Giovanni Benelli

infobox cardinalstyles
cardinal name=Giovanni Benelli
dipstyle=His Eminence
offstyle=Your Eminence

Giovanni Cardinal Benelli (May 12, 1921—October 26, 1982) was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Florence from 1977 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1977.


Giovanni Benelli was born in Poggiole di Vernio, Tuscany, to Luigi and Maria (née Simoni) Benelli. Baptised the day after his birth, on May 13, he was the youngest of his parents' five surviving children, and his uncle Guido was a revered Franciscan friar. Benelli entered the Seminary of Pistoia in 1931, and then attended the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. He received the clerical tonsure on December 23, 1939, and was eventually ordained a priest on October 31, 1943 by Bishop Giuseppe Debernardi. At age 22, he had not yet reached the canonical age for priestly ordination, and therefore was given a special dispensation. Benelli finished his studies at the Gregorian in 1947, and also undertook pastoral work in Rome until 1950.

His abilities were noticed by the Church, and he soon became attached to the Roman Curia. Named private secretary to Giovanni Battista Montini on August 1, 1947, Benelli was later raised to the rank of Monsignor on July 16, 1950. He served as the Secretary of nunciatures to Ireland (1950-1953) and to France (1953-1960). Benelli was then appointed to the following posts: auditor of nunciature to Brazil (1960-1962), counsellor of nunciature to Spain (1962-1965), and permanent observer of Holy See before UNESCO in Paris (1965-1966).

On June 11, 1966, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of "Tusuro" and Apostolic Nuncio to Senegal, as well as apostolic delegate to Western Africa. Benelli received his episcopal consecration on the following September 11 from Amleto Cardinal Cicognani, with Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi and Bishop Mario Longo Dorni serving as co-consecrators. On September 11 of that same year, Benelli became Titular Archbishop of "Tusuros".

Shortly after his appointment, on June 29, 1967, he entered the Roman Curia as Substitute, or Deputy, of Secretariate of State. As then Secretary of State, Cardinal Cicognani, was too old to fulfill most of his duties, they fell to Benelli. He worked closely with his former master, now Pope Paul VI, and remained in this post for ten years.

Benelli was promoted to Archbishop of Florence on June 3, 1977, and was created Cardinal Priest of "S. Prisca" by Paul VI in the consistory of the following June 27.

Upon the deaths of Popes Paul VI and John Paul I, Benelli was considered the leading moderate candidate to succeed them, because of his close ties with Paul and his Italian heritage. He was one of the cardinal electors in the conclaves of August and October 1978, though did not manage to gain enough votes to ascend the Chair of Peter. During the August conclave, Benelli supported Albino Cardinal Luciani, the eventual winner. [Time Magazine. [,9171,916332-2,00.html In Rome, a Week off Suspense] August 28, 1978] [Time Magazine. [,9171,912133-5,00.html A Swift, Stunning Choice] September 4, 1978]

Benelli continued in his capacity of Cardinal Archbishop of Florence until he died of a sudden heart attack in Florence, at age 61. His funeral Mass was celebrated by Agostino Cardinal Casaroli, and his remains were buried in the Santa Maria del Fiore.


*Cardinal Benelli was unpopularly known as the "the Berlin Wall" [Time Magazine. [,9171,839846-1,00.html The Pope's Powerful No. 2] March 14, 1969] and the "Vatican Kissinger" [Time Magazine. [,9171,925870,00.html Recent Events] November 8, 1982] in the Vatican for his aggressive and almost authoritarian tenure as Substitute of State, including having the more senior Curialists channel business through him.

Fictional Portrayals

Cardinal Benelli is portrayed by popular actor David Suchet in a West-End production of 'The Last Confession' at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. He has reprised the role in a production for BBC Radio 4 broadcast on October 4th 2008.


En español:

(1976) Pancorbo, Luis: "Monseñor Benelli" en "Diálogos italianos". Pp. 343-353. Sedmay, Madrid. ISBN 84-7380-124-5

External links

* [ Catholic-Hierarchy]
* [ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church]

ee also

* Papal conclave, 1978 (October)
* Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence


* [ Biography]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Giovanni Benelli — Cardenal presbítero de Santa Prisca Ordenación 31 de octubre de 1943 por Giuseppe Debernardi Consagración episcopal 11 de septiembre de 1966 por Amleto Giovanni Cicognani Proclamación 27 de junio de 1977 por Pablo VI Otros títulos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giovanni Benelli — Biographie Naissance 12 mai 1921 à Poggiole di Vernio (Italie) Ordination sacerdotale 31 octobre 1943 par Mgr Giuseppe Debernardi Décès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Benelli — Giovanni Kardinal Benelli (* 12. Mai 1921 in Poggiole di Vernio, Provinz Prato, Italien; † 26. Oktober 1982 in Florenz) war Erzbischof des Erzbistums Florenz. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Ehrungen 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benelli — bezeichnet: Benelli (Waffenhersteller), ein Waffenhersteller Benelli (Motorradhersteller), ein Motorradhersteller Benelli ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Andrea Benelli (* 1960), italienischer Sportschütze Gioia Benelli (* ?),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giovanni Battista Re — Cardenal Obispo de Sabina Poggio Mirteto Giovanni Battista Re Prefecto emérito de la Congregación para los Obispos Presidente emérito de la Pontificia Comisión para América Latina Ordenación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giovanni Battista Re — Le cardinal Re Biographie Naissance 30 janvier 1934 à Brescia (Italie) Ordination …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni De Andrea — (* 22. April 1928 in Rivarolo Canavese, Provinz Turin, Italien) ist ein ehemaliger Diplomat des Heiligen Stuhls und ein emeritierter Kurienbischof der römisch katholischen Kirche. Leben Giovanni De Andrea empfing am 29. Juni 1951 die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giovanni Colombo — infobox cardinalstyles cardinal name=Giovanni Cardinal Colombo dipstyle=His Eminence offstyle=Your Eminence relstyle= Cardinal deathstyle= See=Milan (Emeritus)Giovanni Colombo (December 6, 1902 mdash;May 20, 1992) was an Italian Cardinal of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Benelli (motorcycles) — Benelli Logo de Benelli Création 1911 Personnages clés Fondateurs : Teresa, Giuseppe, Giovanni, Francesco, Filippo, Domenico et Antonio Benelli …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benelli — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Benelli S.p.A. Fundación 1911 Fundador(es) Teresa Benelli Sede Pesaro …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.