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Dionigi Tettamanzi

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Dionigi Tettamanzi

His Eminence
Dionigi Tettamanzi
Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Milan
Cardinal Tettamanzi in Lodi, on 19 January 2001 for the feast of Saint Bassiano.
See Milan (emeritus)
Appointed 11 July 2002
Installed 14 September 2002
Term ended 28 June 2011
Predecessor Carlo Maria Martini
Successor Angelo Scola
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi Ambrogio e Carlo
Ordination 28 June 1957
by Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (later Pope Paul VI)
Consecration 23 September 1989
by Carlo Maria Martini
Created Cardinal 21 February 1998
by John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Dionigi Tettamanzi
Born (1934-03-14) 14 March 1934
Renate, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto Gaudium et pax
(Joy and peace)
Coat of arms }
Styles of
Dionigi Tettamanzi
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Milan (emeritus)

Dionigi Tettamanzi (born 14 March 1934) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is Archbishop Emeritus of Milan, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998. Previous to his service in Milan, Tettamanzi was Archbishop of Genoa.


  • Biography 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Bishop 1.2
  • Social teaching 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Early years

Tettamanzi was born in Renate, then in the province of Milan (now in the province of Monza and Brianza).

He was educated at the Minor Seminary of Seveso and the Seminary of Venegono Inferiore and finally at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology.

After studying in local seminaries, he was ordained a priest on 28 June 1957 by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini (the future Pope Paul VI). He served in the Archdiocese of Milan as a pastor and faculty member of the Minor Seminary of Masnago and of Seveso San Pietro from 1960 until 1966. As well as a faculty member of the Seminary of Venegono from 1966 to 1986.


On 1 July 1989 when Pope John Paul II named Tettamanzi archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, he received his episcopal consecration from Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini at the cathedral on the following 23 September. Upon being chosen Secretary-General and Vice President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Tettamanzi submitted his resignation as bishop on 6 April 1991.

John Paul II called Tettamanzi back into active ministry by appointing him to the Archdiocese of Genoa. He was appointed its archbishop on 20 April 1995, and in the consistory of 21 February 1998, Tettamanzi was created Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo. Upon the announced retirement of Cardinal Martini, Tettamanzi was reassigned as archbishop of Milan on 11 July 2002.

With the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II came intense speculation as to his successor. Tettamanzi's position as head of an archdiocese that was historically seen as a step towards the papacy (and considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful of Italian dioceses), as well as his charisma and popularity among the people, placed him in the view of the Italian press as one of the overall favorites to become John Paul II's successor. He himself seemed to count on success, arranging an elaborate photo-call on his departure from the diocese for the conclave. The press presented him as one of the leading Italian candidates, but the Italian cardinals are now a minority in the college. Moreover, Tettamanzi's less than imposing figure did not impress on an international level. There were reports that he never got more than two votes in the ballots. The choice in fact fell on far better known German Cardinal Ratzinger, who become Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Tettamanzi is no longer eligible to vote in any future conclaves as he has turned 80 years old.

Tettamanzi is said to speak only Italian, which would be a disadvantage in a time when national leaders, and especially popes, are sometimes required to master foreign languages. He is accordingly little known outside his own country.

In response to the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict, Cardinal Tettamanzi controversially stated that the document did not apply to the northern Italian archdiocese since it uses the Ambrosian Rite rather than the Roman one.[1]

On 20 March 2008, Tettamanzi issued the New Ambrosian Rite Lectionary, previously confirmed by the Holy See, that supersedes the 1976 experimental edition.

In March 2009, following canon 401 of Canon Law,[2] he offered to resign from his post as archbishop of Milan; Pope Benedict XVI did not accept the resignation at that time and it was believed that Tettamanzi would not leave his post in the next two years.[3] Pope Benedict accepted Cardinal Tettamanzi's resignation on the 54th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood and appointed Angelo Scola, until then Cardinal Patriarch of Venice, as his successor. After his resignation from the post of archbishop Tettamanzi lives in Triuggio, his 101 years old mother died in early February 2012.[4][5] In July 2012 he was named apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Vigevano

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

Social teaching

Cardinal Tettamanzi has declared that the goal of a company is not only to create a profit for the shareholders but that the company has to be a community of women and men that work together to satisfy the needs of the people involved in the company. He also affirmed that a person needs to have stability in his work in order to be able to plan his life. In his speech to the Diocese, in the day of St. Ambrose 2008, he said that Muslims have the right to build their mosque in cities of mainly Catholic countries.[6] In his speech to the city on St Ambrose of 2010 he reaffirmed that not all the immigrants in Italy are criminals.[7]


  1. ^ "Vatican to clarify motu proprio soon". The Tablet. 17 November 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Code of Canon Law: text – IntraText CT". 4 May 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Tosatti, Marco (15 March 2009). "Tettamanzi: ecco le dimissioni" (in Italian). Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ora Tettamzni vive a Triuggio" (in Italian). incrocinews. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "L'omelia per la mamma nelle parole del figlio" (in Italian). Corriere della Sra. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  6. ^ """Tettamanzi: "Moschee nei quartieri (in Italian). 6 December 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Il richiamo del cardinale Tettamanzi: non tutti gli immigrati sono delinquenti. Scarcerato Fikri" (in Italian). Il Sole 24 ORE. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 

External links

  • Archdiocese of Milan
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Camillo Ruini
Secretary-General of the Italian Episcopal Conference
14 March 1991–20 April 1995
Succeeded by
Ennio Antonelli
Preceded by
Giovanni Canestri
Archbishop of Genova
20 April 1995–11 July 2002
Succeeded by
Tarcisio Bertone SDB
Preceded by
Carlo Maria Martini
Archbishop of Milan
11 July 2002–28 June 2011
Succeeded by
Angelo Scola
Preceded by
Ugo Poletti
Cardinal-Priest of SS Ambrogio e Carlo
21 February 1998–present
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