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Corrado Bafile
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Corrado Bafile (July 4, 1903 – February 3, 2005) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints from 1975 to 1980, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1976. At the time of his death, he was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals.

Early life

The youngest of the twelve children, Corrado Bafile was born in L'Aquila, Abruzzo, to physician Vincenzo Bafile and his wife Maddalena Tedeschini D'Annibale. His brother was a military hero who died in World War I, and was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor. He attended the liceo classico in L'Aquila before studying chemistry at the University of Munich in Germany. Following his father's death, Bafile entered Sapienza University in Rome, from where he obtained a doctorate in law in 1926. Once he passed the examination for a legal procurator, he was registered with the Court of Appeals of L'Aquila in June 1927.


Bafile later decided to pursue Holy Orders in 1932, and then studied philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University for a year before attending the Pontifical Roman Seminary and Pontifical Lateran University, earning a doctorate in canon law. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 11, 1936, and then furthered his studies at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy until 1939.

Bafile was an attaché of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and did pastoral work in Rome from 1939 to 1960. During this time, he also served as chaplain to the Abruzzi community in Rome and to the Legion of Mary. He was raised to the rank of Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on June 24, 1954.

Episcopal career

On February 13, 1960, Bafile was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Germany and Titular Archbishop of Antiochia in Pisidia by Pope John XXIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 19 from John XXIII himself, with Archbishop Diego Venini and Bishop Petrus Canisius Van Lierde, OSA, serving as co-consecrators, at the Sistine Chapel. He attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, and was later named Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints on July 18, 1975.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Portico in the consistory of May 24, 1976. Having been elevated to the College of Cardinals, Bafile then became full Prefect of his Curial congregation. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II, respectively. Bafile retired from the prefecture on June 27, 1980, and lost the right to participate in any future conclaves upon reaching age 80 on July 4, 1983.

He died from complications with influenza at the Pius XI Clinic in Rome, at age 101. Cardinal Ratzinger presided over his funeral Mass before he was buried at his family's tomb in his native L'Aquila. His remains were later transferred to the church where he was baptized.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Aloisius Joseph Muench
Apostolic Nuncio to Germany
Succeeded by
Guido Del Mestri
Preceded by
Luigi Raimondi
Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Succeeded by
Pietro Palazzini
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei
Oldest living cardinal
March 12, 2000—March 3, 2005
Succeeded by
Johannes Willebrands

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