood on January 2, 1949, and then served as a diocesan delegate for the aspirants of Catholic Action. In 1952, he entered the Roman Curia in the Apostolic Chancery. Coppa became the director of the Rome-based monthly retreats of the nuns of the Holy Family of Spoleto in 1954, and began work in the Vatican Secretariat of State in 1958.

During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Coppa served as an expert for the Latin language. He was named an honorary canon of the chapter of St. Peter's Basilica in 1965, and assessor of the Secretariat of State on November 19, 1975. He was also Vice-Chaplain of the Palatine Guard of Honor and responsible of the Conference of Saint Vincent of Paul. When the Association of Saints Peter and Paul was instituted at the Vatican, the Secretariat of State named Coppa as its counselor. He wrote several works on Saint Ambrose, the Gospels, and the Fathers of the Church, as well as contributing to works such as L'Osservatore Romano.

On December 1, 1979, Coppa was appointed delegate for the Secretariat of State's pontifical representations and Titular Archbishop of Serta. He received his episcopal consecration on January 6, 1980 from Pope John Paul II himself, with Archbishop Eduardo Martínez Somalo and Bishop Ferdinando Maggioni serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. Coppa was later named Nuncio to Czechoslovakia on June 30, 1990, and to the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993. He retired his post in Slovakia on March 2, 1994, and in the Czech Republic on May 19, 2001.

Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal Deacon of S. Lino in the consistory of November 24, 2007. As he was beyond the age of 80 at the time of his elevation, Coppa will never be eligible to participate in a papal conclave.

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Preceded by
Saverio Ritter
Nuncio to Czechoslovakia
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nuncio to the Czech Republic
Succeeded by
Erwin Josef Ender
Preceded by
Nuncio to Slovakia
Succeeded by
Luigi Dossena
cs:Giovanni Coppano:Giovanni Copparu:Коппа, Джованни

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