Cardinal Joachim Meisner Dies at 83, R.i.P.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner Dies at 83 [R.i.P.]


The former Archbishop of gCologne, one of the four cardinals to send questions about Amoris Laetitia to Pope Francis, died peacefully in his sleep.

Edward Pentin

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the archbishop emeritus of Cologne who was a strong defender of the Church’s doctrine and orthodoxy, has died at the age of 83.

The German cardinal died “peacefully in his sleep” while on vacation in Bad Füssing, Cologne’s Domradio reported on Wednesday, citing the archdiocese.

Born in Breslau in what then was Germany but is now known as Wrocław in Poland, Cardinal Meisner led Germany’s largest diocese for 25 years from 1989 to 2014. He was considered for many years to be one of the country’s most influential bishops who had a close relationship with Pope St. John Paul II, and especially with Benedict XVI.

The cardinal made strong interventions to uphold faith and morals, in particular against abortion and assisted suicide, and was an outspoken critic of secularism.

“Wherever culture is separated from the worship of God,” he once said, “cult atrophies in ritualism and culture becomes degenerate.”

Last September, he put his name to the dubia, a series of 5 questions to the Holy Father asking him to clarify contentious passages in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia that have been subject to varying interpretations. The Pope has yet to respond to the dubia, or to grant the other cardinals — Walter Brandmüller, Carlo Caffarra, Raymond Burke — an audience.

In comments to the Register, Cardinal Burke said in tribute to the German cardinal that it had been “a great gift to me to know Cardinal Joachim Meisner over the past years.

“He has inspired me deeply by his profound love of Christ and of His Mystical Body, the Church,” Cardinal Burke said. “He spared no effort in showing that love clearly and courageously in practice. May he be granted the reward of the good and faithful servant. May he rest in peace.”

During the 2005 conclave, Cardinal Meisner successfully led a fight against the so-called St. Gallen group of churchmen who were lobbying against the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

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One comment on “Cardinal Joachim Meisner Dies at 83, R.i.P.

  1. O God, Who chose Thy servant Joachim
    from among Thy Priests,
    and endowed him with pontifical dignity
    in the apostolic priesthood,
    grant, we pray,
    that he may also be admitted to their company for ever.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
    Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God for ever and ever.

    Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the soul of Thy servant Cardinal Bishop Joachim, which Thou hast taken from the toilsome conflict of this world, may have fellowship among Thy saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

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