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Thumbnail bios of new cardinals -- part 2

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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 Kazimierz Nycz

When Cardinal-designate Kazimierz Nycz was installed as archbishop of Warsaw, Poland, in 2007, he called on Catholics to give evangelical witness in an increasingly secularized world and asked the media to serve the truth and the common good.

The cardinal-designate, now 60, was named archbishop of Warsaw in March 2007, two months after Pope Benedict XVI's original choice resigned at his own installation Mass amid accusations of having collaborated with Poland's former communist regime.

Polish newspapers at the time published quotations from Cardinal-designate Nycz's secret police file saying that he repeatedly had refused to cooperate. He told Vatican Radio at the time that the biggest task facing the church in Poland was to purify itself of the past in order to devote its energies to preaching the Gospel and helping the poor.

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The son of a builder, he was born close to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Krakow in 1973 by the future Pope John Paul II. After completing his doctorate at the Catholic University of Lublin, he began working in the archdiocesan office for religious education. Pope John Paul named him an auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1988 and appointed him bishop of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg in 2004.

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

Cardinal-designate Mauro Piacenza

Italian Cardinal-designate Mauro Piacenza, 66, was named prefect of the Congregation for Clergy Oct. 7. He had served as secretary of the clergy congregation since 2007.

Cardinal-designate Piacenza spent years in a variety of teaching posts, from teaching religion in Italian public high schools to teaching theology, canon law, contemporary culture and the history of atheism at both public and church-run institutes. He also served as a judge for church courts on the diocesan and regional levels and worked in communications for the Archdiocese of Genoa -- the northern port city where he was born.

He began working at the Congregation for Clergy in 1990 and was promoted to the position of undersecretary in 2000.

While maintaining his role as undersecretary, the cardinal-designate also was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church in 2003 and president of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology in 2004, positions he held until 2007, the same year he was appointed secretary of the clergy congregation.

He was heavily involved with providing support for the 2009-10 Year for Priests. On the clergy congregation's website, he provided numerous reflections in an effort to help priests grow in holiness.

Cardinal-designate Piacenza was ordained a bishop in 2003 and was made an archbishop in 2007.

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

Cardinal-designate Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don

Sri Lankan Cardinal-designate Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don of Colombo, 62, is best known for his strong defense of tradition in the Catholic Mass during the three-and-a-half years he served as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

He told the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, in 2007 that Pope Benedict's decision to give Catholics greater access to the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass was a combination of growing requests for Mass in the old form and continued abuses of the new liturgy.

"The more this fidelity (and) a sense of the beauty and awe in the liturgy diminished, the more requests for the Tridentine Mass increased," he said in the interview.

Born in northwestern Sri Lanka, Cardinal-designate Ranjith was ordained to the priesthood in 1975. He completed his studies in theology at Rome's Pontifical Urbanian University and did postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

He was named auxiliary bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, in 1991 and bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Ratnapura in 1995. In 2001, he returned to Rome to serve as head of the pontifical missionary societies under the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II named him an archbishop and apostolic nuncio to Indonesia and to East Timor. He was appointed secretary of the congregation for worship in 2005 and returned to Sri Lanka as archbishop of the capital city in 2009.

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

Cardinal-designate Paolo Romeo

Italian Cardinal-designate Paolo Romeo, 72, was named archbishop of Palermo in 2006, ending almost 40 years of service in the Vatican diplomatic corps.

Born in the southern city of Arcireale, he was the fifth of his parents' nine children. After his high school and initial college studies at the Arcireale seminary, he was sent to study in Rome, where he earned degrees in theology and canon law.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1961, he began studies at the Vatican's diplomatic academy in 1964 and entered the diplomatic corps three years later. Over the next nine years, he worked at Vatican embassies in the Philippines, Belgium, Venezuela, Rwanda and Burundi. In 1976, he joined the staff of the Vatican Secretariat of State, working on the Latin America desk.

