The Members of the Pontifical Council are important personalities from the Church and the world of Culture, nominated by the Holy Father for periods of five years. These cardinals, bishops, priests and lay people help the council identify the main cultural challenges facing the Church and establish lines of action for the Dicastery's work. The Members normally meet every two years in a Plenary Assembly. They can also intervene on behalf of the Dicastery at international meetings.

The Cardinals



Charles Maung Bo, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo is the Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar. In 2015 he became the first cardinal from that southeast Asian country.

Bo was born on October 29, 1948, in Monhla, near Mandalay, Burma, to parents John and Juliana Aye Tin. Bo’s father, a farmer, died when he was 2. Thereafter, he was sent to a Salesian-run boarding school in Mandalay. From 1962 to 1976, Bo studied at the Nazareth Aspirantate, a Salesian seminary, in Anisakan village, near Maymyo (now Pyin Oo Lwin).

He was ordained a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco order April 9, 1976. In 1985 he was appointed as prefect of the Apostolic Prefecture in Lashio. In 1990, when the prefecture was elevated to a diocese, Pope John Paul II appointed Bo its first bishop. Bo received episcopal consecration on Dec. 16, 1990. In March 1996, he was transferred to become the Bishop of the Diocese of Pathein, and on June 7, 2003, John Paul II named him Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.

He served as president of the Episcopal Conference of Myanmar from 2000-2006.

On January 4, 2015, Pope Francis announced that he would make Bo a cardinal, and formally elevated him at the consistory held on March 14, 2015.

Josef Card. de Kesel


Cardinal Josef De Kesel was born on 17 June 1947 in Ghent (Belgium). He graduated in Theology in 1972 in Rome, at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained priest on 26 August 1972 and in the diocese of Ghent he held the positions of formator of pastoral animators and, from 1992, of Episcopal Vicar responsible for theological and pastoral formation (priests, deacons, religious and laity). Nominated on 20 March 2002 by John Paul II as Auxiliary of Malines-Brussels, he received his episcopal ordination on the following 26 May. On 25 June 2010 Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Bruges. After five years, on November 6, 2015, Pope Francis transferred him to the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels, entrusting him with the leadership of the Military Ordinariate for Belgium. An expert in Philosophical Anthropology and Christology, he specialized in the thought of Rudolf Bultmann. Pope Francis created him cardinal in the consistory of 19 November 2016.


Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich


Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., Archbishop of Luxembourg (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)


Gerald Cyprien card. Lacroix


Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, ISPX, is the Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada. Born in 1957 in the Archdiocese of Québec, he completed his secondary and higher education and then studied theology at Laval University. In 1975 he approached the Pius X Secular Institute, taking perpetual vows in 1982 and being ordained priest on 8 October 1988. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec on 7 April 2009 and received episcopal consecration on 24 May.

On 22 February 2011 he was appointed Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, receiving the pallium from Pope Benedict on 29 June 2011. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals at the consistory on 22 February 2014.

Luis Francisco Card. Ladaria Ferrer


Cardinal Luis Francisco LADARIA FERRER, SJ, was born in Manacor, diocese of Mallorca (Spain), on April 19, 1944. He graduated in Law from the University of Madrid in 1966 and joined the Society of Jesus that same year. He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical University Comillas (Madrid) and at the Philosophisch-theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen (Frankfurt am Main). He was ordained to the priesthood on 29 July 1973. He obtained his doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1975, the year in which he began to serve as professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical University Comillas, in Madrid. In 1984 he was appointed Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University. He served as a Member of the International Theological Commission from 1992 to 1997, and from 2004 as General Secretary of the International Theological Commission. In 2008 he was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On July 1, 2017 he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission. Pope Francis created him cardinal in the consistory of November 28, 2018.

José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán

Jose Luis

José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán (Pamplona, 24 February 1944), Bishop of David (Panamá). He entered the Order of Augustinian Recollects (O.A.R.) and attended courses of Philosophy at Zaragoza and Theology at Pamplona. He made his solemn profession in 1967 and was ordained priest on 13 July 1969 at Pamplona. In 1971 he was sent to Panamá, where he was rector the Collegio San Agustín, rector of the University Santa María la Antigua and president of the Federation of Catholic Schools. On 30 December 1985 he was nominated auxiliary bishop of Panamá. On 29 October 1994 he was nominated bishop of Chitré.  On 2 July 1999 he was nominated bishop of David. He has been President of the Episcopal Conference of Panama twice (2000-2004 and 2007-2013). He was created cardinal by Pope Francis in the Consistory of 14 February 2015 when he was given the title of San Giuseppe da Copertino.

Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça


Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, theologian and poet, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church

Kazimierz Card. Nycz


Kazimierz Card. Nycz, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, was born 1 February 1950, in Stara Wieś. He was ordained to the priesthood on 20 May 1973 by Bishop Julian Groblicki. From 1973 to 1975 he was a vicar in a parish of Saint Elisabeth in Jaworzno. In 1976, he obtained a bachelor degree at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Academy of Theology (Papieska Akademia Teologiczna) of Kraków; then, in 1977, he started his doctoral studies at the Catholic University of Lublin, where in 1981, he earned a doctorate in catechetical studies. From 1987 to 1988 he was vice-rector of the Major Seminary of Kraków, and organized the last visit of Pope John Paul II to Poland.

On 14 May 1988, Nycz was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Kraków and Titular Bishop of Villa Regis. He received episcopal consecration on the following 4 June from Cardinal Franciszek Macharski. He was nominated Bishop of Koszalin-Kołobrzeg on 9 June 2004. On 3 March 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Nycz as Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw. In addition to his role as Archbishop, he was named Bishop to the Eastern Catholics in Poland on 9 June 2007. On 20 November 2010 he was created Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti.



Cardinal Marc Ouellet was born 1944 at Lamotte, in the diocese of Amos, Quebec province, Canada. Ordained priest for the same diocese in 1968. Obtaining a licence in philosophy at the Angelicum and a PhD in dogmatic theology at the Gregorian, he taught philosophy and theology in Colombia (South America) from 1972 to 1989. In 1990 he became Rector of the Major Seminary in Montreal and from 1997 Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Istituto Giovanni Paolo II per Studi su Matrimonio e Famiglia at the Lateran. In 2001 he was nominated Bishop and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and in 2002 Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada. He was raised to the cardinalate in the consistory of 21 October 2003 and became prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America in 2010.


Baltazar Enrique Card. Porras Cardozo


Cardinal Baltazar Enrique PORRAS CARDOZO was born on 10 October 1944 in Caracas (Venezuela). In 1966 he obtained a degree in Theology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. In 1977 he completed his formation with a doctorate in Pastoral Theology at the Higher Institute of Pastoral Care in Madrid. He was ordained priest in 1967.  In 1983 John Paul II appointed him auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Merida, of which he became archbishop on 30 October 1991. For three terms he served as Vice-President of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (from 1993 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2012) and for two consecutive terms as President (1999-2006). From 2007 to 2011 he was first Vice-President of CELAM, where he also held the positions of President of the Department of the Laity (1995-1999) and of the Department of Communications (2003-2007). He was also Consultor (1995-1997) and Member (1997-2007) of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. Pope Francis created him cardinal in the consistory of November 2016.

Arthur Card. Roche


Cardinal Arthur Roche (6 March 1950, Yorkshire, England) is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Roche had served as the ninth Bishop of Leeds, having served previously as Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds and, before that, as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Westminster, England's principal Catholic diocese.

From 1969 to 1975, Roche studied at St Alban's College in Valladolid, Spain, where he obtained a degree in theology from the Comillas Pontifical University (Madrid). He also worked as a spiritual director of the Venerable English College in Rome, as General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, and as Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster. He became the ninth bishop of Leeds in 2004 and was also the Chairman of ICEL.

Joseph William Card. Tobin


Cardinal Joseph William TOBIN, C.SS.R., was born in Detroit, Michigan (United States of America), on May 3, 1952. On August 5, 1973, he made his first vows as Redemptorist and then, on August 21, 1976, his perpetual vows. From 1977 to 1979 he studied in the seminary of Mount Saint Alphonsus in Esopus (New York), obtaining a master's degree in Religious Education and Pastoral Theology. After ordination to the priesthood on June 1, 1978, he served in the pastoral service of the Hispanic community of Detroit, also dealing with the preaching of spiritual retreats, the animation of the Cursillos de Cristiandad and young people. In 1997 he was elected Superior General of the Redemptorists, a position he held until 2009. Benedict XVI appointed him Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on August 2, 2010. On October 18, 2012, the same Pope appointed him to the Metropolitan See of Indianapolis. In 2016 Pope Francis created him cardinal and then transferred him to the Archdiocese of Newark.


