|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
|See||Aeclanum (titular see)|
He was born at Poppi, Italy. Ordained in 1938 at Florence, Innocenti was studied at the Episcopal Seminary of Fiesole, the Pontifical Gregorian University where he received a doctorate in 1941, the Pontifical Lateran University, where he received a licentiate in dogmatic theology in 1950, and the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, where he studied diplomacy. He served as a priest in northern Italy for the decade following his ordination. His work helping Jews led to his arrest and almost being shot by a firing squad; he was released at the last minute. He was then called to Rome by Pope Pius XII and settled on a career in the Curia. He served for most of the 1950s and 1960s in the Papal Nunciature in Switzerland, where, as he saw it, the major problems were "an opulent society, religious assistance to immigrants and relations with Christian of other denominations".
On 15 December 1967, Pope Paul VI named him Titular Archbishop of Eclano and Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay. He was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments (now the Congregation for Divine Worship) until 1980, when he became Nuncio to Spain.
In 1985, Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal, and on 9 January 1986 appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, a post he held until his retirement in 1991 During Innocenti's time as Prefect, the Curia was extremely busy dealing with what was perceived as dangerous dissent from papal teaching, and Innocenti was heavily involved with many lay movements designed to restore orthodoxy among the Church's members.
By 1999 he had retired to Piazza della Citta Leonina.
|Catholic Church titles|
| Apostolic Nuncio to Spain
4 October 1980 – 9 January 1986
| Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy
José Tomás Sánchez
| President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei