Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, was born in San Pietro in Campo, Barga, Italy, on 29 September 1940.
He entered the seminary in Pisa, where in addition to theology and philosophy he also studied piano. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1963. He holds a license in dogmatic theology and a doctorate in canon law.
In 1971 he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy where he graduated two years later. He also studied at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and then studied polyphony and sacred music with Domenico Bartolucci. When he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1973 he was sent to Guatemala and El Salvador as an official. One year later he was promoted to secretary. Subsequently he worked in the nunciatures of Japan, Brazil, Paraguay and France. Between 1986 and 1991 he served at the pontifical representation of Zimbabwe. In 1991 he was sent to Haiti, which was in serious political and social turmoil including a coup d’état.
On 15 January 1992 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Diocletiana and Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti. He received his episcopal ordination on 7 March of that year. He returned to Haiti on 28 March during a time of great difficulty: the country was experiencing conflict, social tension and violence, including against the Church. He remained there until 1995, when he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay – a country which was transitioning to democracy. In 1999 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, and in 2002 as Nuncio to Brazil.
In 2012 he was called to Rome and began serving as Secretary in the Congregation of Bishops. Later he was appointed consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Secretary of the College of Cardinals.
On 21 September 2013 Pope Francis entrusted him the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014, of the Deaconry of Sant’Anselmo all’Aventino. (St. Anselm on Aventino).
- Congregations: of the Causes of Saints; for Bishops, for the Evangelization of Peoples;
- Pontifical Commission for Latin America (Counsellor).