The Holy See Search


College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 21.09.2013]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


FILONI Card. Fernando


Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was born on 15 April 1946 in Manduria, Italy.

He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1970 and holds doctorates in philosophy and in canon law. He also holds a diploma in public opinion sciences and techniques, specializing in journalism. While in Rome, he served as assistant pastor and taught in local high schools.

In 1981, he entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See and served in Sri Lanka, Iran and Brazil. In 1992, he was sent to the Philippines, but with residence in Hong Kong, where the Holy See had opened a Mission of Study to follow the situation of the church in China in a moment of social and religious changes.

On 17 January 2001, he was appointed titular Archbishop of Volturno and Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq and in Jordan. He received episcopal ordination on 19 March 2001.

To convey the Church’s closeness to the people during the war in Iraq, he stayed at his post until March 2006 when he was transferred to the Philippines.

On 9 June 2007 he was appointed Substitute of the Secretariat of State.

On 10 May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He is Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbaniana University.

On September 21, 2013, he was confirmed by Pope Francis as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 18 February 2012, of the Deaconry of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio (Our Lady of Coromoto in St. John of God).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Oriental Churches, for Catholic Education;
  • Pontifical Councils: for Inter-religious Dialogue; for Legislative Texts.



Return to:

- List of Cardinals in alphabetical order
- Statistics

- Index Holy See Press Office
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]