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New cardinals created by Benedict XVI

Below are the biographies of the 22 new cardinals created by Benedict XVI during the ordinary public consistory held on Saturday morning, 18 February, in the Vatican Basilica. The order follows that which the Pope announced at the Angelus on Friday, 6 January.

Cardinal

Fernando Filoni

Prefect of the Congregation  for the Evangelization of Peoples


Cardinal Filoni was born on 15 April 1946 in Manduria, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1970 and holds doctorates in philosophy and in canon law. He entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See in 1981 and served in Sri Lanka, Iran, Brazil, Iraq and the Philippines, among other countries. Subsequent to his appointment as titular Archbishop of Volturno and Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq and in Jordan, he received episcopal ordination on 19 March 2001. To convey the Church’s closeness to the people during the war in Iraq, Archbishop Filoni stayed at his post until March 2006 at considerable personal risk. He served as Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines from February 2006 until his appointment as Substitute of the Secretariat of State on 9 June 2007. On 10 May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He is Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbaniana University.

Cardinal

Manuel Monteiro de Castro

Major Penitentiary


Cardinal Monteiro de Castro was born on 29 March 1938 in Santa Eufémia de Prazins, Portugal. He holds a doctorate in canon law and a diploma in diplomacy and is a lawyer of the Sacred Roman Rota. He was ordained a priest on 9 July 1961 and exercised his priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Braga. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and served in Guatemala, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Mexico. He was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Community. He received episcopal ordination on 23 March 1985, subsequent to his appointment as titular Archbishop of Benevento as Apostolic Nuncio in various countries in the Antilles and as Apostolic Delegate in others. He was also Apostolic Nuncio in Honduras, El Salvador, until 1998 when he was transferred to South Africa and Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, then from 2000 to 2009 in Spain and in Andorra. He was also Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the World Tourism Organization and has been Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and of the College of Cardinals since 2009. The Pope appointed him Major Penitentiary on 5 January 2012.

Cardinal

Santos Abril y Castelló

Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St Mary Major


Cardinal Abril y Castelló was born on 21 September 1935 in Alfambra, Spain. He was ordained a priest on 19 March 1960 and holds doctorates in the social sciences and in canon law. After qualifying as a papal diplomat in 1967 at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Rome, he was appointed secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Pakistan then in Turkey. He received episcopal ordination on 16 June 1985, subsequent to his appointment as titular Archbishop of Tamada and Apostolic Nuncio in Bolivia. He served as Apostolic Nuncio in Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. In 1989 he was appointed Nuncio in the then Yugoslavia. He was elected spokesman of the Diplomatic Corps in Belgrade. He served in Argentina, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and most recently, until 2011 in Macedonia. In January 2011 he was appointed Vice-Camerlengo of the of the Holy Roman Church. He is a member of the Congregation for Bishops and of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Since November 2011 has also been Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St Mary Major.

Cardinal

Antonio Maria Vegliò

President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of  Migrants and Itinerant People


Cardinal Vegliò was born on 3 February 1938 in Macerata Feltria, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 18 March 1962 and holds a licence in philosophy and theology and a doctorate in canon law. He served at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Great Britain and in the Second Section of the Secretariat of State. He received episcopal ordination on 6 October 1985 subsequent to his appointment as titular Archbishop of Eclano and Apostolic Nuncio in Papua New Guinea and First Nuncio in the Solomon Islands. He was later appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and Mali as well as Apostolic Delegate in Mauritania, then later in the Arabian Peninsula. In 1997 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon and Kuwait. In 2001 he was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. He has been President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People since 2009.

Cardinal

Giuseppe Bertello

President of the Governorate of Vatican City State and President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State


Cardinal Bertello was born on 1 October 1942 in Foglizzo, in the Province of Turin, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1966. He holds a licence in pastoral theology and a doctorate in canon law and studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1971 and served at the Papal Representations in Sudan, Turkey and Venezuela and at the Office of the United Nations in Geneva. He received episcopal ordination on 28 November 1987, subsequent to his appointment as titular Archbishop of Urbisaglia and as Apostolic Nuncio in Ghana, in Togo and in Benin. In 1991 the Pope transferred him to Rwanda, in the most acute phase of the civil war between the Hutus and the Tutsis; then in 1996 posted him once again to Geneva, as Permanent Observer at the Office of the un, and in 2000 appointed him Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico. In this capacity he welcomed Pope John Paul II on his fifth visit to the country in 2002. In 2007 Benedict XVI named him Apostolic Nuncio in Italy and in the Republic of San Marino and, on 3 September 2011, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State and President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

