Born: June 8, 1944, in La Motte, Que.
Education and career: Completed Amos Teacher Training College in 1964.
— Studied philosophy at Laval University in Quebec City and obtained bachelor's in education in 1964.
— Completed theological studies at the Grand Seminaire de Montreal in 1968 and obtained licence of theology from Universite de Montreal.
— Appointed pastor in Val-d'Or on May 25, 1968.
— Taught philosophy at Major Seminary in Bogota, Colombia, in 1970-71.
— Studied at St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University in Rome, obtained Licence in Philosophy in 1974.
— Professor at Major Seminary of Manizales, Colombia, before being recalled to Canada in 1976.
— Professor at Grand Seminaire du Montreal.
— Returns to Rome in 1978 to study at Gregorian University, earns doctorate in Dogmatic Theology in 1983.
— Returns to Colombia to teach at Major Seminary of Cali, then appointed rector of Major Seminary of Manizales from 1984 to 1989.
— In Canada, becomes rector of Grand Seminaire de Montreal, then at St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton in 1994.
— Holds chair of Dogmatic Theology at Lateran Pontifical University in Rome.
— Ordained bishop in 2001 by John Paul II, appointed titular bishop of Agropoli and as the second-highest official at the agency responsible for ties with non-Catholic Christians, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
— Appointed archbishop of Quebec City on Nov. 15, 2002.
— Promoted to college of cardinals by John Paul II on Oct. 21-22, 2003.
— Serves in a number of other Vatican organizations including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for the Clergy, and the Pontifical Academy of Theology.
— Becomes involved in political debates in Canada, opposing same-sex marriage in 2005 and describing abortion as a moral crime in 2010 even when a rape has occurred.
Quote: "(Being pope) would be a nightmare. I see the work the pope has to do. It's maybe not so enviable. It's a crushing responsibility... There's the help of the holy spirit, for sure, but it's a very big responsibility. Nobody campaigns for that." —Quebec City newspaper interview, 2011.