Camillo Ruini

His Eminence
Camillo Ruini
Cardinal Vicar Emeritus of Rome

Cardinal Ruini
Church Catholic
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura
Ordination 8 December 1954
by Mons. Luigi Traglia
Consecration 29 June 1983
by Mons. Gilberto Baroni
Created Cardinal 28 June 1991
Rank Cardinal Priest
Personal details
Born (1931-02-19) 19 February 1931
Sassuolo, Italy
Denomination Catholic
Motto Veritas liberabit nos
Coat of arms
Styles of
Camillo Ruini
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Agnese fuori le mura

Camillo Ruini (Italian pronunciation: [kaˈmillo ruˈini]; born 19 February 1931) is an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome from 1991 to 2008 . He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1991.

He was very active in the mass media and was one of the cardinals who most often appeared on Italian television, newspapers and magazines. On 14 February 2006, he was confirmed as president of the Italian Episcopal Conference by Pope Benedict XVI, a post at which he served until March 2007.


Ruini was born in Sassuolo, Emilia-Romagna. Having studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he obtained a licentiate in philosophy and a licentiate in sacred theology.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 8 December 1954, by Archbishop Luigi Traglia. In 1957 he returned to Reggio Emilia and taught philosophy at the diocesan seminary until 1968. From 1958 to 1966 he served as chaplain to university graduates and from 1966 to 1970 he served as a delegate for Azione Cattolica.

Among his teaching posts, from 1968 until 1986 he taught dogmatic theology at the Studio Teologico Interdiocesano of Modena-Reggio Emilia-Carpi-Guastalla, where he was also headmaster from 1968 to 1977.

On 16 May 1983, he was named auxiliary bishop of Reggio Emilia and titular bishop of Nepte, and was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Gilberto Baroni the following 29 June. As vice president of the Preparatory Committee, he contributed to the realization of the Ecclesial Convention of Loreto (1985), which has become a reference point in the dialogue between the Church and Italian society following the wounds of the 1960s and 1970s.

In June 1986 the Pope John Paul II named him secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference. From 1988 to 2011 he was a consultor of the Congregation for Bishops.

In January 1991 he was named auxiliary bishop and pro-vicar general for the Diocese of Rome. In March 1991 he became president of the Italian bishops' conference. He was elevated to Cardinal-Priest of the Title of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura in June 1991, and was named vicar general of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome and archpriest of the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano in July 1991. He was also grand chancellor of the Lateran University and Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

In addition to serving as the Cardinal Vicar, Cardinal Ruini served in the Roman Curia as a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, and the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See. He held these memberships until the 80th birthday in 2011.

Ruini was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. Ruini is no longer eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves following a pope's death. He celebrated his 80th birthday on 19 February 2011.

On 17 March 2010 the Vatican announced that it has formed a commission to look into the phenomenon of Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where six young people have said they have had visions of Mary since the early 80s. The international investigative commission on Medjugorje has been constituted, under the presidency of Cardinal Ruini and dependent upon the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In January 2014 it was announced that the international Vatican commission investigating the events at Medjugorje has completed its work and will submit its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. [1]

Ruini has received accolades for his tireless efforts and unitary vision in the making of the documentary of Pope John Paul II.


Ruini was seen as a conservative, close to the positions of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He was very active in the mass media, and was the strongest voice of the Church against the spring 2005 referendum for the abolition of parts of Italy's laws on artificial insemination. He commented, like Pope Benedict XVI, upon the issue of the 1999 French Pacte civil de solidarité for unmarried couples of the same or opposite sex. In 2007 a bill was proposed in the Italian Senate for a law on civil unions. The bishops conference opposed this proposal.[2]


On 7 March 2007 Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco to succeed Cardinal Ruini as President of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

Cardinal Ruini remained vicar for the diocese of Rome until 27 June 2008, when his resignation, for reasons of age, from that post and from that of Archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateran was accepted and Cardinal Agostino Vallini was appointed as his successor.

As of 21 June 2013 Cardinal Ruini was serving as the President of the Scientific Committee of the Ratzinger Foundation.[3]


  1. "riteniamo la legalizzazione delle unioni di fatto inaccettabile sul piano di principio, pericolosa sul piano sociale ed educativo" (we consider legalisation of de facto unions unacceptable on the level of principle and dangerous on the social and educational level)."Nota del Consiglio Episcopale Permanente a riguardo della famiglia fondata sul matrimonio e di iniziative legislative in materia di unioni di fatto" (PDF). 28 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20. [italian]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Egidio Caporello
Secretary-General of the Italian Episcopal Conference
28 June 1986 – 7 March 1991
Succeeded by
Dionigi Tettamanzi
Preceded by
Ugo Poletti
Archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateran
1 July 1991 – 27 June 2008
Succeeded by
Agostino Vallini
Preceded by
Ugo Poletti
President of the Italian Episcopal Conference
March 19917 March 2007
Succeeded by
Angelo Bagnasco
Preceded by
Ugo Poletti
Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome
1 July 1991 – 27 June 2008
Succeeded by
Agostino Vallini
Preceded by
Louis-Jean Guyot
Cardinal Priest of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura
28 June 1991
Succeeded by
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