Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn in the state of Bavaria, Germany. Ratzinger entered the minor seminary in Traunstein, in 1939 and in 1943 along with the rest of his seminary class he was drafted into the Flak [anti-aircraft corps]. In 1944 he was released from the Flak and returned home only to be drafted into labor detail under the infamous Austrian Legion. In the spring of 1945 Ratzinger deserted the army and headed home but when the Americans arrived at his village shortly thereafter, he was identified as a German soldier and incarcerated in a POW camp for a brief time. Following his release he re-entered the seminary. In 1951 Joseph was ordained into the priesthood and began lectures as a full professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn. From 1962-65 Ratzinger was present during all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council as a peritus, or chief theological advisor to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne, Germany. . In 1977 Joseph Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on June 27 elevated to Cardinal of Munich by Pope Paul VI. In 1981 Ratzinger accepted Pope John Paul II's invitation to take over as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in 1986 he was appointed head of a 12-member commission responsible for drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Ratzinger was elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals in 1988. In 2002 Pope John Paul II, approved his election as dean of the College of Cardinals. On April 8, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger presided over the funeral of Pope John Paul II. On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Bishop of Rome on the fourth ballot of the conclave and took the name Benedict XVI.
Michael Francis Moore was born April 23, 1954 in Flint Michigan. After dropping out of the University of Michigan following his freshman year (where he wrote for the student newspaper The Michigan Times), Moore worked at the local Buick plant. At 22 he founded the alternative weekly magazine The Flint Voice, which soon changed its name to The Michigan Voice as it grew to cover the entire state. In 1986, when Moore became the editor of Mother Jones, a liberal political magazine, he moved to California and The Michigan Voice was shut down. Moore has been active in promoting his political views. Moore was a high-profile guest at both the 2004 Democratic National Convention and the 2004 Republican National Convention. He has directed and produced several documentaries such as Roger and Me, The Big One, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Capitalism: A Love Story. Between 1994 and 1995, he directed and hosted the BBC television series TV Nation, which followed the format of news magazine shows but covered topics they avoid. His other major series was The Awful Truth, which satirized actions by big corporations and politicians. In 1999 Moore won the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in Arts and Entertainment, for being the executive producer and host of The Awful Truth, where he was also described as "muckraker, author and documentary filmmaker".
George Weigel is a Catholic theologian. Weigel was educated at St. Mary's Seminary College in Baltimore, Maryland and at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Canada. Weigel moved to Seattle where he was Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant (later Acting) Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore. In 1977, he became Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle. In 1984-85 he was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Weigel is the author or editor of a number of books including Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace (Oxford University Press, 1987); The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism (Oxford, 1992); The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explored (HarperCollins, 2001); The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church (Basic Books, 2002); God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins, 2005); Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism (Doubleday, 2007); and Against the Grain: Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace (Crossroad, 2008). His scholarly work and his journalism are regularly translated into the major European languages. Weigel has been awarded ten honorary doctorates, the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal by the Republic of Poland. George Weigel and his wife live in North Bethesda, Maryland.