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 the Vatican Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Bishops, for Clergy, the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity, for Culture, and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. 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.
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 most recent books include, New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today (2013), The Church (2013), The Light Is On For You (2014), To the Martyrs: A Reflection on the Supreme Christian Witness (2015), and Ways to Pray: Growing Closer to God (2015).
Cardinal Wuerl hosted Pope Francis in Washington in September 2015 for His Holiness’ first pastoral visit to the United States. Earlier he 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 to help direct the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. Cardinal Wuerl was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the 2014 Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization and the October 2015 Synod on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.
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. During his time as Bishop of Pittsburgh, Cardinal Wuerl attended the 1993 World Youth day in Denver, Colorado. Cardinal Wuerl was appointed as Archbishop of Washington in 2006 where he continues to serve. His titular church in Rome is Saint Peter in Chains.