Stella, Beniamino
Order in College: Cardinal Deacon
With Title: Santi Cosma e Damiano
Native Country: Italy
Appointed by: Pope Francis on 22 February 2014
Ecclesiastical Office:  Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy 
Papal Elector: Eligible; Ineligible on 8 August 2021

Beniamino Stella was born in Pieve di Soligo, Italy, on 8 August 1941. He is the second of twelve children. After studying in the diocesan seminary, he moved to Rome and earned licences in philosophy and theology. He was ordained a priest on 19 March 1966, by his own uncle who was Archbishop of L'Aquila. In October 1966 he was called to study at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. At the Academy he earned a degree in canon law and a doctorate in international law, especially dedicating himself to the study of religious freedom in the documents of the United Nations. In 1970 he was sent to the Apostolic Nunciature of Santo Domingo, and then to the Pontifical Representation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (at the time Zaire). He was then transferred to Rome where he worked at the Council for the Public Affairs for the Church (today the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State). Subsequently he served as the chargé d'affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Malta. In 1983 he began again working at the Council for the Public Affairs for the Church, especially concentrating on Latin America. He received his episcopal ordination on 5 September 1987, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Midila and as Apostolic Nuncio to Congo-Brazzaville and to Chad, with the dignity of archbishop. Then in December 1992 he was sent as Apostolic Nuncio to Cuba, where he welcomed John Paul II in 1998. One year later he was transferred to Colombia. On 13 October 2007 Benedict XVI appointed him President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He remained in this position until Pope Francis appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in September 2013.