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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 28.06.2008]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


COPPA Card. Giovanni


Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, Apostolic Nuncio, was born on 9 November 1925 in Alba, Cuneo, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 2 January 1949 and holds a doctorate in modern literature and philosophy.

On 1 January 1958 he entered the Secretariat of State, where in 1968 he became office head. He also took part as a Latinist in Second Vatican Council.

In 1958 he became assistant chaplain of the Palatine Guard of Honour of His Holiness and was the first general chaplain of the new Sts. Peter and Paul Association established by Paul VI in 1970 for former Palatine Guards.

On 1 November 1975 he was appointed assessor of the Secretariat of State, and 1 December 1979 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Serta and delegate for pontifical deputations. On 6 January 1980 he was ordained a bishop.

On 29 June 1990 he was appointed apostolic nuncio first to Czechoslovakia and then on 1 January 1993 to the Czech Republic (he served as apostolic nuncio to the Slovak Republic until 2 March 1994). In 2001 he retired from his mission in Prague.

On 30 May 2001 he was appointed canon of St. Peter’s Basilica and on 29 October he was nominated a consultor of the Secretariat of State. From 3 April 2002 until 9 December 2005 he was a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 November 2007, of the Deaconry of San Lino (St. Linus).


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