Born 7 February 1926 in Argentina, from an immigrant Croatian family. He studied for the priesthood in Cordoba and was ordained on 8 December 1954. He then taught at the Major Seminary of Cordoba and undertook further studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He was consecrated as a bishop on 15 August 1977 by Cardinal Primatesta. He was made Coadjutor Archbishop of Paraná on 19 January 1983 and succeed to full governance of the Archdiocese on 1 April 1986. He was a member of the Commission that drafted the new Catechism of the Catholic Church from 1986 to 1992. He retired in 2003.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed him a Cardinal on 24 November 2007.