Cardinal Priest of S Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine (Deaconry raised pro hac vice to a Presbyteral Title)
Sabattani was born in Casal Fiumanese in the diocese of Imola on October 18, 1912. He was ordained a priest on July 26, 1935, while attending the Lateran Pontifical University where he was to graduate summa cum laude in 1939. Immediately after completing his studies, he was called down to Rome to work in the Secretariat of State. Family reasons compelled Sabattani to return to the diocese of his origin, but in 1955, at the age of 43, he was able to return to Rome as an official of the Holy Roman Rota. On June 24, 1965, he was made Archbishop of Justiniana and Prelate of Loreto and Pontifical Delegate for the sanctuary. Called once again to Rome in 1971, Sabattani assumed the post, first as Secretary, then as Prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, holding this position until 1988. He was elevated to the cardinalate by John Paul II at the Consistory of February 2, 1983.