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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 20.02.2007]


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


DE GIORGI Card. Salvatore




Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, Archbishop emeritus of Palermo, Italy, was born on 6 September 1930 in Vernole, Italy. He was ordained for the then-Diocese of Lecce on 28 June 1953 by Bishop Francesco Minerva, whom he served as secretary until 1958.

On 12 October 1958 he was named parish priest of Our Lady of Grace in Santa Rosa. He also served as diocesan chaplain to the Teachers’ Movement of Catholic Action and directed the Diocesan Pastoral Office.

On 21 November 1973 he was appointed titular Bishop of Tulana and Auxiliary of Oria, receiving episcopal ordination on 27 December 1973. He became Bishop of that see on 17 March 1978. 

On 4 April 1981 he was promoted to Archbishop of Foggia and on 10 October 1987 he was transferred to the Metropolitan Church of Taranto.

In 1990 he was named General Chaplain of Catholic Action  and resigned as Archbishop of Taranto. 

On 4 April 1996 he was appointed Archbishop of Palermo and was elected President of the Sicilian Episcopal Conference.

Within the Italian Episcopal Conference he was secretary of the Liturgical Commission; secretary and then member of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catechesis and Culture; president of the Committee for the Marian year; president of the Bishops’ Commission for the Laity; member of the Scientific Committee and organizer of the social weeks; national president of the Italian Federation of Spiritual Exercises. 

He is a journalist-publicist, author of various publications: Le meraviglie del Regno, LEV, Città del Vaticano 1989; L’Assistente per un’AC protesa alla nuova evangelizzazione, AVE, Rome 1991, Riscopriamo la nostra ministerialità, AVE, Rome 1992; A trent’anni dal concilio Vaticano II verso il grande Giubileo del 2000, AVE, Rome 1995; L’Azione cattolica in cammino col Papa, AVE, Rome 1995.

Characteristics of his pastoral ministry has always been the accentuation on the spiritual aspect, dedication to the formation of clergy, and promotion of the laity. He is also sensitive to the social problems regarding the family, the young and the protection of life. Cardinal De Giorgi has always been attentive to the diverse realities tied to the disadvantage and to the emarginated by visiting hospitals, prisons, drug rehabilitation centers, immigration centers, facilities assisting the handicapped.

Archbishop emeritus of Palermo, 19 December 2006.

Created and proclaimed cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 1998, of the Title of S. Maria in Ara Coeli (St. Mary in Ara Coeli).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for the Clergy; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments; for Bishops;

  • Pontifical Councils: for the Laity, for the Family.

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