Monterisi was born in Barletta on May 28th 1934, in
the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, in
On July 3rd 2009
he was nominated by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict
XVI as Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St Paul
Outside the Walls and in the consistory of November
20th 2010, he was made a cardinal of the Holy Roman
Church with the title of Deacon of the Church of San
Paolo alla Regola.
Ordained a priest
on March 16th 1957, he received his Episcopal
ordination on January 6th 1983 from Blessed Pope
John Paul II in St Peter’s Basilica.
his degrees in Theology and Canon Law, he entered
the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1964.
Nominated to the
post of Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, Archbishop
Monterisi welcomed Pope John Paul II on his first
visit to that Asian nation for the canonisation of
103 Korean martyrs. On his return to Rome, the
Archbishop dealt with African issues in that section
of the Secretary of State’s Department for Relations
with States and he taught at the Pontifical
Ecclesiastical Academy. On June 11th 1993, he was
appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In that role, he contributed to the organisation of
the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Sarajevo
on April 12th and 13th 1997.
From 1998 to 2009
he served as secretary for the Congregation of
Bishops and for the College of Cardinals, overseeing
the work of the Pontifical Commission for Latin
America, coordinating pastoral activities of the
Military Ordinaries and organising the ad limina
visits of bishops. He served as secretary for the
conclave of 2005 during which Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict XVI.