Born on April 24, 1947 in Mafra.
He was ordained a Priest for Apucarana, Parana, Brazil on November 26, 1972. On April 6, 1994 he was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Vitória, Espirito Santo, Brazil, and Titular Bishop of Flenucleta. He was ordained Bishop on May 31, 1994.
On August 12 1998 he was appointed Bishop of Ponta Grossa, Parana, Brazil, and on July 17, 2002 he was appointed Archbishop of Maringá, Parana, Brazil. Just a few years later, on January 28, 2004, he was appointed Archbishop of Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil, and was installed on March 27, 2004.
On January 4, 2011 he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, a position that he ceased on February 28, 2013 upon the retierment of Pope Benedict XVI.
He was elevated to Cardinal on February 18, 2012, and was appointed Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina. He was installed on May 20, 2012.