Studied, Episcopal Seminary Ariceale. Licence in theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. Doctor in canon law, Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.
He was appointed to the see of Palermo by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 December 2006. Romeo was the fifth of nine children. After primary school he entered the seminary and began studying Theology.
He continued his studies at the university and did pastoral ministry as assistant to the Scouts Group "Roma IX" in "Collegio San Giuseppe in Piazza di Spagna" and diocesan assistant of the association "Silenziosi Operai della Croce".
In 1964, he was called to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and on 1 January 1967 he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy Secretary Romeo worked in the nunciatures in the Philippines, Belgium and Luxembourg and European Community, Venezuela, and Rwanda and Burundi.
In 1967, he was called to the Council for Public Affairs of the Church in the Secretariat of State. At the same time, he worked as director of the "Casa Internazionale del Clero" and was regional assistant for the Lazio of the AGESC. In 1976 he was recalled to the Vatican Secretariat of State to monitor the life of the Catholic community in the countries of Latin America and activities of the Latin American Episcopal Conference, especially at that time which involved preparation for the 3rd General Conference of that continent which opened on 29 January 1979.
On 17 December 1983 he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Vulturia by Pope John Paul II and that same day was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti.
Archbishop Romeo stayed in Haiti until his appointment to serve as Nuncio in Colombia in April 1990. Nine years later he was appointed to serve as Nuncio to Canada. On 17 April 2001 he began his period representing the Holy See in Italy and San Marino.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Romeo to serve as the Metropolitan on 19 December 2006, replacing Salvatore De Giorgi, who had reached the retirement age of 75 in September 2005.
Archbishop Romeo received the pallium in Saint Peter"s Basilica in the Vatican on 29 June 2007 from Pope Benedict along with 45 other metropolitan archbishops. Archbishop Romeo was elected president of the Sicilian Episcopal Conference on 14 February 2007.
He was created Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Odigitria at a consistory on 20 November 2010. He is eligible to vote in a papal conclave until his 80th birthday in 2018.
On 3 October 2010 he welcomed Pope Benedict when he visited the Sicilian capital.
He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis. At age 75 he submitted his resignation letter to Pope Francis, which was accepted on 27 October 2015.
In December 2010 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.