Rigali, Justin Francis*

Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia (USA), was born on April 19, 1935 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. He was ordained a priest on April 25, 1961 and holds a doctorate in canon law.

In 1964 he entered the English-language department of the Secretariat of State, of which he was appointed Director in 1970, after serving in the Apostolic Nuncio in Madagascar (1966-1970). He worked as the English translator for Pope Paul VI, whom he accompanied on various international journeys. He also served as professor of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

On June 8, 1985 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Volsinium and ordained on September 14, 1985. At the same time, he was appointed President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. From 1985-1990, he held many Vatican posts and was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops on December 21, 1989 and shortly thereafter, on January 2, 1990, Secretary of the College of Cardinals.

On January 25, 1994 he was nominated Archbishop of Saint Louis, Missouri.

On July 15, 2003 he was nominated Archbishop of Philadelphia He retired in 2011 and his place was taken by Archbishop Charles, J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap.

He serves on various committees of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of October 21, 2003, of the Title of S. Prisca (St. Priscilla).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for Bishops;
  • Committee Vox Clara;
  • Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.


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