Mainz (kath.net/ KAP)
The resignation of Cardinal Karl Lehmann Bishop of Mainz is completed. In a church service for the 80th birthday of the Cardinal on Whit Monday in the cathedral at Mainz was the ambassador of the Pope in Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, announced the acceptance of Lehmann's resignation by Pope Francis. Thus the Bishop of Mainz's chair will not be occupied on Tuesday.
At the service, around 1,200 invited guests gathered in the cathedral, including many high-ranking representatives from church, politics and society. In his homily, Lehmann spoke of God's love for all people as the basic message of the Christian faith. This faith which he considered more precious than anything else, he wanted to declare in his life as a priest, bishop and theologian, said the former president of the German episcopate. In his closing remarks, he quoted the Apostle Paul: "Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Everything you do should be done in love!"
The service was broadcast live on ARD and could be followed on a large screen in front of the cathedral. Papal Nuncio Eterovic thanked Lehmann on behalf of Francis for the "substantial service," which he had done for the Holy See.
Lehmann was born on 16 May 1936 at the Swabian Sigmaringen and was nearly 33 years at the head of the Diocese of Mainz. From 1987 to 2008 he was President of the German Bishops' Conference. In early 2001, John Paul II made him Cardinal.
With his resignation the Sedevacant begins for his diocese. It ends with the reoccupation of the diocesan chair. Until then, it could be months, according to experience months.
Copyright 2016 Catholic press agency KATH PRESS, Vienna, Austria (www.kathpress.at)