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Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, was born on 6 March 1938 in San Giuliano Milanese, Italy.

He was ordained a priest on29 June 1962. He holds a licence in theology, a diploma in moral theology, a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a doctorate in jurisprudence from Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan. Following his studies, he served in the tribunal of the archdiocese of Milan and was a professor of canon law.

On 8 April 1993 he was appointed titular Bishop of Coeliana and Auxiliary of Milan. He received episcopal ordination on 22 May 1993.

On 15 February 2007, he was raised to the dignity of Archbishop, retaining the same titular see and appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

He is the author of many publications.

He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 18 February 2012, of Title of S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami (St. Joseph of the Carpenters), Deaconry elevated pro hac vice to presbyteral title (4 march 2022).