The grand chancellor of the pontifical university and prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, conferred the degree Tuesday.
In his address, the cardinal spoke about the importance of John Paul II's encyclical "Veritatis Splendor," and the relation between truth and freedom.
"Our times are especially menaced by the temptation to rob human freedom of its essential and constitutive relation to truth," the cardinal said, adding that morality is "participation in the freedom of Jesus Christ, tied to his truth."
"Christian morality," he said, "is not a simple adhesion to abstract ideals or pure obedience to impersonal principles, but an interpersonal relation of singular depth, a vital communion with Christ."
The cardinal has been a professor and prolific theologian. In the early days of the university (at that time known as the Roman Academic Center), Dionigi Tettamanzi was associate professor of moral theology.