Archbishop Martino, a Pontifical Peace Promoter

Longtime Vatican Official Is Among the Cardinals-to-Be

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ROME, SEPT. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Among the Church's new cardinals-to-be is a Vatican official whose passion is peace.



Since his appointment last year as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop Renato Martino has been noted for his efforts to promote peace in the Middle East, Venezuela and Ivory Coast.

He was the Holy See's permanent observer at the United Nations when John Paul II appointed him on Oct. 1, 2002, to head the Council for Justice and Peace, following the death of its president, Cardinal François Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân.

Born in Salerno, Italy, on Oct. 23, 1932, Renato Martino was ordained a priest in 1957. After entering the Holy See's diplomatic circles in 1962, his experience matured with assignments in the nunciatures of Nicaragua, the Philippines, Lebanon and Canada.

Between 1970 and 1975 he headed the Department for International Organizations of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

After working in the nunciature of Brazil, in 1980 he was appointed apostolic pro-nuncio in Thailand, and apostolic delegate in Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

On Dec. 3, 1986, he was appointed permanent observer of the Holy See before the United Nations in New York. In this post, which he held for 16 years, he participated in U.N. conferences organized in Rio de Janeiro (on the environment), in Cairo (on population), in Beijing (on women), in Istanbul (on human settlements), and in Johannesburg (on sustainable development).

In those years he founded the Path to Peace Foundation, to aid the Holy See mission to the United Nations.

He is scheduled to receive the red hat of a cardinal at the Oct. 21 consistory.