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Angelo Amato, S.D.B. (8 June 1938 -) is an archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church and since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 9 July 2008 the current Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He previously served as secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


He entered the Salesians, after the novitiate attended a Salesian high school. Then he studied philosophy and theology in Romemarker. He was ordained a priest on 22 December 1967 becoming a member of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco. He studied at the Pontifical Salesian Universitymarker. There he specialised in Christology. In 1972 he began to teach at the Salesian as an assistant. In 1974 he obtained his doctorate with a dissertation on The Tridentine pronouncements on the need for sacramental confession in canons 6-9, Session XIV.

In the years 1978 to 1979 he was a fellow of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinoplemarker in Thessaloniki in Greecemarker, at the monastery Orthodox Moní Vlatádon, home of the renowned Institute of patriarchal patristic studies. In 1988 he spent a sabbatical year in Washington DCmarker, USA, where he began to study the theology of religions.

Academic life

He was professor of dogmatics at PSU, and for twelve years (1981 - 1987 and then 1993 to 1997) was dean of the Faculty of Theology.

He served as a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as well as for the Congregation for Bishops.

Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

On 19 December 2002, John Paul II appointed him as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and titular archbishop of Sila. He served under Cardinals Joseph Ratzinger (who was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005) and William Levada between 2005 and 2008. He was consecreted bishop on 6 January 2003 by Pope John Paul II with archbishops Leonardo Sandri and Antonio Maria Vegliò serving as co-consecrators.

Galileo Galilei treatment

The belief that the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo Galilei for pointing out that the Earth goes round the Sun was quite wrong, the secretary of the Vatican's Doctrinal Congregation, Archbishop Amato claimed. Citing a letter recently discovered in the Vatican's archive, Archbishop Amato, said it proved the church had treated him very well.

The letter, sent by the Commissioner of the Holy Office to Francesco Barberini in 1633, expressed the Pope's concern that the trial of the scientist accused of heresy be concluded quickly as his health was poor. Archbishop Amato told the Italian weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana that the letter proved that the church's attitude to the great astronomer was benign. [672430]


It is believed he was among the principal authors of the controversial Dominus Iesus issued in 2000. After the 2005 Papal conclave the first private audience granted by the new Pope Benedict was to Archbishop Amato on Monday 25 April.

In addition to his role as CDF secretary Amato is a consultor to the Pontifical Councils for Christian Unity and, Interreligious Dialogue.

Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

On 9 July 2008 Pope Benedict named Archbishop Amato as prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints replacing José Saraiva Martins. Thus, Amato oversees the process which leads to the canonisation of saints which includes preparing a case, including the approval of certified miracles, the case is presented to the pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonisation. Amato is the second CDF Secretary to lead the Causes of Saints dicastry, the first being Alberto Bovone. As per tradition, Archbishop Amato is expected to be created Cardinal-Deacon in the next consistory expected sometime around 2010.


  • "there is the so-called terrorism with a human face, which is also a daily occurrence and just as repugnant, which continues to be propagated by the media, manipulating traditional language with expressions that hide the tragic reality of the facts. The laboratories where, for example, RU-486, the morning-after pill, is made or where human embryos are manipulated as if they were simply biological material... [and] the parliaments of so-called 'civil' nations which promulgate laws contrary to the nature of the human person, like the approval of marriages between persons of the same sex, or of euthanasia."

  • Speaking on the "Da Vinci Code, Archbishop Amato said that "if such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust they would have justly provoked a world uprising".


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