Francesco Moraglia
Patriarch of Venice
Moraglia Mira 1.JPG
ChurchLatin Church
Appointed31 January 2012
Installed25 March 2012
PredecessorAngelo Scola
Ordination29 June 1977
by Giuseppe Siri
Consecration3 February 2008
by Angelo Bagnasco
Personal details
Born (1953-05-25) 25 May 1953 (age 69)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
Alma materPontifical Urban University
(With Mary the Mother of Jesus)
Coat of arms
Francesco Moraglia

Francesco Moraglia (born 25 May 1953) is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He has been Patriarch of Venice since March 2012; he is the first native of Genoa to hold that position. He was bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato from 2008 to 2012.

Early life and career

Francesco Moraglia was born to a wealthy family[2] in Genoa on 25 May 1953. His father Enrico was a lawyer.[3][a] His mother Elena Cazzaniga, originally from Villasanta in Brianza, earned a degree in literature at the Catholic University of Milan and taught high school before leaving to raise their four children, two boys and two girls.[5][6][b]

He attended public high school and then studied for the priesthood at the seminary in Genoa. Cardinal Giuseppe Siri ordained him a priest of the Archdiocese of Genoa[3] on 29 June 1977.[7]

In 1977-1979 he worked as educator and accompanist of theologians (III-IV-V theology) at the Major Archiepiscopal Seminary.[8] From 1979 to 1988 he was assistant pastor in a parish in the city center.[7]

After obtaining a licentiate at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, since 1979 he has been teaching dogmatic theology at the Genoa section of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy. In 1981 he obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Urban University. Since 1986 he has been teaching Fundamental Dogmatic Theology and Sacramental Theology at the Ligurian Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, an institute of which he was dean from 1 December 1994 to 2007. In 1989 he also took up the position of professor of Christology, Anthropology and Sacramentary at the Genoa section of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy. In 1995 he was elected president of the diocesan commission for the pastoral problems of alternative religious movements and sects, while in 1996 he was appointed director of the diocesan office for culture and university.

Since 2003 he has been a consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy.[7] From 2004 to 2007 he was a canon of the chapter of the cathedral of San Lorenzo.[8]

Bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato

Francesco Moraglia, bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato, at a meeting
Francesco Moraglia, bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato, at a meeting

On 6 December 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to succeed Bassano Staffieri as bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato.[7]

He received his episcopal ordination on 3 February 2008[9] in the cathedral of Genoa from Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, assisted by Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy and Bishop Staffieri, his predecessor in La Spezia.[citation needed] On 1 March he took possession of the diocese.[8]

In 2008 he inaugurated the practice of diocesan Marian pilgrimages on the first Saturday of the month. The tradition was explicitly referred by him to the prescription of the first of the Secrets of Fátima, to dedicate the first Saturday to the Reparatory Communion.[10] On 10 January 2010 he announced his pastoral visit, while between 23 and 24 April of the same year he presided over the two diocesan days on the educational challenge.

From 23 April 2010 to 2013 he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Communication and Culture Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference, which manages its media initiatives.[8][11]

When La Spezia and Lunigiana suffered catastrophic flooding in October 2011, he visited the affected areas and sent his seminarians to assist relief efforts. He said: "These events are a school of life.... They will learn something true and real."[11][12] As bishop of La Spezia, he took positions in support of unemployed workers at the former San Giorgio appliance factory and participated in several trade union demonstrations to make it clear he shared the workers' concerns.[2]

Patriarch of Venice

On the day of entry into the patriarchate (25 March 2012)
On the day of entry into the patriarchate (25 March 2012)
Meeting with engaged couples and young spouses
Meeting with engaged couples and young spouses

On 31 January 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Patriarch of Venice.[9][c][d] He was the first Genoese ever appointed patriarch of Venice.[3][14] He was installed in Venice on 25 March.[citation needed] He received his pallium, the symbol of his role as a metropolitan, in St. Peter's Basilica on 29 June.[15] Upon his appointment to Venice, his elevation to cardinal at the next consistory was predicted.[3] When Pope Francis instead demonstrated a preferences for sees not traditionally headed by a cardinal, the absence of Venice was noted,[16] though it was also pointed out that "the current archbishops of both Venice and Turin are generally seen as members of the conservative wing of the Italian church".[17] Another analysis finds him squarely in the model of Pope Francis' cardinals, especially in his concern for migrants and relations with Islam.[2]

Since 29 May 2012 he has been president of the Triveneto Episcopal Conference[18] consequently he is grand chancellor of the Theological Faculty of Triveneto which is based in Padua. Reconfirmation as president of the Regional Bishops' Conference in the following two terms (16 May 2017)[19] and May 10, 2022[20][21][22]) it is "the result of a broad support on the part of the bishops to the Patriarch who over the years has conducted the work of the CET in the name of communion and continuous confrontation for a journey together of the 15 Bishops of the Triveneto".[23]

