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Antonio Samore

Antonio Samore was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967.


Antonio Samore was born in Bardi, near Parma. 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 Samore then did pastoral work in Piacenza until 1932, when he became attache 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, Samore 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, Samore 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 Micara, with Archbishop Filippo Bernardini and Bishop Alberto Carinci serving as co-consecrators, in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Samore 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 protege of Alfredo Ottaviani, the heavily conservative Samore advised Pope Paul against granting his approval to artificial birth control. 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 Urbani in 1969, Cardinal Samore was one of the leading contenders to succeed him as Patriarch of Venice; the position ultimately went to Bishop Albino Luciani. Samore, upon resigning as Prefect on January 25, 1974, was named Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church. 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 Samore the nickname "the Vatican Kissinger"TIME Magazine. 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 Samore Pass.

Samore 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 Pais 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 sera el mediador entre Argentina y Chile (in Spanish Language).

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