Camillo Ruini studied as a seminarian of the Almo Collegio Capranica Catholic theology and philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Then he took the licentiate in 1954, and received the sacrament of Holy Orders.
From 1957 to 1968 he lectured at the seminary of his native diocese philosophy. From 1968 to 1986 he was professor of dogmatic theology at the Catholic Theological College of the inter-diocesan Modena -Reggio - Emilia- Carpi - Guastalla. From 1977 to 1983 he also took a teaching position of dogmatic theology at the Theological College of Bologna. In addition to his teaching activities Ruini worked for several years as chaplain and lecturer for Catholic Action.
In 1983, he received episcopal ordination and became titular bishop of Nepte and auxiliary bishop in the diocese of Reggio Emilia and Guastalla appointed. In this office to Ruini great merits acquired by the dialogue of the Catholic Church with different social groups. In 1986 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Secretary General of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
On 17 January 1991, he was named John Paul II Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome and the Pro- archpriest of the Lateran Basilica. In the same year he became President of the Italian Bishops' Conference and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Lateran University. On June 28, 1991 of the same year he took John Paul II as a Cardinal priest with the titular church of S. Agnese fuori le mura in the College of Cardinals to. With the award of the dignity of Cardinal Ruini was simultaneously the Pro - Archpriest Archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
Ruini was a participant at Conclave 2005, in which Benedict XVI. was chosen. Prior to this conclave also Cardinal Ruini was in the public as papabile, that is, as one of the possible successor to the late Pope John Paul II.
For February 19, 2006 Camillo Ruini handed with reaching the 75th birthday law of the Church in his resignation to the Pope a, which of these but for now rejected and confirmed him also as President of the Italian Episcopal Conference. On March 7, 2007 Benedict XVI accepted. his resignation from the office of President of the Italian Bishops' Conference and appointed the Archbishop of Genoa, Angelo Bagnasco, as his successor.
On 27 June 2008, Pope Benedict XVI. Ruinis reasons of age pre- mounted resignation from the office of Cardinal Vicar of the Diocese of Rome and the Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica and appointed the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, as his successor.
Because he had exceeded the age limit for the election of a pope, he did not take the conclave in 2013, but to the general congregations of the college of cardinals during the resignation of Benedict XVI. occurred Sedisvakanz part.
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2005)
- Honorary doctorate from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
- God's truth and truth of man, Rome 2007