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Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, President emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See , was born on 11 April 1931 in Montemonaco (Ascoli Piceno), Italy. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Fermo on 15 July 1956 and holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.

After studying at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, he was posted to Peru, Brazil and Chile before being recalled to the Secretariat of State, where he served as secretary to Cardinals Cicognani and Villot. On 27 September 1976 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Caesarea in Mauretania and Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Madagascar and Mauritius, with responsibility as Apostolic Delegate for La Réunion and the Comorros, receiving episcopal ordination on 30 October. In 1985 he was named Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey.

On 16 November 1994 he was appointed General Secretary of the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

On 3 November 1997 the Holy Father named him President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. Emeritus, 12 April 2008.

He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Eustachio (St. Eustache), Deaconry elevated pro hac vice to presbyteral title (21 February 2011).