Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops and President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, was born on January 30, 1934 in Borno (Brescia), Italy. He was ordained for the Diocese of Brescia on March 3, 1957 and holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
He taught in the Brescia seminary and served as a curate before entering the Holy See's diplomatic service. He was posted to Panama and Iran, until being recalled to the Secretariat of State, where he served as personal secretary to Archbishop Giovanni Benelli. In 1979 he was named Assessor.
On October 9, 1987 he was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and titular Archbishop of Vescovìo, receiving episcopal consecration on November 7. Two years later he was named Substitute of the Secretariat of State, a post he held for 11 years.
On September 16, 2000 the Holy Father appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
President Delegate for the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 2001).
President of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, Aparecida, Brazil (May 13-31, 2007).
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of February 21, 2001, of the Title of the Suburbicarian Church of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto (October 1, 2002).
- Secretariat of State (second section);
- Congregations: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for the Evangelization of Peoples;
- Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;
- Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.