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Biographical notes

[Updated: 04.09.2011]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


DESKUR Card. Andrzej Maria

© Gregorz Galazka



Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council of Social Communications, President of the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculate Conception, was born on 29 February 1924 in Sancygniów, Diocese of Kielce, Poland, to a family of French origin. He received a doctorate in law in 1945 from the Catholic University of Krakow. He was the secretary general of the very important post-war Polish student organization called "Bratniak".

He entered the seminary in Krakow and was ordained a priest on 20 August 1950. He obtained a doctorate in theology from the University of Freiburg and, after two years of pastoral activity and study in France and Switzerland, in September 1952, he was called to Rome to work in the Secretariat of State. During this period he served as undersecretary of the Pontifical Commission for Cinematography, Radio and Television (1954-1964), secretary of the Preparatory Secretariat for the Press and Entertainment during Vatican II (1960-1962), peritus for the assembly of the Council (1962-1965) and was a member of the Conciliar Commissions for Bishops, for the Clergy, for the Laity, and for the Press and Entertainment.

In 1973 he was named president of the Pontifical Commission (now Council) for Social Communications.

He was appointed titular Bishop of Tene on 17 June 1974 and received episcopal ordination the following June 30. On 15 February 1980, John Paul II named him Archbishop and on April 1985 president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission.

President of the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculate Conception, January 24, 1987

Cardinal Deskur contributed to numerous congresses and meetings for professionals of the press, radio, television and cinema, visiting about 70 countries on five continents. Among other endeavours, he was one of the promoters of the radio station "Radio Veritas" for countries in Asia and Oceania.

The challenge of promoting Christianity in the field of social communications did not impede Cardinal Deskur from dedicating himself also to pastoral activity. During all his years in Rome he performed his priestly and episcopal ministry in numerous parishes. For many years he devoted himself to the office of spiritual director at the pre-seminary St. Pius X in the Vatican City.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 25 May 1985, of the Title of S. Cesareo in Palatio (St. Cesario in Palatio), deaconry elevated pro hac vice to presbyteral Title on 29 January 1996. 

Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur died on 3 September 2011 in the Vatican City.

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