Coat of arms of Cardinal Sandri

                                                                                          Our Patron His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri
                                                                                   Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
 
Leonardo Sandri (born 18 November 1943) is an Argentine Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the current Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia, having previously served in the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States, as permanent observer of the Holy See before the Organization of American States, from 1989 to 1991. Was Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela (1997–2000), Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico (2000) and Substitute for General Affairs (2000–2007). He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007. The press named Cardinal Sandri as a Papabilety (a possible or likely successor for election to the Papacy) following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, effective 28 February 2013. However the conclave elected his fellow Argentine, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, as successor of Peter. 
Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of S. Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari in the consistory of 24 November 2007. He delivered the message of thanksgiving to the Pope on behalf of the new cardinals.
In addition to his duties as Cardinal Prefect, Cardinal Sandri is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the FaithCongregation for the Evangelization of PeoplesPontifical Council for Promoting Christian UnityPontifical Council for Interreligious DialoguePontifical Council for Legislative TextsPontifical Commission for Latin America and Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. On 2 March 2010 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for Bishops, and gets to assist in the appointment of Latin Rite bishops in non-missionary dioceses. On 31 May 2011 he was appointed a member of the Apostolic Signatura. He is eligible to participate in a papal conclave until he reaches the age of 80 on 18 November 2023. At this moment, the cardinal protodiacon Martino being to old to participate in a conclave, Sandri would be the cardinal to announce the election of a new pope.
Cardinal Sandri, in his role as Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, was named by Pope Benedict XVI be one of two co-presidents of the special Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, to be held at the Vatican in October 2010.
He speaks English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. On 12 June 2012 Cardinal Sandri was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
In November 2014 the Vatican has lifted its ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in Eastern Catholic churches outside their traditional territories, including in the United States, Canada and Australia. Pope Francis approved lifting the ban, also doing away with the provision that, in exceptional cases, Eastern Catholic bishops in the diaspora could receive Vatican approval to ordain married men. In recent years, however, some Eastern Catholic bishops went ahead with such ordinations discreetly without Vatican approval. Cardinal Sandri, signed the decree 14 June 2014. It was published later online in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official periodical through which Vatican laws and decisions are published.

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