Cardinal Wuerl’s Bio

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. He participated in the March 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.

He serves on numerous national and international bodies and is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, chancellor of The Catholic University of America, chairman of the board of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation and also of The Papal Foundation. He serves on a number of Vatican Congregations, Councils and Commissions including those for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Bishops. He has served as chairman of numerous committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Cardinal Wuerl is known for his teaching ministry and is involved in many education, health care and social service organizations. He is the author of numerous articles and over a dozen books, including the best-selling catechisms, The Teaching of Christ and The Catholic Way. His recent books include, The Church (2013), The Light Is On For You (2014), Open to the Holy Spirit: Living the Gospel with Wisdom and Power (2014), The Marriage God Wants for You (2015), To the Martyrs (2015) and Ways to Pray (2015).

In April 2008, he hosted Pope Benedict XVI in Washington as part of the Holy Father’s historic journey to the United States.  He also welcomed Pope Francis to Washington in September 2015 for His Holiness’ pastoral visit to the United States.  In October 2011 Cardinal Wuerl opened the archdiocesan seminary, Saint John Paul II, which was visited in 2015 by Pope Francis.

Cardinal Wuerl helped direct the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization and was a member of both the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family.

In June 2014 Cardinal Wuerl convoked the first Archdiocesan Synod. Its statutes and recommendations as well as Cardinal Wuerl’s pastoral letter on the Synod entitled, “Manifesting the Kingdom,” may be found here.

The Cardinal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1986, in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. He served as Auxiliary Bishop in Seattle until 1987 and then as Bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years until his appointment to Washington. His titular church in Rome is Saint Peter in Chains.

(Please note: if a biography or photograph of Cardinal Wuerl is needed for an event or program, please first contact the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Communications, 301-853-4516.)

 

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