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Biographical notes

[Updated: 19.04.2003]


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


SABATTANI Card. Aurelio



Cardinal Aurelio Sabattani, Prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Archpriest emeritus of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica, Vicar General emeritus of His Holiness for Vatican City, President emeritus of the Fabric of St. Peter, was born in Casal Fiumanese, in the diocese of Imola (Italy), 18 October 1921. After attending the diocesan seminary, the lyceum and the theology course at the Regional Seminary of Bologna, he received a doctorate in Utroque Jure, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Lateran University. While pursuing his juridical studies, he was ordained on 26 July 1935.

Having completed his studies, he was immediately called to serve in the Holy See in the Secretariat of State. It was at that time he received the diploma as Advocate of the Sacred Roman Rota. Shortly thereafter, he was recalled to his native diocese due to family reasons. Along with teaching in the seminary and public schools, he also acted chancellor, diocesan assistant of catholic teachers, canon of the cathedral and pastor of a city parish. At the same time, he was a judge and then an official of the regional ecclesiastical tribunal of Bologna.

At the age of 43, he returned to Rome in 1955. H was appointed Prelate Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota by the Holy Father, while the Cardinal Vicar of Rome entrusted to him the religious assistance to catholic doctors of the city.

On 24 June 1965 he was appointed to the titular archiepiscopal See of Iustianian prima and appointed Prelate of Loreto and Papal Delegate for the Sanctuary.

He received episcopal ordination on 25 July 1965 from Cardinal Cicognani, then Secretary of State.

Mons. Sabattani remained in Loreto from 1965 to 1971 assuming also the presidency of the episcopal conference of the Marche.

In 1971 he was recalled to Rome to assume the position of Secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the duties of consultor of the Secretary of State, and Vicar of the Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica. He also worked on the Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law, filling the role of relator of the book De processibus. After the death of Cardinal Pericle Felici, he was appointed Pro-prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and Pro-president of the Court of Cassation of Vatican City. He also participated in numerous and important congresses of canonists occurring in various parts of the world - Poland, Germany, the United States, Canada, Spain.

On 3 February he was nominated Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (until 1988); from 8 February 1983, Archpriest of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica and President of the Fabric of St. Peter (until 1991); in 1991, he was named Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 2 February 1983, of the Title of S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine (St. Apollinaris alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine), Deaconry elevated pro illa vice to presbyteral title.

Cardinal Aurelio Sabattani died on the 19th of April, 2003.


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