Cardinal

Francesco Coccopalmerio

President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts


Cardinal Coccopalmerio was born on 6 March 1938 in San Giuliano Milanese, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 28 June 1962. He holds a licence in theology, a diploma in moral theology and doctorates in canon law and in jurisprudence. He received episcopal ordination on 22 May 1993, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Coeliana and Auxiliary of Milan. On 15 February 2007 he was raised to the dignity of Archbishop, retaining the same titular see and appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. He taught canon law and held various offices: member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Cardinal

João Braz de Aviz

Prefect of the Congregation for  Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life


Cardinal Braz de Aviz was born on 24 April 1947 in Mafra, Brazil. He was ordained a priest on 26 November 1972 for the Diocese of Apucurana. He holds a licence in theology and a doctorate in canon law. He received episcopal ordination on 31 May 1994, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Flenucleta and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Vitória. In 1998 he was appointed Bishop of Ponta Grossa, in 2002 Archbishop of Maringá and in 2004, Archbishop of Brasília. He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 4 January 2011.

Cardinal

Edwin Frederick O’Brien

Grand Master  of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem


Cardinal O’Brien was born on 8 April 1939 in the Bronx, New York, usa. He holds a ba in arts, and mas in divinity and in arts which he earned at St Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers. He was ordained a priest on 29 May 1965. His first assignment was as civilian chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point until 1970, when he became an army chaplain with the rank of captain. He learned to fly and to parachute. He was later chaplain at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and in Vietnam. In 1973 he left the military to study for a doctorate in moral theology at the Angelicum University as a graduate student of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. On his return he served as vice-chancellor for the Archdiocese of New York and associate pastor at St Patrick’s Cathedral. In 1979 he coordinated Pope John Paul II’s Visit to New York, then served for two years as the archdiocesan communications director. He was rector of St Joseph’s for two mandates and rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome until 1994. He received episcopal ordination on 25 March 1996, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Thizica and Auxiliary of New York. In April 1997 he was named Coadjutor of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, which serves 1.5 million Catholics in all. The Pope appointed him Archbishop of Baltimore on 12 July 2007, and on 29 August 2011, Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Cardinal

Domenico Calcagno

President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See

Cardinal Calcagno born on 3 February 1943 in Tramontana di Parodi, Ligure, Italy. He holds a ba in philosophy and a doctorate in dogmatic theology. He was ordained a priest on 25 February 1967. He was rector of the Oratorio di Sant’Erasmo in Genoa-Quinto for 20 years, taught theology at the Major Seminary, Genoa, and fundamental morals at the Interdiocesan Theological Studium, Alessandria. After the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law he was a member of the working group set up to bring diocesan structures into line with new Code. In 1985 he was appointed President of the Diocesan Institute for the Support of the Diocesan Clergy of Genoa. He moved to Rome to become secretary of the Italian Presbyteral Commission; national director of the Office for Inter-Church Missionary Cooperation; President of the Central Institute for the Support of the Clergy; Treasurer of the Italian Episcopal Conference and a member of its Council for Economic affairs, President of the College of Auditors of Caritas Italiana and Administrative Councillor of the Vatican Publishing House. He received episcopal ordination on 9 March 2002, subsequent to his appointment as Bishop of Savona-Noli. He was also bishop-delegate of the Ligurian Bishops’ Conference. He resigned from the office on 31 August 2007 when the Holy Father appointed him Secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (apsa) with the title of archbishop ad personam. He was appointed President of apsa on 7 July 2011.

Cardinal

Giuseppe Versaldi

President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See


Cardinal Versaldi was born on 30 July 1943 at Villarboit, Vercelli, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1967. He holds a degree in psychology and a doctorate in canon law. In 1976 he was asked to set up a diocesan family counselling centre, of which he was director, and promoted the family apostolate. He was subsequently also president of the Piedmontese Federation of Christian Counsellors. At the beginning of 1977 he was appointed parish priest of Larizzate, an outlying district of Vercelli. In 1980 he was invited to teach canon law and psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, while retaining some of his activities in the Archdiocese of Vercelli. He obtained the title of advocate at the Roman Rota in 1981 and then became a referendary in 1985, a voter in 1990 and, finally, a member in 2007 of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, while also teaching anthropology at the Studium of the Roman Rota. In 1994, he was appointed vicar general of the Archdiocese of Vercelli. With the foundation of Cathedral Treasury Museum and the Chapter Archives, he was appointed both President, representing the Archbishop. He is a member of the administrative board of a savings bank of Vercelli. He received episcopal ordination on 26 May 2007, subsequent to his appointment as Bishop of Alessandria. Four years later he was named President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

