A Vatican communiqué announced the appointment today of Cardinal Sandri, 66, who has been serving as prefect since June 2007.
Before that, he had been serving as Substitute for General Affairs, a type of chief of staff for the Secretariat of State, from 2000 to 2007. In that capacity, while the Pontiff at that time, John Paul II, was bedridden, the then Archbishop Sandri would read the addresses that the Holy Father could not deliver in person.
The archbishop also had the task of announcing in St. Peter's Square the death of the Pope on the evening of April 2, 2005.
Other previous assignments include: apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, nuncio to Mexico, and permanent observer of the Holy See before the Organization of American States.
Born to Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Leonardo Sandri was ordained a priest in 1967, and a bishop in 1997.
The cardinal is also a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogues, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City.
In his latest appointment to the Congregation for Bishops, he will assist in naming prelates in non-missionary dioceses.