Giovanni Coppa, Italian Roman Catholic cardinal, Died at 90


Giovanni Coppa was born on November 9, 1925, in Alba, and died on May 16, 2016.

He was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

Giovanni has served as a diplomat of the Holy See, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007.

Giovanni Coppa attended the seminary there before studying at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, where he gained his doctorate in modern letters (with a dissertation entitled: “The iconography of the Most Holy Trinity from the origins to the 14th century”).

Giovanni Coppa was ordained to the priesthood on 2 January 1949, and then served as a diocesan delegate for the aspirants of Catholic Action.

He started the Roman Curia in the Apostolic Chancery, in 1952.

The he was appointed the director of the Rome-based monthly retreats of the nuns of the Holy Family of Spoleto in 1954, and began work in the Vatican Secretariat of State in 1958.

From 1962–1965, in the Second Vatican Council, Coppa served as an expert for the Latin language.

The priest was named an honorary canon of the chapter of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1965, and assessor of the Secretariat of State on 19 November 1975.

He served as Vice-Chaplain of the Palatine Guard of Honor and responsible of the Conference of Saint Vincent of Paul.

When the Association of Saints Peter and Paul was instituted at the Vatican, the Secretariat of State named Coppa as its counselor.

Coppa wrote several works on Saint Ambrose, the Gospels, and the Fathers of the Church, as well as contributing to works such as L’Osservatore Romano.

He was appointed delegate for the Secretariat of State’s pontifical representations and Titular Archbishop of Serta, on December 1, 1979.

Giovanni received his episcopal consecration on January 6, 1980, from Pope John Paul II himself, with Archbishop Eduardo Martínez Somalo and Bishop Ferdinando Maggioni serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Later, he was named Nuncio to Czechoslovakia on 30 June 1990, and to the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.

Giovanni Coppa retired his post in Slovakia on 2 March 1994, and in the Czech Republic on 19 May 2001.

Then Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of S. Lino in the consistory of November 24, 2007.

At age 80 at the time of his elevation, Coppa was not eligible to participate in a papal conclave.

Giovanni Coppa passed away at 90 yrs old.