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Card. Lehmann: died yesterday in Mainz aged 81. Card. Marx (DBK), “he has significantly shaped the Catholic Church across the world”

(Foto Siciliani-Gennari/SIR)

Cardinal Karl Lehmann has died in Mainz in the early hours of Sunday, 11 March. “We lose a Bishop with a big and deeply humane heart, who stood out for the power of his words. The Church in Germany bows down to a man who has significantly shaped the Catholic Church across the world”. With these words, the Cardinal of Munich and president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Reinhard Marx, paid tribute to his brother bishop who has been the president of the German Bishops from 1987 to 2008 and the head of the Diocese of Mainz until 2016. Yesterday, Card. Marx met with the press in Munich, retracing Card. Lehmann’s intense life: from his “ups and downs” at the helm of the Bishops’ Conference to his dedication to ecumenism to which he contributed his “ideas, life, discussions and insights”. In his speeches and contributions, Card. Lehmann has always sought “to give confidence to people at a time of great upheaval”, and it is this that has earned him the great esteem of politicians and many civil society groups. Lehmann was an “extraordinary man, a role model for the Church”, “but most importantly he was a priest, a pastor, a bishop, a gifted theologian, and a good friend”, Card. Marx said. “We will miss the theological acumen and the poignant speeches” of this “man who has lived his life according to God’s plan, dedicating himself to Christ’s mission and message”.

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