Cardinal

George Alencherry

Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamalhy for Syro Malabars


H.B. Cardinal Alencherry was born on 19 April 1945 at Thuruthy, Changancherry, India, and baptized with the name Geevarghese. He holds a ba in economics and an ma in theology and philosophy. He was encouraged to pursue his studies but also served as vicar of the filial church at Pariyarmugham. He was ordained a priest on 19 November 1972. He was then assistant vicar at the Cathedral Church of Changanacherry and director of the Archdiocesan Faith Formation Department and served for three years as secretary of the Commission for Catechism of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (kcbc). He earned a doctorate in biblical theology and a specialization in catechetics in Paris. On his return to India he was appointed director of the inter-ritual Oriental Pastoral Centre, and deputy secretary of the kcbc, serving at the same time as professor at St Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, where he continued to teach until 1997. From 1994 to 1996 he was protosyncellus of the Metropolitan of Changanacherry. Pope John Paul II established the new Diocese of Thuckalay in 1996 and appointed him the first Bishop. He received episcopal ordination on 2 February 1997. Bishop George Alencherry served the Syro-Malabar Church as secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and as chairman of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Catechism, and of the Commission for the Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. On 26 May 2011 Pope Benedict XVI granted him the requested ecclesial communion after his canonical election as Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamalhy for Syro Malabars by the Syro-Malabar Synod.

Cardinal

Thomas Christopher Collins

Archbishop of Toronto


Cardinal Collins was born on 16 January 1947 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He was ordained a priest on 5 May 1973. He holds a ba in English and specializations in English, in theology and in Sacred Scripture, as well as a doctorate in theology. He was ordained a bishop on 14 May 1997, subsequent to his appointment as Coadjutor Bishop of Saint Paul in Alberta. He served as rector of St Peter’s Seminary, London, Canada, president of the National Theological Commission of the Bishops’ Conference, president of the National Commission for Ecumenism, president of the Conference of Bishops of Alberta, president of St Joseph’s College Board of Governors at the University of Alberta. He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Edmonton on 18 February 1999 and succeeded as Archbishop of Edmonton on 7 June that same year. On 16 December 2006 he was appointed Archbishop of Toronto. He was one of the leading organizers of the 2002 World Youth Day in Toronto. In 2008 he became the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Ontario. In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He is the grand prior of the Lieutenancy of Canada-Toronto of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Cardinal

Dominik Jaroslav Duka, op

Archbishop of Prague


Cardinal Duka was born on 26 April 1943 at Hradec Králové in the then Czechoslovakia. He was forbidden to pursue his studies but was admitted to Sts Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty in Litomĕřice, at last able to follow his vocation. In January 1968 he secretly entered the Order of Friars Preachers — then illegal in Czechoslovakia — and was given the name Dominik. He holds a licence in theology. He was ordained a priest on 22 June 1970 and made his solemn profession in the Order of Friars Preachers on 7 January 1972. His state permit as a “spiritual administrator” was withdrawn in 1975 so he worked as a designer in an automobile factory, while continuing to study, and attended clandestine meetings with the Dominicans at his own risk. From 1975 to 1986 he served as provincial vicar and from 1976 to 1981, taught seminarians, helped set up the clandestine religious studies centre and organized activities for young Dominicans. He spent 15 months in prison at Pl-Boryzeň, accused of “religious activities”. In 1989 he was elected president of the Conference of Major Superiors of the Czech Republic from 1992 to 1996. As assistant in biblical theology he taught at Palacký University, Olomouc, and was a member of the Accreditation Commission with the government from 1990 to 1998. He received episcopal ordination on 26 September 1998, subsequent to his appointment as Bishop of Hradec Králové. He promoted various initiatives in his diocese, including founding the theological institute in Skuteč. In 2002 he convoked the second diocesan Eucharistic congress. He published the new statutes of the Holy Spirit Cathedral Chapter and appointed nine canons. From 2000 to 2004 he was vice-president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference and organized the celebrations for the seventh centenary of Holy Spirit Cathedral. In 2010 Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Prague; he is also Grand Chancellor of the city’s Theology Faculty. In 2010 he was elected president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference. He is a member of the Czech Ethical Forum and of the Scientific Council of the Theology Faculty of Prague. He is president of the administrative Council of the Catholic Biblical Society and of the Centre for Biblical Studies, a member of the Confederation of Political Prisoners and assistant editor of the journals Salve and Communio. He made a major contribution to translating the Jerusalem Bible into Czech.

