Agostino Cacciavillan

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Agostino Cacciavillan bigraphy, stories - Catholic cardinal

Agostino Cacciavillan : biography

14 August 1926 –

Agostino Cacciavillan (born 14 August 1926) is an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Pro-Nuncio to Kenya, India, Nepal, and the United States between 1976 and 1998, and then served as President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See from 1998 to 2002. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2001.

Within the Roman Curia

Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Cacciavillan as President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See on 5 November 1998. According to Pastor Bonus, the Administration deals with the "properties owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function." He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Angeli Custodi a Città Giardino in the consistory of 21 February 2001. He retired from his post as president on 1 October 2002.

Cardinal Cacciavillan was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. In accordance with the rules of Universi Dominici Gregis, he lost the right to vote in any further papal conclaves upon reaching the age of eighty in August 2006.

Following the elevation of Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos to the rank of Cardinal-Priest on 1 March 2008, Cacciavillan, as the longest serving Cardinal-Deacon (in order of appointment to the College of Cardinals), became Cardinal Protodeacon, whose special privilege it is to make the Habemus Papam announcement upon the conclusion of a papal conclave. He lost this position on 21 February 2011, having opted for the order of Cardinal Priest, with his former diaconal church elevated to the level of cardinalitial title.

In the Roman Curia, he also held membership in the Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for Oriental Churches, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. He lost these positions on reaching his 80th birthday

Early life and priesthood

Cacciavillan was born in Novale di Valdagno. He studied at the seminary of Vicenza, and was ordained to the priesthood on 26 June 1949. He then served as a curate for three years before furthering his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, from where he obtained a licentiate in social sciences, and at Sapienza University, earning a doctorate in jurisprudence. Attending the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy as well, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1959.

Cacciavillan then served as secretary of the nunciature to the Philippines (1960–1964), of the nunciature to Spain (1964–1968), and of the nunciature to Portugal (1968). From 1969 to 1974, he worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State, where he was also head of the Office of Information and Documentation. He was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate on 26 August 1973.

Diplomatic career

On 17 January 1976, Cacciavillan was appointed Pro-Nuncio to Kenya and Apostolic Delegate to the Seychelles, as well as Titular Archbishop of Amiternum, by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 21 February from Cardinal Jean-Marie Villot, with Archbishop Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy and Bishop Carlo Fanton serving as co-consecrators, at St. Peter’s Basilica. He selected as his episcopal motto: "In Virtute Dei".

As the papal ambassador in Kenya, he also served as Permanent Observer to the United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Cacciavillan was later named Pro-Nuncio to India on 9 May 1981, and the first Pro-Nuncio to Nepal on 30 April 1985. On 13 June 1990, he succeeded Archbishop Pio Laghi as Pro-Nuncio to the US. By virtue of this position, he was also Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States and the Holy See’s representative to the World Association of Jurists.