Cardinal Wuerl’s Bio

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Emeritus 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 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Council for Culture. He is the former chairman of numerous committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the Committee on Doctrine, and is a member of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Cardinal Wuerl is known for his teaching ministry and is involved nationally and internationally in education, health care and social service organizations. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including the best-selling catechisms, The Teaching of Christ and The Catholic Way. His recent books include,  Faith That Transforms Us: Reflections on the Creed (January 2013), New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today (January 2013) and The Church (March 2013)  and The Light Is On For You (expected February 2014).

Cardinal Wuerl hosted Pope Benedict XVI in Washington in April 2008 on the Holy Father’s historic journey to the United States. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the Relator General for the October 2012 Vatican Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.

The Cardinal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University while attending the Pontifical North American College, and a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1966, and 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.

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