Born on 9 November 1925 in Alba, Italy. He was ordained on 2 January 1949. He was called to Rome in 1952 and held various posts in the Roman Curia. He was a Latin language expert during the Second Vatican Council.
He was consecrated as an archbishop on 6 January 1980 by Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Basilica, and appointed as delegate for the pontifical representations in the Secretariat of State. He was later appointed as Nuncio in Czechoslovakia in 1990, and then in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. He ceased his functions as Nuncio in Slovakia in 1994 and resigend from the nunciature in the Czech Republic in 2001.
Pope Benedict XVI made him a Cardinal on 24 November 2007.