Members Bishops Emeriti + Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis

Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis

Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis

Kalvarijų g. 331A
LT-08420 Vilnius

Mob. +370 682 45665

Born 1 February 1937
Ordained 18 March 1961
Consecrated 4 October 1988
Cardinal 21 February 2001
Archbishop emeritus of Vilnius since 23 April 2013

Audrys Bačkis was born on February 1, 1937 in Kaunas, in the family of the diplomat Stasys Bačkis and the teacher Ona Galvydaitė – Bačkienė. The family was forced to stay in the West after the World War II because of Soviet occupation. In 1955, having graduated the Institute Saint Marie de Monceau, run by Marist Fathers, Audrys Bačkis entered the seminary of Saint-Sulpice a Issy-les-Molineux, where he finished the course of philosophy. He continued his theology studies in the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Audrys Bačkis was ordained priest on March 18, 1961. For some time Rev. Bačkis worked in USA providing pastoral care for Lithuanian communities. Afterwards he came back to Rome and entered the Pontifical Academy of Diplomacy. Simultaneously Rev. Bačkis studied ecclesiastical law in the Pontifical Lateran University and earned doctorate in canon law.

Having finished his studies he began diplomatic service in 1964. He served as secretary in apostolic nunciatures in Philippines (1964–1965), Costa Rica (1965–1967), Turkey (1967–1970), Nigeria (1970–1973). Afterwards Rev. Bačkis was appointed to work in the Vatican Secretariat of the State. He served in the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church taking care of questions concerning international organizations, peace and disarmament. In 1975 he was the member of Vatican delegation in UNO conference in Vienna concerning the relations with international organizations. In 1979 Rev. Audrys Bačkis was appointed vice-secretary of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church and given the rank of a prelate of the Holy See. Msgr. Audrys Juozas Bačkis was consecrated bishop by the Pope John Paul II on October 4, 1988. In the same year he was made archbishop and appointed apostolic nuncio in Holland. On December 24, 1991, Msgr. Audrys Bačkis was appointed archbishop of Vilnius.

Archbishop Audrys Juozas Bačkis was elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals on February 21, 2001. He was the president of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference in 1993–1999 and 2002–2005, and its vice-president in 1999-2002, 2005-2013. 2011-2017 Cardinal Audrys J. Bačkis was the president of the Council for Family of Lithuanian Bishops' Conference.

On April 23, 2013 Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis and appointed bishop Gintaras Grušas the archbishop of Vilnius.

In 2015 His Eminence Card. A. J. Bačkis was the Delegate of the Lithuanian Bishops‘ Conference at the Synod of Bishops in Rome.