On July 7, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Mario Enrico Delpini, 65, Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan. To date he was Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Lombardy Diocese, reputed to be the largest of the world – with some 5 million Catholics.
He succeeds Cardinal Angelo Scola, whose resignation the Pontiff accepted for reasons of age. The Cardinal was appointed to the pastoral government of the Ambrosian diocese in 2011.
Monsignor Delpini is a native of the Lombardy region: he was born at Gallarate on July 29, 1951 and received Priestly Ordination on June 7, 1975 in the Milanese diocese.
He studied Literature at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Patristic Theology at Rome’s Augustinianum. Fr Delpini was professor of Classical Literature in several Seminaries from 1975 to 1987. After two years of study at the Lombard Seminary of Rome, he returned to his diocese to be Rector of the small Seminary of Venegono and teacher of the propaedeutics community.
Between 2000 and 2007, he was Counselor of the Milanese Episcopal Council, delegate of the Archbishop for vocations and priests and Major Rector of the Milan Seminary, then Episcopal Vicar for the 6th-Melegnano pastoral zone. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Milan by Benedict XVI, he received episcopal consecration on September 23, 2007.
Since 2012 he has been Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Lombardy and Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for the Clergy and Consecrated Life.
The Italian press presents him as a bike-riding Bishop close to the faithful. In 1998 he published a book of a humorous tone inviting to be free of a certain clericalism.