Alfonso Cortés Contreras


Alfonso Cortés Contreras, Archbishop of León, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Born in Mexico in 1947, he was ordained priest in 1972 and consecrated bishop on 24 August 2005. He was on the staff of the Archdiocesan Seminary of Monterrey and professor of theological anthropology at the Pontifical University of Mexico.  From 1999 to 2005 he was Rector of the Pontifical Mexican College in Rome. He was a member of the academic council of the Gregorian University and president of the association of rectors of ecclesiastical colleges in Rome, before becoming auxiliary bishop of Monterrey and finally ordinary of Cuernavaca y León, Mexico.

Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias

Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias, Archbishop of Luanda, Angola.

Born in Luanda 18 April 1958. He studied for the priesthood in Angola and in Rome, obtaining a Licentiate in Theology at the Pontifical Urban University, a degree in Theology at the Lateran University and a Licentiate in Philosophy at the Gregorian University. He has a diploma in juridical-administrative practices from the School sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy; he studied journalism in Luanda and at the Catholic Institute in Paris. He was ordained a priest on 30 October 1983. He has since been: parish assistant, rector of Luanda minor propaedeutic seminary, teacher in various subjects, chaplain and assistant to various local religious communities, Rector of Luanda Major Seminary and vice-Rector of the Catholic University of Angola, and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Luanda (Angola).

Paul-André Durocher


Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.

Born in 1954, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher's early studies concentrated on music at the University of Western Ontario. He studied for the priesthood at the university of St-Paul, Ottawa being ordained for the Diocese of Timmins in 1982. Further studies at the University of Strasbourg and the Pontifical Gregorian University.

He became bishop in 1997 as auxiliary of Sault-Ste-Marie and then in 2002 as bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall before becoming archbishop of Gatineau in 2011. He has been president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Canada.

Víctor Manuel Fernández


Víctor Manuel Fernández is the Archbishop of La Plata and former Rector of the Università Cattolica Argentina.

Born in Alcira (Córdoba/Argentina), in 1962. He studied philosophy and theology in Major Seminary at Córdoba, and completed his theological studies in the Theological Faculty of the UCA. Ordained priest in 1985, he obtained a licence in theology with a biblical specialisation at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome in 1988. In 1990 he obtained his doctorate in theology at the Faculty of the Theology of the UCA.

He has collaborated with CELAM, in the area of pastoral and theological reflection. He collaborated in the preparations, participated as a guest and was an expert in the Redaction committee for the V CELAM meeting in Aparecida (2007).

He was raised to the Episcopate by Pope Francis on 13 May 2013.

Rino Fisichella


Rino Fisichella, born at Codogno (Lodi) 25 August 1951. Ordained priest for the diocese of Rome on 13 March 1976 and Auxiliary Bishop of Rome in 1998. He taught “Fundamental Theology” from 1981 to 2001 in the Pontifical Gregorian University. From 2002 to 2010 he was Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. From 2008 to 2010 he was President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. From 30 June 2010 he is President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. He is a Member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, of the Pontifical Council for Culture, of the Pontifical Council for the Social Communications and the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses. At the moment he is the author and curator of some thirty volumes translated into many languages, and numerous articles for scientific and international journals. In 2005 he received the gold medal for Culture from the President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

Marian Florczyk


Bishop Marian FLORCZYK was born on 25 October 1954 in Kielc (Poland). On graduation in 1975, he entered the Major Seminary of Kielce, where he studied philosophy and theology until 1981. He was ordained a priest on June 6, 1981 by Bishop Stanisław Szymecki. In 1984 he began his specialist studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome, where he obtained his license in 1987 and a doctorate in Social Sciences in 1990. On 2 August 1994 he was appointed Rector of the Major Seminary of Kielce, which he held for four years. On 21 February 1998 he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Kielce and titular bishop of Limata. He received his episcopal consecration on 18 April 1998 from Cardinal Franciszek Macharski and Bishops Kazimierz Ryczan and Mieczysław Jaworski.


Joaquim Giovanni Mol Guimarães


Joaquim Giovanni Mol Guimarães, is the Auxiliary Bishop of Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Born in Brazil in 1960 he was ordained priest in 1988 and bishop 25 March 2006. His ministry has seen him as professor of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University and researcher into the Biblical-catechetical dimension of the Episcopal Conference of Brazil. Currently he is the Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais and presides the Episcopal Commission for Culture and Education of the Bishops' Conference.

Linus Lee Seong-hyo


Linus Lee Seong-hyo, Auxiliary bishop of Suwon, Korea

He was born 6 July 1957 in Gi-dong Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Kyonggi-do, in the diocese of Suwon (then Archdiocese of Seoul). He studied at the University Ajou; at the Seoul National University, completing an MA in Electronics; at the Major Seminary in Suwon; at the Major Seminary in Trier, Germany (1987-1992); and finally at the Catholic University of Paris (1993-2001), obtaining a PhD in Theology.
He taught at the university and major seminary in Suwon and directed its pastoral affairs office before becoming Dean of Academic affiars. He is the editor of the Theses of the Korean Theological Association.