Cardinal

Willem Jacobus Eijk

Archbishop of Utrecht


Cardinal Eijk was born on 22 June 1953 in Duivendrecht, The Netherlands. He was ordained a priest on 1 June 1985. He studied medicine and holds doctorates in medical bioethics research and in philosophy. He has taught ethics and moral theology and served on the executive board of the association for pro-life doctors in The Netherlands. He was co-founder and president of an association which organizes conferences and publications on medical ethics. From 1997-2000 he was part of the International Theological Commission. On 6 November 1999 he was ordained a bishop, subsequent to his appointment as Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden. He was installed as Archbishop of Utrecht on 26 January 2008, subsequent to his appointment, becoming the 70th successor of St Willibrord. After serving in various capacities in the Dutch Bishops’ Conference, he was elected President in 2011. He is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, of the Congregation for the Clergy and of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Cardinal

Giuseppe Betori

Archbishop of Florence


Cardinal Betori was born on 25 February 1947 in Foligno, Italy. He was ordained a priest on 26 September 1970. He holds a licence in sacred theology and specialized in fundamental theology and in Biblical sciences. He also holds doctorates in medical bioethics research, in philosophy and in Biblical sciences. He worked in various capacities in the Diocese of Foligno including as diocesan assistant in Catholic Action and secretary general of the diocesan Synod. From 1991-96 he served as director of the National Catechetical Office, with special attention to sound catechetical texts for youth and adults, he also helped in the Italian translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church . From 2005-08 he served as member of the monitoring committee of the Lombard Pontifical Seminary in Rome. He was ordained bishop on 6 May 2001, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Falerone. John Paul II also appointed him general secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference (cei). Since 2002 he has been a member of the administrative board of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart as the representative of the cei. On 26 October 2008 he was installed as Archbishop of Florence, subsequent to his appointment. On 10 February 2009 he was elected President of the Episcopal Conference of Tuscany. On 10 December 2011 he was appointed member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Cardinal

Timothy Michael Dolan

Archbishop of New York


Cardinal Dolan was born on 6 February 1950 in Saint Louis, Missouri, usa. He was ordained a priest on 19 June 1976. He holds a ba in philosophy, a licence in sacred theology and a doctorate in American Church history. He served as liaison for Archbishop John L. May in the restructuring of the college and the theology programmes of the archdiocesan seminary system. In 1987, he was appointed as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. He served as adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University. He served as rector of the Pontifical North American College, Rome from 1994-2001 and taught church history and ecumenical theology at various Pontifical Universities. He was ordained a bishop on 15 August 2001, subsequent to his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of St Louis and titular Bishop of Natchez. He was appointed Bishop of Milwaukee on 25 June 2002, then Archbishop of New York on 23 February 2009. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. He is also grand prior of the Eastern usa Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. On 31 May 2006 he was sent by Benedict XVI as Apostolic Visitator to seminaries in Ireland. He was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on 16 November 2010.

Cardinal

Rainer Maria Woelki

Archbishop of Berlin


Cardinal Woelki was born on 18 August 1956 in Cologne, Germany. He was ordained a priest on 14 June 1985. He holds a doctorate in theology. In 1990 he was appointed secretary of the Archbishop of Cologne and subsequently was the director of the Collegium Albertinum in Bonn for the seminarians studying theology at the University of Bonn. He was ordained a bishop on 30 March 2003, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Scampa and Auxiliary of Cologne. On 2 July 2011 he was appointed Archbishop of Berlin. Less than a month after being installed as Archbishop he welcomed Benedict XVI on the Pope’s third Visit to his homeland. He is consultor for the Congregation for Catholic Education. Within the German Bishops’ Conference he is president of the Caritas Commission and member of the religious vocations and Church services. He is the youngest member of the College of Cardinals.

