Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi: a pastor full of humanity

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi passed way to the Father on August 3 in Villa Sacro Cuore, Triuggio, a few kilometres from Milan, where from 2002 to 2012 he was a truly dedicated pastor.

He was a very intelligent cardinal with his heart in his hands and was accepted by the people in this largest diocese as “one of us”.

Cardinal Tettamanzi was born in Renate in Brianza, 20km from the large economic capital of Milan. He loved Milan and the Milanesi loved his humanity, simplicity and intelligence.

I met him in 1972 at a seminar I gave on counselling, which he attended. In 1974, when the Italian bishops called me to Milan as the first director of CISF (International Centre for Family Studies) I invited him and other experts to be a member of the scientific committee.

From then onwards we gave courses, lectures and published many articles. In 1978, we organised the famous International Congress on the 10 Years of Humanae Vitae, the controversial encyclical on family planning. Since then, as a theologian, he was close to the work of the Cana Movement in Malta.

Cardinal Tettamanzi had a long and varied career from a professor of theology to the Bishop of Ancona and Osimo. He visited Malta twice.

From Ancona, where he was ordained Bishop by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, he was moved to Rome as secretary general of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. From there, after four years he was made Cardinal Archbishop of Genova.

In 2002, he was given the largest diocese of Milan. He served the people as a pastor full of humility and humanity. This is how he will be remembered by the clergy, who loved him, and the two million faithful. This is how too I continue to venerate my friend Dionigi, who also loved Malta and Cana.

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