Mauro Piacenza

Mauro Piacenza JCD (born 15 September 1944) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2010, he has served as Penitentiary Major of the Apostolic Penitentiary since his appointment by Pope Francis on 21 September 2013. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 7 October 2010 to 21 September 2013. where he had been Secretary since 2007. At that Congregation, Pope Benedict XVI, according to one report, valued "his efficiency and in-depth knowledge of how the Congregation worked and its problems" and "his traditionalist ecclesiastical line of thought".[1]

His Eminence

Mauro Piacenza

Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary
Man in robes of a Cardinal sitting before a microphone
Mauro Piacenza
Appointed21 September 2013
PredecessorManuel Monteiro de Castro
Other postsCardinal-Deacon of S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane
Ordination21 December 1969
by Giuseppe Siri
Consecration15 November 2003
by Tarcisio Bertone
Created cardinal20 November 2010
by Benedict XVI
Personal details
Birth nameMauro Piacenza
Born (1944-09-15) 15 September 1944 (age 75)
Genova, Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post
Coat of armsMauro Piacenza's coat of arms
Styles of
Mauro Piacenza
Coat of arms of Mauro Piacenza.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Early lifeEdit

Piacenza was born in Genoa. After studying at the Major Archiepiscopal Seminary of Genoa, he was ordained to the priesthood by Giuseppe Siri on 21 December 1969. He then completed his studies at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he obtained a doctorate summa cum laude in canon law.

After serving as a parochial vicar, he worked as chaplain to the University of Genoa. Piacenza taught canon law at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy and held several other posts, serving as the archbishop's press officer. He was the diocesan assistant of the ecclesial Movement of Cultural Commitment. He served as professor of contemporary culture and history of atheism at the Ligurian Higher Institute of Religious Studies as well as professor of dogmatic theology at the Diocesan Institute of Theology for the Lay "Didascaleion". He also taught theology at several state schools. He was made a canon of the Genoa Cathedral in 1986.

Service in the Roman CuriaEdit

He joined the staff of the Congregation for the Clergy in 1990[1] and was named its Undersecretary on 11 March 2000.

On 13 October 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Piacenza President of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and Titular Bishop of Victoriana.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on 15 November from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, with Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos and Bishop Alberto Tanasini as co-consecrators.

He was named President of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology on 28 August 2004.[3] He was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy and raised to the rank of archbishop on 7 May 2007.[4] He was appointed Prefect of that Congregation on 7 October 2010.[5] His appointment was unusual as few officials who serve as Secretary are appointed as Prefect of the same dicastery.[citation needed]

On 20 November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of San Paolo alle Tre Fontane[6] and, on 29 December 2010, appointed him a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.[7]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.[8]

Piacenza, like all officers of the Roman Curia, lost his position with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis reappointed them temporarily[9] and then moved Piacenza from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy to head the Apostolic Penitentiary on 21 September 2013.[10] His new role was described as "a decidedly lower command post" as head of "a little-known Vatican tribunal that deals with confessions of sins so grave only a pope can grant absolution, such as the case of a priest who violates confessional secrecy".[11]


  1. ^ a b Tosatti, Marco. "Francis makes key new appointments". La Stampa. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 13.10.2003". Holy See Press Office (Press release) (in Italian). 13 October 2003. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 28.08.2004". Holy See Press Office (Press release) (in Italian). 28 August 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 07.05.2007". Holy See Press Office (Press release) (in Italian). 7 May 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 07.10.2007". Holy See Press Office (Press release) (in Italian). 7 October 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  6. ^ Pullella, Philip (20 November 2010). "Pope puts his stamp on Catholic Church future with new cardinals". Reuters. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 29.12.2010". Holy See Press Office (Press release) (in Italian). 29 December 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  8. ^ "List of Cardinal Electors". Zenit. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  9. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (17 May 2013). "Francis temporarily reappoints curial heads, mulls new appointments". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 21.09.2013". Holy See Press Office (Press release) (in Italian). 21 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  11. ^ D'Emilio, Frances (21 September 2013). "Pope keeps cleric who leads nun crackdown in job". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 22 October 2017.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
José Tomás Sánchez
President of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church
13 October 2003 – 7 May 2007
Succeeded by
Gianfranco Ravasi
Preceded by
Csaba Ternyák
Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy
7 May 2007 – 7 October 2010
Succeeded by
Celso Morga Iruzubieta
Preceded by
Cláudio Cardinal Hummes, OFM
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
7 October 2010 – 21 September 2013
Succeeded by
Beniamino Stella
Preceded by
Manuel Monteiro de Castro
Major Penitentiary
21 September 2013 – present