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Styles of
Agostino Cacciavillan
CardinalCoA PioM.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Amiternum (titular)

Agostino Cacciavillan (born August 14, 1926) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Pro-Nuncio to Kenya, India, Nepal, and the United States between 1976 and 1998, and then served as President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See from 1998 to 2002. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2001, and is the current Cardinal Protodeacon.

Early life and priesthood

Agostino Cacciavillan was born in Novale di Valdagno. He studied at the seminary of Vicenza, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 1949.[1] He then served as a curate for three years before furthering his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, from where he obtained a licentiate in social sciences, and at Sapienza University, earning a doctorate in jurisprudence.[2] Attending the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy as well, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1959.

Cacciavillan then served as secretary of the nunciature to the Philippines (1960-1964), of the nunciature to Spain (1964-1968), and of the nunciature to Portugal (1968).[2] From 1969 to 1974, he worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State, where he was also head of the Office of Information and Documentation. He was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness on August 26, 1973.[2]

Diplomatic career

On January 17, 1976, Cacciavillan was appointed Pro-Nuncio to Kenya and Apostolic Delegate to the Seychelles, as well as Titular Archbishop of Amiternum, by Pope Paul VI.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following February 21 from Cardinal Jean-Marie Villot, with Archbishop Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy and Bishop Carlo Fanton serving as co-consecrators, at St. Peter's Basilica.[1] He selected as his episcopal motto: "In Virtute Dei".[4]

As the papal ambassador in Kenya, he also served as Permanent Observer to the United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Human Settlements Programme.[2] Cacciavillan was later named Pro-Nuncio to India on May 9, 1981, and the first Pro-Nuncio to Nepal on April 30, 1985.[1] On June 13, 1990, he succeeded Pio Laghi as Pro-Nuncio to the United States. By virtue of this position, he was also Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States and the Holy See's representative to the World Association of Jurists.[2]

Within the Roman Curia

Pope John Paul II appointed Cacciavillan as President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See on November 5, 1998.[1] According to Pastor Bonus, the Administration deals with the "properties owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function."[5] He was created Cardinal Deacon of Ss. Angeli Custodi a Città Giardino in the consistory of February 21, 2001. He retired from his post as President on October 1, 2002.[1]

Cacciavillan was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.[2] In accordance with the rules of Universi Dominici Gregis, he lost the right to vote in any further papal conclaves upon reaching the age of eighty in August 2006.

Following the elevation of Darío Castrillón Hoyos to the rank of Cardinal Priest on March 1, 2008, Cacciavillan became Cardinal Protodeacon, the senior-ranking Cardinal Deacon (in order of appointment to the College of Cardinals) whose special privilege it is to make the Habemus Papam announcement upon the conclusion of a papal conclave.[2]

In the Roman Curia, he also holds membership in the Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for Oriental Churches, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.[6]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lorenzo Antonetti
President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
5 November 1998–1 October 2002
Succeeded by
Attilio Nicora
Preceded by
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
Cardinal Protodeacon
1 March 2008 –
Succeeded by

no:Agostino Cacciavillan ru:Каччавиллан, Агостино fi:Agostino Cacciavillan sv:Agostino Cacciavillan