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Cardinal Walter Brandmüeller, former President of the Pontifical Commission for Historical Sciences, was born on 5 January 1929 in Ansbach in the Federal Republic of Germany.

He was ordained a priest on 26 July 1953 and earned a doctorate in theology in 1963.

In 1971, he taught medieval and modern church history at the University of Augusburg and continued until 1997, during the same period he served as parish priest in Walleshausen.

In June 1998, he was appointed president of the Pontifical Commission for Historical Sciences and subsequently retired in December 2009.

In 2001, he was elected president of the International Commission for Comparative Ecclesiastical History.

He is a world renowned scholar of church history and has published many books and articles, on the Crusades, on the Spanish Inquisition and on the Reformation.

In November 2010, he was ordained bishop and appointed titular Archbishop of Caesarea in Mauretania. 

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Title of San Giuliano dei Fiamminghi (Saint Julian of the Flemish) Deaconry elevated pro hac vice to Presbyteral title (3 May 2021).