Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, Metropolitan Archbishop of Malines-Bruxelles (Belgium), was born of June 17th, 1947 in Ghent, East Flanders, in the eponymous diocese.
He was ordained a priest on August 26th, 1972, for the diocese of Ghent.
He obtained his doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome with the dissertation: “Le refus décidé de l’objectivation. Une interprétation du Jésus historique dans la théologie chez Rudolf Bultmann” and is author of numerous articles and a book on the Church and various aspects of Christian life. He has served as a lecturer at the seminary of Ghent, in a training centre for future teachers of religion and the University of Leuven. He speaks French, Dutch, English and Italian.
Elected to the titular see of Bulna and appointed auxiliary bishop of Mechelen-Brussel on March 20th, 2002, he was consecrated on May 26th. From 2002 to 2010 he served as vicar general for the Vicariate of Brussels. Since 2010 he has held the role of viicar general of the Vicariate of Flemish Brabant and the Mechelen area.
On June 25th, 2010 he was appointed bishop of Brugge
On November 6, 2015, Pope Francis appointed him as metropolitan archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Malines-Bruxelles, Belgium. and Military Ordinary for Belgium.
Since January 2016 he has served as president of the Episcopal Conference of Belgium.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 19 November 2016, titular church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.