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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 15.01.2014]


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


BERTONE Card. Tarcisio, S.D.B.



Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., Camerlengo of the  Holy Roman Church, Secretary of State emeritus, Archbishop emeritus of Genoa (Italy), was born on 2 December 1934 in Romano Canavese, Italy. He was ordained on 1 July 1960. He holds a licence in theology with a dissertation on tolerance and religious freedom and a doctorate in canon law.
He has been professor of special moral theology at the Pontifical Salesian University, 1967; professor of canon law, 1976-91; and dean of the Faculty of Canon Law, 1979-85; vice-rector, 1987-89 and then rector, 1989-91.  He collaborated in several Roman parishes and has also worked on the final phase of the revision of the Code of Canon Law, directing the working group that translated the Code into Italian for the Italian Episcopal Conference. Since the 1980s, he has served as consultor in several dicasteries of the Roman Curia, especially in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
On 1 August 1991 he was ordained Archbishop of Vercelli. 
On 13 June 1995 he was nominated Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, charged by Pope John Paul II with the care of the publication of the third part of the “secret” of Fatima.
On 10 December 2002 he was nominated Archbishop of Genoa.
On 15 September 2006 he was nominated Secretary of State.
On 4 April 2007 he was nominated Camerlengo of the  Holy Roman Church.

On 15 October 2013, the Pope Francis accepted his resignation as Secretary of State, according to canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by the Bl. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Title of the Suburbicarian Church of Frascati.

Member of:

  • Congregations: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for the Clergy; for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments; for the Oriental Churches; for Bishops; for the Evangelization of Peoples.

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