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from issue no. 02 - 2004


The first Sardinian cardinal after 123 years

by Gianni Cardinale

Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda comes from Ozieri, the Episcopal See in the province of Sassari, and is the fourth cardinal of the Sardinian Church (the last was the nuncio Luigi Amat, 1796-1878, a native of Sinnai in the province of Cagliari).
The cardinal was a student at the Almo Collegio Capranica in Rome, and gained a degree in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a license in Holy Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. Later he got an in utroque iure degree at the Pontifical Lateran University, as well as the title of Rota lawyer at the Studium sacrae romanae Rotae.
Ordained priest in 1951, Pompedda performed his priestly ministry for thirty years in the Rome parish church of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe on Monte Mario. In 1955 he entered the service of the Holy See, at the Court of the Roman Rota, holding various posts up to his appointment as Defender of the Bond and then, in 1969, of Prelate Auditor (judge). In 1993 he was appointed Dean of the Rota and four years later was elevated to the dignity of archbishop. In 1999 he was called to preside over the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signet.
Pompedda was made cardinal in the consistory of 21 February 2001, and is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of that for Divine Worship and of Propaganda Fide; and also of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
Currently he is ecclesiastical adviser to the Union internationale des juristes catholiques, after being, for more than thirty years, that to the Roman Union of Catholic jurists.

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