The Pope Names Cardinal Wuerl to Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

April 21, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI today has named Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, as a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The congregation is the oldest of the Curia’s nine congregations. The wide ranging mission of the congregation is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals throughout the Catholic world. The congregation is now headed by Prefect Cardinal William Joseph Levada and has 23 members. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 until his election as the 265th successor to St. Peter in 2005.

In September 2010, Cardinal Wuerl was named as the delegate of the congregation to implement the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States. That document provides for establishing personal ordinariates for Anglican groups who seek to enter corporately into full communion with the Catholic Church. Cardinal Wuerl is also chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, of which he has been a member for 15 years, and a member of the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Cardinal Wuerl is the author of numerous articles and books, including the best-selling catechisms, The Teaching of Christ and The Catholic Way. His most recent book, Seek First the Kingdom: Challenging the Culture by Living Our Faith, was published in January 2012 and calls on Catholic Americans to seize daily opportunities to make a difference in transforming today’s culture.

In December 2010, Cardinal Wuerl was named as a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Congregation for Clergy has wide-ranging responsibilities that include the promotion of the continuing spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation of priests and deacons as well as the oversight of matters related to their pastoral ministry, retirement and medical care. The Congregation also has oversight for catechesis (the teaching of the faith) throughout the Church worldwide. This includes approval of national catechisms and directories. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was established in conjunction with the Second Vatican Council. The Council is entrusted with the promotion of an “ecumenical spirit” within the Catholic Church and works to develop dialogue and collaboration with other faiths.

Cardinal Wuerl was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2010. He is known nationally for his catechetical and teaching ministry and for his efforts on behalf of Catholic education. He 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 and chairman of the board of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation and of The Papal Foundation.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics, 140 parishes and 98 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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