On 18 September 2012, Pope Benedict included him on his list of papal appointees to participate in the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in October.[24]

In Venice he continued to maintain a simple lifestyle,[2] announcing that any furniture he needed could be found at IKEA[25] and using only a Volkswagen Golf for transportation on the mainland as needed.[26][27] He acted quickly to reduce administrative costs of the archdiocese, closing offices in the Calle degli Albanesi in the spring of 2013 and closing a high school.[28]

In July 2014, he radically downsized the Studium Generale Marcianum, an education and research institute, established by his predecessor Angelo Scola. Since its founding in 2004, the Marcianum required financial support from private entities, and this produced a crisis when, in June 2014, a widespread scandal involving financial irregularities and bribery related to the MOSE hydraulic project involved one of the Marcianum's principal sponsors. Moraglia used the occasion to review the Marcianum anew in light of the pressures it placed on Church finances and the way corporate support placed inevitable restraints on its freedom. In July he announced the entire complex would be dismantled, with provision made for students who needed to complete their degree programs and for the needs of displaced employees. He took this action after Scola declined to provide financial support and having coordinated his decision with officials of the Roman Curia and informed Pope Francis.[29][30][31]

He established the practice of weekday visits to each of the 128 parishes of the lagoon diocese[32][33] which begins the week after its entry and completes in December 2014,[34] celebrating Mass and meeting the faithful in the daily life of the weekdays[35][36] It establishes, as already in La Spezia, the practice of diocesan Marian pilgrimages on the first Saturday of the month. On October 26, 2013 he started the mission of street evangelizers giving eighty boys the mandate to reach the pockets of greatest degradation of the diocese.[37][38][39]

It dedicates particular pastoral care to those in conditions of greater fragility, both personal (young people, prisoners, women victims of violence) and linked to the economic crisis that marks the diocesan territory[40][41][42][43][44][45] and strengthens the structures of Caritas.[46]

In 2016 he reorganized the patriarchate, organizing its 128 parishes into 40 groupings or "pastoral alliances" based on geographic access that supports collaboration.[47][48][49] He initiated a series of pastoral visits to provoke these collaborations to action.[50][51]

He dedicates his four pastoral letters to social issues: I know in whom I have placed my faith (14 October 2012)[52],, The Christian faith in a context of widespread secularization (2 February 2013), Invitation to the Social Doctrine of the Church (1 May 2013),[53][54] Family and city of men. Society, work and the common good (15 October 2013)(15 October 2013).[55][56][57]

Venice suffered a series of record floods in 2018/19, which prompted Moraglia to use his annual sermon on the feast of the Madonna della Salute and a series of interviews to rouse the government and public opinion to action.[58] He called for "a different model of development" designed for its citizens: "It cannot remain a Disneyland that has been sold off to tourists." He demanded "effective action plans" from officials he found disconnected from the city's shrinking population who "suffer not because they are losing everything, but because of the feeling of being abandoned". He said saving the exhausted residents needed to take priority over the city's artistic treasures. He called for banning visits by transatlantic liners and an end to "the suffocating onslaught of tourists", an end to corruption that leaves the city at risk of destruction. He hoped for urgent recognition that Venice "can no longer be entrusted to occasional funding and distracted policies". And underpinning his views was a call for respect for nature and "the alarms of the disturbed climate".[59][60]

In June 2019, he attacked the Salvini government's immigration policies, called welcoming refugees "a duty", and characterized the construction of physical barriers as "illusory" and "out of touch with reality". He has also cooperated with the Muslim community of Venice in welcoming refugees from the former concentration camp in Cornetta.[2]

In 2020 he appointed women to two positions previously reserved to men. In July 2020 he appointed Sister Simone Pereira de Araújo, FGC diocesan treasurer.[61][e] In October 2020, he appointed Laura Friselle, an attorney, president of the Board of Directors of the Opera Santa Maria della Carità, a foundation that operates a public health agency that supports people with disabilities and a variety of addiction health issues.[62]


  1. ^ He died on 19 February 2012.[4]
  2. ^ She died on 19 January 2021.[6]
  3. ^ On 11 March 2012, he said his farewells to the diocese of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato.[13]
  4. ^ The patriarch of Venice is ex officio grand chancellor of the Faculty of Canon Law "San Pio X" of Venice and holds the honorary title of primate of Dalmatia.
  5. ^ Born in 1972 in Porto Feliz in Brazil, Pereira joined the Daughters of San Giuseppe del Caburlotto in 1995. She earned degrees in pedagogy and religious sciences in São Paulo and then studied at the Faculty of Canon Law "San Pio X" in Venice from 2006 to 2012, obtaining a licentiate and a doctorate in canon law. She then held positions within her order in Brazil and in July 2016 became vicar to the provincial superior. From 2017 to 2020, she lived in Venice, working as councilor and general secretary of her order and lecturing on canon law.[61]