He was consecrated bishop in 2011 for the diocese of Suwon.

Gerard Tlali Lerotholi


Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, O.M.I. was born on February 12, 1954 in the mission of St. James (Lesotho), in 1975 he entered the novitiate of the missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Quthing. He studied Philosophy at the Major Seminary of St. Augustine in Maseru and Theology in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He obtained a license in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute. After professing perpetual vows in 1981, he was ordained a priest in 1982. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Metropolitan Archbishop of Maseru on 30 June 2009.

Charles Morerod


Charles Morerod, O.P. (28 October 1961) is a Swiss Dominican prelate. He has been Bishop of Lausanne, Genève and Fribourg, Switzerland since 2011.

He has previously served as Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum), as well as Secretary General of the International Theological Commision.

Morero earned a licentiate in theology from the University of Fribourg in 1987, and a doctorate in theology from the same university in 1994. He was a chaplain to the university from 1991 to 1994. In 1996 he obtained a licentiate in philosophy and a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of Toulouse in 2004. 

Bishop Morerod is well known as an expert on the life and work of St Thomas Aquinas and also for his ecumenical work. His philosophical and theological works reach wide audiences and cover a range of issues in the field of culture.


Franz-Joseph Overbeck

Image courtesy of Nicole Cronauge

Franz-Josef Overbeck, Bishop of Essen, Germany

Named auxiliary bishop of Münster in July 2007 and then Bishop of Essen in October 2009, Franz-Josef Overbeck has also been the military Ordinary. 





Jose S. Palma


Archbishop Jose S. PALMA was born in 1950 and is a scholar of theology and philosophy who holds a degree in Theology from the University of Manila (Philippines) and a doctorate in Rome from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. With his priestly ordination, on 21 August 1976, he was incardinated in his native Archdiocese of Jaro. On 28 November 1997 John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Cebu. One year after his consecration as bishop, on 13 January 1999, he was called by John Paul II to govern the diocese of Calbayog. Pope Benedict XVI transferred him to the Metropolitan See of Palo. On 15 October 2010 the same pontiff appointed him to the Archdiocese of Cebu.


Antonio Raspanti


Antonino Raspanti was born in Alcamo, in the province and diocese of Trapani (Italy), on 20 June 1959. After high school, he entered the diocesan seminary, attending the archdiocesan seminary of Palermo, obtaining his baccalaureate in Theology at the Theological Faculty of Sicily in 1982. He was ordained a priest on September 7, 1982.  He completed his academic studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, with a doctorate in Theology in 1990. On 26 July 2011 he was appointed bishop of the diocese of Acireale by Pope Benedict XVI and on 1 October, receiving episcopal ordination in the cathedral basilica, he took possession of the diocese.

Men of Culture


Pr Mgr François BOUSQUET. Priest of the Diocese of Pontoise in France. Prélat d’honneur. Rector of Saint-Louis des Français à Rome September 2011-June 2020. Philosopher and theologian, emeritus Professor of the Theologicum at the Catholic Institute of Paris, where he was Vice-Rector of research from 2008 to 2011. Former Director of the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions. A thesis on Christology of Kierkegaard; specialisations in fundamental theology, theology of religions and interreligious dialogue. Many publications in both the scientific and pastoral fields.


Jean-Luc Marion


Prof. Jean-Luc Marion (3 July 1946) is a French postmodern philosopher. Marion is an emeritus  Professor at the University Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). Professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris ("Dominique Dubarle" chair), director of the Centre d’Etudes Cartésiennes since 1995 (and scientific secretary since it foundation in 1973).

Marion is former student of Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as "deconstruction", whose work is informed by patristic and mystical theology, phenomenology, and modern philosophy. Much of his academic work has dealt with Descartes and phenomenologists like Martin Heidegger and Edmund Hussel.



Prof. Rafael Vicuña


Prof. Rafael Vicuña (1949, Chile). Vicuña studied molecular biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and is professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Pontifical University of Santiago de Chile since 1994.

In 1986, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. During 1997-99, he served as President of the Chilean Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is also former Dean of Research and Vice President for Academic Affairs at his University. His field of interest is the biochemistry and molecular genetics of ligninolytic basidiomycetes. He is author of many scientific publications as well as essays dealing with science and society. He is a member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the father of 7 children.