Cardinal Karl Lehmann, former President of the German Bishops’ Conference and a respected theologian, died Sunday, March 11, 2018 at age 81. He passed away at his home in Mainz following a period of ill-health and the effects of a stroke he suffered last September.
Lehmann was born on May 16, 1936 in Sigmaringen, Germany and ordained a priest in Rome in 1963. While in Rome, Cardinal Lehmann participated in sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He was appointed Bishop of Mainz in 1983 and served as President of the German Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 2008, when he resigned because of health issues. St. John Paul II elevated him to Cardinal in 2001.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, current President of the German Bishops Conference, in paying tribute to Cardinal Lehmann said “The church of Germany is bowing humbly in front of a personality who influenced the Catholic church worldwide.”
A Funeral Mass is scheduled for March 21 at the Mainz Cathedral.
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