Antonio Samoré

Antonio Samoré

infobox cardinalstyles
cardinal name=Antonio Cardinal Samoré
dipstyle=His Eminence
offstyle=Your Eminence
See=Sabina e Poggio Mirteto (suburbicarain)|

Antonio Cardinal Samoré (December 4, 1905—February 3, 1983) was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library from 1974 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967.


Antonio Samoré was born in Bardi to Gino Samoré and his wife Giuseppina Basini. After studying at the seminary in Piacenza and the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ersilio Menzani on June 10, 1928. Father Samoré then did pastoral work in Piacenza until 1932, when he became attaché and secretary of the Lithuanian nunciature. He was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on February 28, 1935, and later a Domestic prelate of His Holiness on February 27, 1947. In 1938, Samoré was named secretary of the nunciature to Switzerland and also entered the Roman Curia as an official of the Secretariat of State. He was then counselor of the apostolic delegation to United States from 1947 to 1950.

On January 30, 1950, Samoré was appointed Nuncio to Colombia and Titular Archbishop of "Ternobus" by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 16 from Clemente Cardinal Micara, with Archbishop Filippo Bernardini and Bishop Alberto Carinci serving as co-consecrators, in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Samoré later returned to Rome upon his naming as Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs on February 7, 1953. As Secretary, he was the second-highest official of that dicastery. Before and after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), later as President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, he was charged by Pope Paul VI to stem support of liberation theology and "ecclesial base communities" by the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM).

He was created Cardinal Priest of "S. Maria sopra Minerva" by Paul VI in the consistory of June 26, 1967. A protégé of Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the heavily conservative Samoré advised Pope Paul against granting his approval to artificial birth control [Yallop, David. "In God's Name: An Invesitgation Into the Murder of Pope John Paul II". Carrol & Graff, 2007] . The next year, on November 1, 1968, Paul appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments. Following the death of Giovanni Cardinal Urbani in 1969, Cardinal Samoré was one of the leading contenders to succeed him as Patriarch of Venice; the position ultimately went to Bishop Albino Luciani [Ibid.] . Samoré, upon resigning as Prefect on January 25, 1974, was named Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library. On December 12 of that same year, he became Cardinal Bishop of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto.

From 1978 to 1983, he acted as a special representative of Pope John Paul II, later earning Samoré the nickname "the Vatican Kissinger" [TIME Magazine. [,9171,920046,00.html War Averted] January 22, 1979] , to operate a mediation between Chile and Argentina, in the brink of war, because of a disagreement concerning the ownership of the strategic Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands during the Beagle conflict. The international pass of Puyehue, that links Osorno in Chile with Bariloche (Argentina) was later renamed after him as Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass.

Samoré died in from a heart attack in Rome, at age 77. He is buried in the church of the Carmelite monastery of Vetralla.


External links

* [ Catholic-Hierarchy.Org datasheet]
* [ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church]
* Interview in Spanish newspaper El País on 11. January 1979 with the Cardinal, after signing of the Act of Montevideo, during Beagle conflict, in Article [ Argentina y Chile han renunciado a la fuerza en el conflicto de Beagle] . (in Spanish Language)
* Informationen about the political Position of the Cardinal, in the Spanish newspaper El Pais on 24. December 1978 in article [ Un cardenal intransigente y conservador será el mediador entre Argentina y Chile] (in Spanish Language).

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