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Cardinal Caffarra 2 April 2017, Carpi / © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Italy: Death of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra

Founder of the “John Paul II” Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family

Italian Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna and Founder of the “John Paul II” Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, died on September 6, 2017, at 79.

Last April 2, Cardinal Caffarra concelebrated with Pope Francis at Carpi, Italy and exchanged warmly with him the sign of the peace of Christ during the Mass – a gesture of rapprochement between the Pope and the Cardinal, which was much noted after the misunderstandings and the ~”dubia” over the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Born on June 1, 1938 at Samboseto di Busseto, in the province of Parma, he was ordained priest on July 2, 1961 at Samboseto. He pursued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Lombard Seminary, then he obtained a doctorate in Canon Law  from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a diploma of specialization in Moral Theology from the Alphonsus Academy.

On returning to his diocese, he was a teacher of Moral Theology in several Faculties and Universities. He met with the Founder of “Communion and Liberation,” Monsignor Luigi Giussani – a fundamental encounter for his life, specifies the biography published by the Holy See.  

In the 70s, during the debates around the encyclical Humanae Vitae, he began to reflect further on the subject of marriage and of family and human procreation. He taught medical ethics at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome and, in August of 1974, Pope Paul VI appointed him member of the International Theological Commission.

He pursued further theological, anthropological and ethical reflection on the subject of human procreation and, as representative of the Holy See, he took part in the World Congress on Human Infertility and Artificial Procreation in September of 1978 at Venice.

In 1980 Pope John Paul II appointed him expert of the Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family and, in January of 1981, he entrusted him with the mandate to found  and preside over the “John Paul II” Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, where he taught the ethics of procreations and directed seminars on general ethics and bioethics.

In 1983 he became a consultant at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and member of the Commission of Studies  for Genetic Engineering at the Italian Ministry of Health. At the same time, he taught in several foreign Universities.

On September 8, 1995, he was appointed Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio. Then, on December 16, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him Metropolitan Archbishop of Bologna, where he stayed until his renunciation on October 27, 2015. He was President of the Episcopal Conference of Emilia-Romagna and Moderator of the Flaminio tribunal for marital causes. He took part in the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops  on the “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” (October 2014) and in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly on the topic “Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World” (October 2015).

He is author of books on fundamental moral theology and numerous articles, translated into the principal languages, and he directed the annotated editions of all Pope John Paul II’s catechesis dedicated to human love and – in collaboration with the University of Navarre – the Enchiridion Familiae in five volumes.

Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal during the Consistory of March 24, 2006.

After his death, the College of Cardinals has 221 Cardinals, of which 120 are Electors, namely, younger than 80, and 101 Non-Electors.

About Marina Droujinina

Journalist (Moscow & Brussels). Theology (Brussels, IET).

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