Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 16 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cornelius and Cyprian
home iconChurch
line break icon

Benedict XVI sends beautiful message for funeral of Cardinal Meisner

© Grzegorz GALAZKA / SIPA

Así estaba la Capilla Sixtina durante la elección de Benedicto XVI

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 07/16/17

Says the cardinal "died while he was praying, looking upon the Lord and talking with Him"

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sent a message to the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, on July 15, on occasion of the burial of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, former shepherd of that diocese, as Vatican Insider reported on the same day.

The German pope praised the prelate—who had been a close friend—speaking of how in the last stage of his life, he had found such inner joy.

The two men had spoken on the phone the day before Cardinal Meisner’s death, which took place on July 5, the pope emeritus explained.

Benedict XVI recounted in his message that he had been “impressed” during their last phone call “by the calm serenity, interior joy, and confidence” of the cardinal.

Especially because it was “difficult,” the pope emeritus said, for the cardinal to leave his position at the head of the Archdiocese of Cologne, “at a time when the Church needs convincing shepherds who know how to resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age.”

Cardinal Meisner retired from the archbishopric in 2014, when he was 80 years old.

The way Cardinal Meisner died, Benedict XVI continued, “showed once again how he lived: in the presence of the Lord, conversing with Him.”

The cardinal was, in fact, found with his breviary open beside him.

“He died while he was praying, looking upon the Lord and talking with Him,” the pope emeritus reflected.

A cardinal who spoke his mind

Benedict’s message was delivered by his personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who is also the Prefect of the Pontifical Household.

The funeral was celebrated in the cathedral of Cologne by Cardinal Meisner’s successor, Cardinal Rainer Woelki. Among the dignitaries present were Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith until July 1 of this year, and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich.

Joachim Meisner, who was named Bishop of Berlin in 1980, later headed the Archdiocese of Cologne for 25 years, from 1989 to 2014.

Known for speaking his mind, he was considered one of the most influential German bishops. He was one of the four cardinals who signed a letter containing doubts regarding the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (2016). XLN

Tags:
Pope Benedict XVI

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
Mychal Judge
John Burger
The priests of 9/11
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.