In late 1983, Pope John Paul II named him an archbishop and nuncio to Haiti, where Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier was still president. Duvalier ended his family's three-decade rule over the impoverished country by fleeing in 1986. The cardinal-designate's next assignments took him successively to Colombia, Canada and finally to the post of Vatican ambassador to Italy and San Marino.

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

Cardinal-designate Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya

Congolese Cardinal-designate Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, 71, is a biblical scholar and an activist on justice and peace issues.

He is president of the Congolese bishops' conference and co-president of Pax Christi International, the Catholic peace organization.

With the Vatican's blessing, in the 1990s he took an active role in mediating his country's political crisis and trying to guide the nation to a new democratic constitution. In 1991, he was elected president of the Sovereign National Conference; from 1992 to 1994 he served as president of the High Council of the Republic; and in1994-1995 he served as speaker of the country's transitional parliament.

Born in Mongobele, he attended the minor seminary of the Inongo Diocese before entering the major seminary at Kabwe. Sent to Rome in 1960, he studied theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University and was ordained in Rome Dec. 21, 1963. From 1964 to 1970, he studied at Rome's Pontifical Biblical Institute, earning a doctorate in biblical sciences.

He was named auxiliary bishop of Inongo in 1980, auxiliary bishop of Kisangani in 1980 and archbishop of Kisangani in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of Kinshasa in 2007.

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

Cardinal-designate Paolo Sardi

Italian Cardinal-designate Paolo Sardi, 76, is the pro-patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a position that involves promoting the spiritual interests of the Knights of Malta and their relationship with the Vatican. He also has served since 2004 as vice chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, a position which involves special duties when a pope dies.

The Knights of Malta were founded in Jerusalem at the end of the 11th century to run a hospice for pilgrims but gradually took on military responsibilities to defend pilgrims and Christian lands from Muslim attacks. Today, the knights are dedicated solely to promoting the holiness of their members, supporting efforts to promote the faith and charitable work, especially in health care.

Cardinal-designate Sardi was born in Ricaldone in northern Italy and was ordained to the priesthood in 1958. After earning a licentiate in theology, he earned a degree in canon law and jurisprudence from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan.

He taught moral theology in Turin until 1976, when he was called to the Vatican to work in the Secretariat of State. In 1996, Pope John Paul II named him an archbishop and an apostolic nuncio with special responsibilities in the Vatican Secretariat of State. Pope John Paul personally ordained him to the episcopacy Jan. 6, 1997. In the secretariat he coordinated the office that edited the pope's texts and speeches.

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

Cardinal-designate Reinhard Marx

German Cardinal-designate Reinhard Marx, 57, archbishop of Munich and Freising, is the youngest of the new cardinals named by Pope Benedict XVI. A specialist in the social teaching of the Catholic Church, he had a German best-seller on his hands in 2008-09 when he borrowed from the more famous Marx -- Karl Marx -- the title for his Catholic reflection on ethics and economics.

Cardinal-designate Marx's book was called "Das Kapital" ("Capital") just like the other Marx's book was, but the archbishop added the subtitle, "A Plea For the People." The main thesis of the book was that without controls and limits dictated by ethical values, capitalism really is inhuman and anti-Christian.

Born Sept. 21, 1953, in Geseke, he prepared for the priesthood in Paderborn and also studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1979 and ministered first in a parish and then as chaplain at a school. In 1986, he began studying again and in 1989 earned a doctorate in theology from the University of Bochum.

He was serving as a professor of Catholic social doctrine in 1996 when he was named an auxiliary bishop of Paderborn. In 2001, he was named bishop of Trier. Then-Bishop Marx suspended a Trier diocesan priest in 2003 after the priest invited non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist at a Mass he was celebrating. Three years later, the bishop also withdrew the priest's permission to teach Catholic theology after the priest refused to acknowledge and accept the church's position on sharing Communion with other Christians.

In 2007, Pope Benedict named then-Bishop Marx archbishop of Munich and Freising.

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

More about the new cardinals:

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