Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Archbishop Emeritus of Mainz and one of the most prominent leaders in the German Church known for his ecumenical work, died at his home Sunday morning at the age of 81.
In a statement following the prelate's death March 11, president of the German Bishops Conference Cardinal Reinhard Marx said in wake of Lehmann's passing, “the church of Germany is bowing humbly in front of a personality who influenced the Catholic church worldwide,” said the Catholic News Agency.
Marx praised the many accomplishments and longstanding contributions of his predecessor, who he said worked “tirelessly” to build bridges of understanding, reconciliation and dialogue.
After retiring from his role as head of the Mainz diocese in 2016, Lehmann last year suffered a stroke and his health has been in decline ever since.
In a March 11 CDU party press release on the cardinal's death, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was sad to hear of the prelate's passing, and voiced gratitude “for our good conversations and meetings over the years. (UNI)