Cardinal

John Tong Hon

Bishop of Hong Kong


Cardinal Tong Hon was born on 31 July 1939 in Hong Kong, China. In 1964 he was sent to Rome to study at the Pontifical Urbaniana University where he earned a licence and a doctorate in dogmatic theology. He was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI on 6 January 1966, together with 61 other deacons from 23 mission countries. Since 1970 he has been president of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission and since 1980, director of the Holy Spirit Study Centre. In this period he also worked on the journal Concilium. He was vicar general of the Diocese of Hong Kong since 1992 for 17 years. He received episcopal ordination on 9 December 1996, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Bossa and Auxiliary of Hong Kong. He is a consultor to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and a member of the Vox Clara Advisory Committee on matters concerning the celebration of the Roman rite in English. For the Chinese New Year, 18 January, with the religious leaders of Hong Kong, he signed a message encouraging everyone to make a tireless effort to overcome the global financial crisis, recalling that technology without a moral basis has a negative effect.

Cardinal

Lucian Mureşan

Major Archbishop of Făgăraş şi Alba Iulia


H.B. Cardinal Mureşan was born on 23 May 1931 in Ferneziu, Romania. When the Grand National Assembly suppressed the Greek-Catholic Church in Romania, he gave up his studies as he saw no way of pursuing his vocation to the priesthood. In 1953 as a Greek-Catholic he was declared “undesirable”. In 1955 he was one of five chosen exceptionally by the Bishop of Alba Iulia to study at the Latin-Rite Catholic Theological Institute in Alba Iulia. He pursued his studies for the priesthood despite persecution. After studying in secret he succeeded in earning a licence in theology in spite of being expelled for political reasons from the theological institute. With a decree of grace he was ordained a priest on 19 December 1964. After the revolution in 1989 and the end of the clandestine existence of the Greek-Catholic Church of Romania, John Paul II appointed him Eparch of Maramureş and he received episcopal ordination on 27 May 1990. In July 1994, the Pope named him Metropolitan Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia. When John Paul II raised the Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia to the rank of Major Archdiocese, he named Archbishop Mureşan Major Archbishop of the Greek-Catholic Church in Romania. He is President of the Romanian Catholic Bishops’ Conference which unites Bishops of both rites.

Cardinal

Julien Ries

Priest of the Diocese of Namur and Professor emeritus of Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve


Cardinal Ries was born on 19 April 1920 in Fouches, Belgium. He was ordained a priest on 12 August 1945. He holds a ba in theology and in philosophy and Oriental history and a doctorate in theology. He held various teaching posts and in 1960 was appointed professor at the University of Louvain. The Bishops of Belgium designated him professor of the history of religions in the faculty of theology and in the Oriental institute, founding the Centre for the history of religions. In 1969 the University was transferred and rebuilt in Louvain-la-Neuve and he was given the task of reorganizing the library. From 1975-1980 he served as president of the Louvain’s Oriental Institute and from 1979-1985 as consultor of the Secretariat for Non-Christians. In 1986 he received the Dumas Millier prize for his publications and in 1987, the Furtado prize for his scientific work as a whole. He retired in 1991 and is considered one of the great religious anthropologists, having written extensively in the field. He received episcopal ordination on 11 February 2012, subsequent to his appointment as titular Bishop of Bellicastrum. He is also a commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Cardinal

Prosper Grech, osa

Professor emeritus of various Universities in Rome and Consultor to the Congregation for the  Doctrine of the Faith


Cardinal Grech was born on 24 December 1925 in Birgu, Malta. He was baptized with the name Stanley, which was changed to Prosper when he entered the Order of St Augustine in 1943. During the Second World War he served in the artillery. He was ordained a priest on 25 March 1950. He holds a licence and a doctorate in theology and a licence in Sacred Scripture. He has also studied Hebrew and Maltese literature. For two years he taught theology at the Augustinian College, then at the Mater Admirabilis College, Malta. In 1965 he was appointed dean of the Augustinian Theological Institute. In 1969 he founded the “Augustinianum” Institute for Patristic Studies, where he was dean from 1971-79. In 1984 he was appointed consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then in 1998 the then Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent him to India as Apostolic Visitator of seminaries. In 2003 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy and, in 2004, a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. He is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and of the International Association of Patristic Studies. He received episcopal ordination on 8 February 2012.

Cardinal

Karl Josef  Becker, SJ

Professor emeritus of the Pontifical Gregorian University and Consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


Cardinal Becker was born on 18 April 1928 in Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology. In 1948 he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1958. In 1969 he was called to Rome to lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he taught for more than 30 years. From 1972-1985 he was editor-in-chief of the journal “Gregorianum”. In addition to his teaching and academic research, in 1985 he began working alongside Cardinal-Prefect Joseph Ratzinger as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and from 1997-1999 he participated in the preparations for the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. In 2003 he retired from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

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