  1. ^ Audience with Patriarch of Venice Francesco Moraglia
  2. ^ a b c d e Madricardo, Claudio (1 April 2020). "Un leader di riferimento a Venezia. Il patriarca" (in Italian). ytali. Rivista plurale online. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Moraglia, Francesco (1 February 2012). "Il nuovo Patriarca: "Ora Venezia ha tanti orienti da governare"". Corriere del Veneto (Interview) (in Italian). Interviewed by Gian Guido Vecchi. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Morto a Genova il papà del Patriarca eletto Francesco: le condoglianze e la vicinanza della Chiesa veneziana". Patriarchate of Venice (in Italian). Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  5. ^ Cazzaniga, Elena (24 March 2012). "Elena, la mamma di un Patriarca". Gente Veneta (Interview) (in Italian). Interviewed by Paolo Fusco. Archived from the original on 1 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b E.P. (20 January 2021). "Si è spenta a 93 anni la mamma del patriarca Francesco Moraglia". la Nuova di Venezie e Mestre (in Italian). Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d "Rinunce e nomine, 06.12.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d "Biografia: Francesco Moraglia Patriarca di Venezia". Patriarchate of Venice (in Italian). Archived from the original on 14 August 2022. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Rinunce e nomine, 31.01.2012" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  10. ^ Omelia durante Pellegrinaggio mariano nella parrocchia S. Maria Ausiliatrice (Jesolo Lido, 1º marzo 2014).
  11. ^ a b Laggia, Alberto (31 January 2012). "Moraglia, nuovo Patriarca di Venezia". Famiglia Cristiana (in Italian). Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  12. ^ "«Far sentire che la Chiesa è vicina alla popolazione che soffre». L'appello del vescovo Moraglia per l'alluvione". La Sfida educativa (in Italian). Diocese of La Spezia. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  14. ^ "Per Venezia il papa ha fatto tutto da solo". 31 January 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Il patriarca Moraglia a Roma per il "Pallio"". la Nuova di Venezia e Mestre (in Italian). 1 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  16. ^ Reese, Thomas (13 January 2014). "Cardinals: continuity and change". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  17. ^ Allen, John L. (13 January 2014). "Four new echoes in 'Francis revolution'". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Moraglia è il nuovo presidente della CET". Famiglia Cristiana. 30 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Conferenza episcopale Triveneto: il patriarca Moraglia confermato alla presidenza". AgenSIR. 16 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Vescovi Triveneto: il Patriarca di Venezia Francesco Moraglia confermato alla presidenza". AgenSIR. 10 May 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Il Patriarca Moraglia rieletto presidente della Conferenza Episcopale Triveneto". VeneziaToday. 10 May 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Moraglia ancora alla guida della CET". Telepace. 12 May 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  24. ^ "Rinunce e nomine. Nomina di Padri Sinodali della XIIII Assemblea Generale Ordinaria del Sinodo dei Vescovi (7-28 ottobre 2012)" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  25. ^ Moscatelli, Francesco (28 March 2012). "Se il Patriarca compra i mobili all'Ikea" (in Italian). Vatican Insider. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  26. ^ Bottazzo, Francesco (21 October 2013). "Rialto, le navi e il nipotino. La Venezia del Patriarca". Corriere del Veneto (in Italian). Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  27. ^ "Venezia accoglie il nuovo patriarca: un percorso a tappe votato all'umilità". VeneziaToday. 24 March 2012.
  28. ^ "Il patriarca Moraglia taglia le spese: riduzione degli uffici". La Nuova di Venezia e di Mestre (in Italian). 27 March 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  29. ^ "Il Marcianum cambia rotta: il Patriarca spiega i motivi". Gente Veneta (Interview) (in Italian). 18 July 2014. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  30. ^ Tosatti, Marco (19 July 2014). "Venezia. La scure di Moraglia". La Stampa (in Italian). Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  31. ^ Grana, Francesco Antonio (19 July 2014). "Mose, mons. Moraglia chiude fondazione Marcianum. Con la benedizione del Papa". Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  32. ^ Marta Artico (25 April 2012). "Il patriarca inizia il suo "viaggio" a Caorle". La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  33. ^ "Un anno con il Patriarca Moraglia: gli incontri, le scelte difficili, le nomine..." Gente Veneta. 1 April 2013. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013.
