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Raffaele Farina, SDB (born 24 September 1933) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives, Librarian of the Vatican Library, and president (Consiglio di Presidenza) of Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica. Farina was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.
Born in Buonalbergo, Farina entered the Congregation of St. Francis of Sales of St. John Bosco, more commonly known as the Salesians, at the Novitiate of Portici Bellavista at the age of sixteen. He professed on 25 September 1949, and made his perpetual vows on 25 September 1954; one of his sisters is also a Salesian. Farina began his studies in theology at the Pontifical Salesian Athenaeum of Turin in 1954 as well, obtaining his licentiate in theology from the Athenaeum in 1958. He was ordained to the priesthood by Maurilio Cardinal Fossati, OSsCG, on 1 July 1958.
Farina later studied ecclesiastical history at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and received his doctorate in 1965. For the following three years, he worked on his specialization at the German Foundation "Humboldt" in Freiburg and Bonn. From 1968 to 1972, he was Professor of History of the Church (covering the origin to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D.) and of Methodology in the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical Salesian University; he then served as dean of the same faculty until 1974, and was rector of the university for two terms (1977-1983, 1992-1997). Farina was named regolatore of the XXI general chapter of his congregation in 1978.
Curial appointments; Cardinal
From 1982 to 1986, he was Secretary of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, and was made Undersecretary of Pontifical Council for Culture within the Roman Curia in 1986. Named Prefect of the Vatican Library by Pope John Paul II on 25 May 1997, he was the second-highest official in that Curial office, successively under Cardinals Luigi Poggi and Jean-Louis Tauran.
On 15 November 2006, Farina was appointed Titular Bishop of Opitergium by Pope Benedict XVI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 16 December from three cardinals, fellow Salesian Tarcisio Bertone as principal consecrator, with James Stafford and Jean-Louis Tauran as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. Farina was later named Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library on June 25, 2007, replacing Cardinal Tauran, who was made President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. His titular see was elevated pro hac vice to the level of an archdiocese on the same date as well.
Pope Benedict created him Cardinal-Deacon of S. Giovanni della Pigna in the consistory of 24 November of that same year. Cardinal Farina will be eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves until he reaches the age of eighty on 24 September 2013.
On 12 June 2008 in addition to his main duties he was appointed by Benedict as a member of congregations in the Roman Curia . These are: the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.
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