Thumbnail bios of new cardinals -- part 4 and last

VATICAN CITY -- Following are thumbnail bios of some of the 24 new cardinals announced by Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 20 at the Vatican:

Cardinal-designate Velasio De Paolis

Italian Cardinal-designate Velasio De Paolis, 75, is president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and is the papal delegate overseeing the reform of the Legionaries of Christ. A member of the Scalabrinian missionaries and a canon lawyer, he also serves as a member of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature.

Born in Sonnino, Italy, he was ordained a Scalabrinian priest in 1961, named a bishop in 2003 and an archbishop in 2008.

He earned his doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, his licentiate in theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, and a civil law degree from Rome's La Sapienza University.

Sign up for Copy Desk Daily to receive a daily email with our latest news stories.

He taught moral theology and canon law for many years in Rome and also served in various positions within his religious order.

At the time of his nomination to the College of Cardinals, he also served as a consultant to the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Congregation for Eastern Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

NCR's main story: Wuerl and Burke among 24 new cardinals

Cardinal-designate Francesco Monterisi

Italian Cardinal-designate Francesco Monterisi, 76, is no stranger to the College of Cardinals. As secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, he also served as secretary of the College of Cardinals from 1998 to 2009, which included the period of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

Since July 2009, he has served as archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, one of the major basilicas of Rome. The main altar of the basilica is built over what is believed to be the tomb of St. Paul the Apostle, and it is the site each year of the pope's celebration closing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Francesco Monterisi was born in Barletta and ordained to the priesthood in 1957. He entered the Vatican's diplomatic service in 1964 after earning degrees in theology and canon law.

As a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps, he served at nunciatures in Madagascar and Egypt before being assigned in 1970 to the Vatican Secretariat of State, where he dealt primarily with the Middle East.

In 1982, Pope John Paul named him an archbishop and nuncio to South Korea, personally ordaining him Jan. 6, 1983. In 1987, he returned to the Vatican and once again worked in the Secretariat of State. In 1993, he became the first nuncio to the newly independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. As nuncio, he constantly called for dialogue and peace as war and ethnic cleansing spread throughout the Balkans.

In March 1998, he was named secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and secretary of the College of Cardinals.

NCR's main story: Wuerl and Burke among 24 new cardinals

Cardinal-designate Domenico Bartolucci

Well-known in international musical circles, Cardinal-designate Domenico Bartolucci, 93, was the director of the Sistine Chapel Choir for more than 40 years, serving under five popes.

He began studying music and religion at an early age in his native Florence and was soon working under the maestro of the cathedral choir. There he earned praise and gained experience composing and directing.

Following seminary studies, he was ordained in 1939 and the same year earned a diploma in composition and orchestra direction from the Florence Conservatory of Music. In 1942, he went to Rome to refine his knowledge of sacred music and soon was helping direct the choir at the basilica of St. John Lateran. He earned additional diplomas in composition and choral direction.

Following a brief experience as a parish priest near Florence, Cardinal-designate Bartolucci was called back to Rome to serve as choir director at the basilica of St. Mary Major and to teach composition at the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music. In 1952, he became the assistant director of the Sistine Chapel Choir.

In 1956, he was tapped by Pope Pius XII to take over as director of the choir upon the death of his predecessor, Father Lorenzo Perosi. During more than four decades of service, Cardinal-designate Bartolucci undertook the reorganization of the musical program of the Sistine Chapel, initiated the Sistine Chapel children's choir, took his choir to perform around the world and composed a vast number of sacred works for both choir and orchestra.

Recognized internationally for his mastery of polyphonic musical composition and execution, he stepped down in 1997.

NCR's main story: Wuerl and Burke among 24 new cardinals

More about the new cardinals:


Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here

Advertisement