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Luigi Cardinal Poggi Edit Profile

archbishop , archivist , bishop , cardinal , diplomat , librarian , Catholic priest , Category:Cardinal priests of San Lorenzo in Lucina

Luigi Poggi was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.


Poggi, Luigi Cardinal was born on November 25, 1917 in Piacenza, Italy.


Attended, Alberoni College, Piacenza, Italy. Graduate, Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Rome.


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 Vatican Secret Archives , thus becoming the keeper of some of the Vatican greatest secrets of the past 2000 years. 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.

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. 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.

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.