In 1992 he was consecrated a bishop and appointed apostolic nuncio to Haiti, which had just experienced a coup. He later served as apostolic nuncio to Paraguay, India, Nepal, and Brazil.
In Brazil, Baldisseri achieved an agreement regulating the juridical status of the Church which is now a model for every religious group wishing to forge an agreement with the Brazilian state. In securing the arrangement, Baldisseri had to coordinate with 11 different ministries of the Brazilian administration.
After this achievement, Benedict XVI appointed him in 2012 secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, as well as secretary of the College of Cardinals.
In this latter role, he acted as secretary of the 2013 conclave. At the end of the conclave, the newly elected Pope Francis gave Baldisseri his red zucchetto, indicating that he soon would be made a cardinal.
The pope appointed him to the College of Cardinals on Feb. 22, 2014.
The Synod of Bishops was created in 1965 by Pope Paul VI, who charged the synod with encouraging close union between the pope and the world's bishops, to "ensure that direct and real information is provided on questions and situations touching upon the internal action of the Church and its necessary activity in the world of today."
Ordinary synods take place every three years on issues voted upon by synod delegates elected or appointed from each continent, and from certain Vatican offices. There have been 15 ordinary synods to date. There are also extraordinary synods and special synods.
The synod that took place in October 2019 was a special Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region.
Following that synod, the pope stressed that "synodality is an ecclesial journey that has a soul that is the Holy Spirit."
"The practice of synodality, traditional but always to be renewed, is the implementation in the history of the People of God on the way, of the Church as a mystery of communion, in the image of the Trinitarian communion," he said.