Renato Raffaele Martino

Renato Martino

Renato Raffaele Martino (born 23 November 1932) is an Italian Cardinal Deacon, and President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in the Roman Catholic Church.


Born in Salerno, Martino was ordained as a priest in 1957. He holds a doctorate in Canon law and is fluent in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

After finishing his studies, Martino entered the Vatican's diplomatic service in 1962, serving in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Lebanon, Canada, and Brazil.

In 1980, Martino was given a pro-nuncio diplomatic appointment to Thailand, and he was named Archbishop of the titular see of Segerme that same year.

On 1 October 2002, Martino was named President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace after being Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York City from 1986.

Martino was elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory of 21 October 2003 becoming Cardinal-Deacon of S. Francesco di Paola ai Monti.

Martino was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. On 6 November 2006, after the death sentence had been passed on Saddam Hussein, Martino said that:

...punishing a crime with another crime – which is what killing for vindication is – would mean that we are still at the point of demanding an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth...

He pleaded for clemency for Hussein and called for a peace conference aimed at solving all the major conflicts in the Middle East and reiterated his position that invasion of Iraq by U.S.-led coalition was wrong.

On June 14, 2007, Martino urged Catholics to withhold donations to Amnesty International, citing the group's support of women's abortion rights in cases of incest or rape, or for women whose lives would be endangered by pregnancy.

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