A patriarch for the people
by Gianni Valente
Francesco Moraglia [© Cid/Gente Veneta]
Francesco Moraglia, second son of four children (two girls and two boys), was born in Genoa, on 25 May 1953 to a lawyer father – who died last February – and a mother teacher and then housewife. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1977.
In 1979 he was appointed assistant pastor in a parish in the center of Genoa, a position he held until 1988. In 1981 he received his doctorate in dogmatic theology and in 1986 began teaching at the Ligurian Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, teaching fundamental Dogmatic Theology and Sacramental Theology. From 1994 to 2007 he was also dean of the Institute. From the late ’eighties he also taught Christology, Anthropology, Sacramental Theology and the History of Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, a branch of the Seminary of Genoa.
From 1990 until 2007 he was diocesan assistant to MEIC (Church Movement for Cultural Involvement). From 1995 he was appointed chairman of the Diocesan Commission for the pastoral problems of alternative religious movements and of sects, and also – since 1996 – Director of the Diocesan Office for Culture and the University.
On 6 December 2007 he was appointed bishop of the Episcopal See of La Spezia – Sarzana – Brugnato. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco ordained him bishop on 3 February 2008.
In April 2010 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Culture and Communication Foundation of the IEC, on which TV2000 depends.
Benedict XVI appointed him Patriarch of Venice on 31 January 2012. On 29 May 2012 he was elected president of the Bishops’ Conference of Triveneto.
In conjunction with the entrance and the first months of pastoral ministry in Venice, two instant-books published by Cid/Gente Veneta were already dedicated to the new Patriarch: Francesco, Patriarca dei due mari [Francesco, Patriarch of the two seas] (with a preface by Dino Boffo) and Con voi e per voi [With you and for you] (with a foreword by Don Sandro Vigani). Some photos on these pages have been taken from them.