  34. ^ "Il Patriarca annuncia la rivoluzione nelle parrocchie". Gente Veneta. 29 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  35. ^ Virginia Casarin (2 November 2013). "Pregate insieme ai vostri bambini". Gente Veneta.
  36. ^ Daniela e Mario Vettorelli (12 October 2013). "Chirignago - il Patriarca ha visitato lunedì 7 ottobre la comunità di S. Giorgio. "Si evangelizza nella quotidianità"". Gente Veneta.
  37. ^ Francesco Catalano (2 November 2013). "Ottanta ragazzi in calle ad annunciare il Vangelo". Gente Veneta. p. 11.
  38. ^ Paolo Fusco (9 November 2013). "Quando il Vangelo arriva tra le lucciole". Gente Veneta. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013.
  39. ^ Nadia De Lazzari (28 October 2013). "Preghiere e spritz possono convivere". La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  40. ^ Alberto Vitucci (28 April 2012). "Il nuovo stile del pastore vicino a giovani e a operai". La Nuova Venezia. p. 18. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  41. ^ Nadia De Lazzari (5 January 2014). "Il patriarca: "Società troppo maschile, basta violenze sulle donne"". La Nuova di Venezia e di Mestre. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  42. ^ "Da Marghera l'appello di Moraglia per il lavoro e le famiglie". La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre. 14 May 2012.
  43. ^ Marta Artico (17 December 2019). "Il Patriarca: "Il precariato uccide, le piazze vanno ascoltate"". La Nuova di Venezia.
  44. ^ "Video dell'intervista al Patriarca al Petrolchimico di Porto Marghera". Antennatre. 17 December 2019.
  45. ^ "Venezia, Moraglia ricorda la città ferita - Video intervista". Rai News Tgr Veneto. 30 December 2019.
  46. ^ "Diocesi: Venezia, il patriarca Moraglia inaugura una casa d'accoglienza femminile intitolata a Santa Giuseppina Bakhita". AgenSIR. 16 December 2019.
  47. ^ Alvise Sperandio (6 May 2016). "Quaranta super-parroci per la diocesi". Il Gazzettino.
  48. ^ Bruno Scapin (4 April 2016). "Venezia: al via le "collaborazioni pastorali"". Settimana News.
  49. ^ "Incontro lunedì 16 a Roma tra Papa Francesco e il Patriarca di Venezia". Gente Veneta. 16 April 2016.[dead link]
  50. ^ "Diocesi: Venezia, oggi il patriarca ha consegnato la lettera "Incontro al Risorto" che annuncia la visita pastorale". AgenSIR. 13 April 2017.
  51. ^ Andrea Tornielli (25 April 2017). "Venezia, il patriarca annuncia la "perequazione dei beni tra le comunità"". Vatican Insider.
  52. ^ Edizioni C.I.D. s.r.l., Venezia 2012
  53. ^ ""Invito alla dottrina sociale della Chiesa": tre incontri con il Patriarca Francesco (6, 7 e 8 maggio)".
  54. ^ "Fede e secolarizzazione: tre incontri con il Patriarca Moraglia". Zenit. 2 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  55. ^ "Famiglia e città degli uomini, per il bene comune: ne parla il Patriarca Moraglia". Zenit. 14 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  56. ^ "Il Patriarca su "Famiglia e città degli uomini"". Gente Veneta. 10 October 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  57. ^ "Famiglia al centro di tutto Moraglia detta la strada". La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre. 16 October 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  58. ^ Munaro, Nicola (22 November 2019). "LA Ricorrenza, Venezia Il 29 ottobre 2018 la marea toccava a Venezia 156 centimetri". Il Gazzettino (in Italian). Archived from the original on 14 December 2021.
  59. ^ Moraglia, Francesco (15 November 2019). "Acqua alta, il patriarca Francesco Moraglia: "Venezia si salva con un modello diverso di sviluppo, non è Disneyland"". la Repubblica (Interview) (in Italian). Interviewed by Giampaolo Visetti. Archived from the original on 30 June 2021.
  60. ^ "Il Patriarca Moraglia: 'Venezia, una città da salvare'". Avvenire (Interview) (in Italian). Interviewed by Francesco Dal Mas. 14 November 2019. Archived from the original on 14 December 2021.
  61. ^ a b "La nomina. Una religiosa diventa economo diocesano nel patriarcato di Venezia". Avvenire (in Italian). 28 July 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  62. ^ "Diocesi: Venezia, Laura Friselle nuova presidente Cda Opera Santa Maria della Carità. Prima donna alla guida dell'organismo" (in Italian). AGENSIR. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
Venice flooding
Catholic Church titles Preceded byBassano Staffieri Bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato 6 December 2007 – 31 January 2012 Succeeded byLuigi Palletti Preceded byAngelo Scola Patriarch of Venice 31 January 2012 – present Incumbent