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Luigi Poggi

Luigi Poggi
Archivist Emeritus of the Vatican Secret Archives
Librarian Emeritus of the Vatican Apostolic Library
Cardinal Poggi on 16 February 2008.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed29 November 1994
Term ended25 November 1997
PredecessorAntonio María Javierre Ortas
SuccessorJorge María Mejía
Other postsCardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina (2005-10)
Ordination28 July 1940
Consecration9 May 1965
by Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
Created cardinal26 November 1994
by Pope John Paul II
RankCardinal-Deacon (1994-2005)
Cardinal-Priest (2005-10)
Personal details
Birth nameLuigi Poggi
Born(1917-11-25)25 November 1917
Piacenza, Kingdom of Italy
Died4 May 2010(2010-05-04) (aged 92)
Rome, Italy
Previous post
Alma materPontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
MottoIn fide et caritate
Coat of armsLuigi Poggi's coat of arms

Luigi Poggi (25 November 1917 – 4 May 2010) was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Poggi was a close confidant of Pope John Paul II, and acted as his secret emissary to Warsaw, Moscow and Washington. He was appointed by the Pope as head of the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library.

Early life

Born in Piacenza, Poggi did all his studies prior to priestly ordination in that city and was sent to Rome in 1944 primarily to study diplomacy at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. While doing this, Poggi joined the Secretariat of State, for which he was to work for the next twenty years. In the process he rose to the rank of domestic prelate in 1960. Poggi was in charge of the mission to investigate the legal status of titular churches in Tunisia during 1963 and 1964.

Papal nuncio

Arms of Cardinal Poggi

In 1965 he became papal nuncio to Central Africa (which comprises the modern states of Cameroon, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, and the Central African Republic).

Poggi became a titular Archbishop that year and became secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs in 1966. He continued serving as a nuncio in Africa during the later part of the 1960s, but was then given a critical role by Pope Paul VI in his "Ostpolitik", which aimed to improve Vatican relations with the Communist-ruled nations of the Warsaw Pact. This role reached its greatest importance early in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, when Poggi, owing to his knowledge of Polish politics of the time, was sent first to Warsaw and then to the Kremlin to negotiate with Moscow. He later visited Prague.

Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church

After his work in the Eastern bloc, Poggi became the papal nuncio to Italy and in this role was able to remain close to the centre of Church operations under Pope John Paul. In 1992, Poggi became Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, and was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica on 26 November 1994, one day after his seventy-seventh birthday. Upon reaching the maximum age limit for voting in a conclave, Poggi resigned from his position in the Vatican Library and Archives. He became Cardinal Protodeacon on 26 February 2002. After ten years as a cardinal deacon he took the option to be elevated to Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina on 24 February 2005. Being then well over 80 years old, he played no role in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Romolo Carboni
Apostolic Nuncio to Italy and San Marino
19 April 1986 – 9 April 1992
Succeeded by
Carlo Furno
Preceded by
Antonio María Javierre Ortas
Librarian of the Holy Roman Church
9 April 1992 – 7 March 1998
Succeeded by
Jorge María Mejía
Preceded by
Antonio María Javierre Ortas
Archivist of the Holy Roman Church
9 April 1992 – 7 March 1998
Succeeded by
Jorge María Mejía
Preceded by
Pio Laghi
Cardinal Protodeacon
26 February 2002 – 24 February 2005
Succeeded by
Jorge Medina Estévez

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