Karl Lehmann

Karl Lehmann
Cardinal, Bishop of Mainz
Karl Lehmann.jpg
Cardinal Lehmann, 2014
ChurchMainz Cathedral
ProvinceFreiburg im Breisgau
Appointed21 June 1983
Installed2 October 1983
Term ended16 May 2016
PredecessorHermann Volk
SuccessorPeter Kohlgraf
Other postsCardinal-Priest of S. Leone I
Ordination10 October 1963
by Julius August Döpfner
Consecration2 October 1983
by Hermann Volk
Created cardinal21 February 2001
RankCardinal priest
Personal details
Born16 May 1936
Sigmaringen, Germany
Died11 March 2018 (aged 81)
Mainz, Germany
Denomination1 Corinthians 16:13
Coat of armsKarl Lehmann's coat of arms

Karl Lehmann (16 May 1936 – 11 March 2018) was a German Cardinal prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Mainz from 1983 to 2016, being elevated to Cardinal in 2001. He also served as Chairman of the Conference of the German Bishops from 1987 to 2008, being considered one of the most influential prelates in Germany in these years and a leading proponent of liberal stances within the Church. Before he became bishop, he worked as professor of theology at the University of Mainz and the University of Freiburg.

Early years, education and career as theological scholar

Lehmann was born in Sigmaringen and grew up in Veringenstadt. His father was a local teacher and his mother educated as a bookseller.[1] During his high school years, he lived in the Catholic student home Erzbischöfliches Studienheim St. Fidelis [de] in Sigmaringen.[2]

He studied at the Seminary of Freiburg 1957–1964[3] and then at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a doctorate in philosophy,[3] in 1962, with a thesis titled Vom Ursprung und Sinn der Seinsfrage im Denken Martin Heideggers.[1] He also received a doctorate in theology in 1967, with a thesis titled "Auferweckt am dritten Tag nach der Schrift"—Exegetische und fundamentaltheologische Studien zu 1 Kor 15, 3b-5.[2][1]

He was ordained to the priesthood on 10 October 1963 in Rome by Cardinal Julius Döpfner.[2] During the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, he served as an assistant to Karl Rahner,[2][3] [1]and he was also assistant to Rahner at the Seminar for Christian worldview and philosophy of religion at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich from 1964 to 1967.[2]

In 1968 he became professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Mainz, a position he held until 1971 when he became professor of dogmatic and ecumenical theology at the University of Freiburg.[2] [3][1]

He was for ten years, from 1974 to 1984, a member of the International Theological Commission.[4]

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