Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi was born in Rome on 11 October 1955. He entered the Seminary of Palestrina and attended courses in preparation for the priesthood at the Pontificia Università del Laterano, where he obtained a Baccalaureate in Theology. He also graduated in Literature and Philosophy at the University of Rome, with a thesis on the History of Christianity. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Palestrina on 9 May 1981 and incardinated in the diocese of Rome on 15 November 1988 by Cardinal Ugo Poletti. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Chaplain to His Holiness. He held the following positions: member of the Presbyteral Council from 1995 to 2012; deputy parish priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere from 1981 to 2000; from 2000 to 2010 he became its parish priest. From 2005 to 2010 he was Prefect of the III Prefecture of Rome; from 2000 to 2012 General Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Community of Sant’Egidio. From the centre of Rome he was then transferred in 2012 to the huge Roman suburbs, in Torre Angela, in the parish of Saints Simon and Judas Thaddeus, one of the most populous in the Pope’s diocese. From 2011 to 2012, he was also Prefect of the 17th Prefecture of Rome. He is also the author of several pastoral publications.
Appointed titular Bishop of Villanova and Auxiliary Bishop of Rome on 31 January 2012, he received episcopal consecration on 14 April of the same year. On 27 October 2015, he was appointed by Pope Francis as the new Archbishop of Bologna and the solemn entrance took place on 12 December 2015. The announcement of his appointment as Cardinal was made by Pope Francis during the Angelus on Sunday 1 September 2019, and he was created Cardinal in St Peter’s Basilica in the Consistory of 5 October 2019, titular of the Church of Sant’Egidio. He is a Member of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development and of the Office of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. On 24 May 2022 Pope Francis appointed him President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.