Elected 265th pope (April 19, 2005)
was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany.
ordained a priest on June 29, 1951.
father, a police officer, came from traditional family of farmers from Lower
Bavaria. He spent his adolescent years in Traunstein, and was called
into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service in the last months of World War II.
From 1946 to 1951, the year in which he was ordained a priest and began to
teach, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich and at
the higher school in Fising. In 1953, he obtain a doctorate in theology
with a thesis entitled: "The People and House of God in St. Augustine's
doctrine of the Church".
years later, he qualified as a university teacher. He then taugh dogma
and fundamental theology at the higher school of philosophy and theology
of Freising; then in Bonn from 1959 to 1969, Munster from 1966 to
1969. From 1969; he was a professor of dogmatic theology and of the
history of dogma at the University of Regensburg and Vice President of the
in 1962 he was well known when, at the age of 35, he became a consultor at
Vatican Council II, of the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings.
Among his numerous publications; a particular post belongs to the "Introduction
to Christianity", a collection of University lessons on the profession of
apostolic faith, published in 1968, Dogma and revelation, an anthology of
essays, sermons and reflections dedicated to the pastoral ministry, published
March 1977, Pope Paul VI elected him Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on
May 28, 1977 he was consecrated, the first diocesan priest after 80 years to
take over the pastoral ministry of this large Bavarian diocese. Paul VI
elevated him to the College of Cardinals in the consistory of June 27, 1977.
churches, suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni April 5, 1993) and suburbicarian
see of Ostia (November 30, 2002). On November 25, 1981 he was nominated
by John Paul II Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
President of the Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International
Theological Commission Relator of the 5th General Assembly of the Synod of
Bishops (1980). President Delegate to the 6th Synodal Assembly (1983).
Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, November 6, 1998. On November 30,
2002, the Holy Father approved the election, by the order of Cardinal bishops
as Dean of the College of Cardinals. President of the commission for the Preparation
of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and after 6 years of work (1986-1992)
he presented the New Catechism to the Holy Father. Laurea Honoris
Universita Maria Satissima Assunta, November 10, 1999.
Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, November 13, 2000.
of State (second section)
Churches, Divine Worship and sacraments, Bishops, Evangelization of Peoples,
Catholic Education (Congregations), Christian unity, Culture (councils),
Latin America, Ecclesia Dei (commissions)
CNS/Nancy Wiechec; Catholic News Service (www. nccbuscc .org)