Friedrich Wetter

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Friedrich Wetter
Archbishop Emeritus of Munich and Freising
Portrait photograph of Wetter
ChurchCatholic Church
ArchdioceseMunich and Freising
SeeMunich and Freising
Appointed28 October 1982
Installed12 December 1982
Term ended2 February 2007
PredecessorJoseph Ratzinger
SuccessorReinhard Marx
Other post(s)Cardinal Priest of Santo Stephano in Coelio Monte (1985–)
Ordination10 October 1953
by Clemente Micara
Consecration29 June 1968
by Isidor Markus Emanuel
Created cardinal25 May 1985
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Born (1928-02-20) 20 February 1928 (age 96)
Landau, Germany
Previous post(s)
  • Bishop of Speyer (1968–82)
  • Apostolic Administrator of Munich and Freising (2007–2008)
Alma mater
MottoPax Vobis
("Peace to you")
Coat of armsFriedrich Wetter's coat of arms
Styles of
Friedrich Wetter
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeMunich and Freising (emeritus)

Friedrich Wetter (born 20 February 1928) is a German cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, from 1982 to 2007. He was Bishop of Speyer from 1968 to 1982. He has been a cardinal since 1985.

Early life[edit]

Wetter was born on 20 February 1928. He studied first in Landau and then from 1948 to 1956 at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology and at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in theology. In 1953, he was ordained a priest in Rome by Cardinal Cardinal Clemente Micara.[1]

He was a chaplain in Speyer from 1956 to 1958 and taught at the seminary there from 1958 to 1960. He was assistant parish priest for a year in Glanmünchweiler, and then taught as Professor of Fundamental Theology in Eichstätt from 1962 to 1967 and as Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in 1967 for a year.[2]

Bishop and cardinal[edit]

On 28 May 1968, Pope Paul VI appointed him bishop of Speyer.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on 29 June[1] from Bishop Isidor Markus Emanuel, his predecessor in Speyer.

Pope John Paul II named him Archbishop of Munich and Freising on 28 October 1982[4] and he was installed there on 12 December.

While Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he chaired the Freising Bishops Conference and from 1981 to 2008 he chaired the faith commission of the German Bishops' Conference.[5]

He was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul on 25 May 1985, with the title of Cardinal-Priest of Santo Stefano Rotondo.

In October 2004 he protested that objections to the appointment of Rocco Buttiglione to the European Commission represented anti-Catholic bias, saying that Catholics like Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman, and Alcide de Gasperi, founders of the European Union, would now be excluded from its leadership.[6] Buttiglione, a conservative Catholic nominated to handle issues of civil liberties and discrimination, had promised that his personal views would not interfere with his work, but members of the European parliament found his views on homosexuality and the proper role of women in society disqualifying.[7]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.[8]

Pope Benedict accepted his resignation on 2 February 2007.[9] He continued there as apostolic administrator until the installation of Reinhard Marx as his successor on 2 February 2008.[10]

The January 2022 report on the handling of cases of sexual abuse on the part of priests in the Munich archdiocese accused Wetter of "mishandling" 21 cases during his tenure as archbishop and administrator. Wetter defended his actions in detail and disputed much of the report; he admitted fault in one case in particular that the report addressed at great length. He apologized for failing to listen to victims of abuse and recognizing how abuse affected them and their families.[11][12]

Works (selected)[edit]

  • Die Trinitätslehre des Johannes Duns Scotus (= Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, file 41, H. 5), Aschendorff, Münster 1967, (Thesis of Habilitation, University of Munich, Munich, Theological Faculty, 28. Oktober 1965).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kardinal Friedrich Wetter wird 90 Jahre" [Cardinal Friedrich Wetter turns 90]. Bistum Speyer (in German). 16 February 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Kardinal Friedrich Wetter" (in German). Bavarian Radio. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009.
  3. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). Vol. LX. 1968. p. 473. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  4. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (PDF). Vol. LXXIV. 1968. p. 1301. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Ehemaliger Münchner Erzbischof feiert Jahrestag mit Festgottesdienst". Münchner Wochen Anzeiger (in German). 21 May 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  6. ^ "Kardinal protestiert: "Berufsverbot für Christen"". Münchner Merkur (in German). 28 October 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  7. ^ "EU panel opposes justice nominee". BBC News. 11 October 2004. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  8. ^ "Elenco degli Em.mi Cardinali che entrano in Conclave secondo il loro rispettivo ordine di precedenza (Vescovi, Presbiteri, Diaconi)" [List of the Eminent Cardinals entering into Conclave according to their respective order of precedence (Bishops, Priests, Deacons)]. Sala Stampa della Santa Sede (in Italian). 18 April 2005. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  9. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 02.02.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Nach Annahme des Amtsverzichts: Kardinal Wetter zum Apostolischen Administrator bestellt". Archdiocece of Munich and Freising (in German). Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Munich abuse report: Cardinal Wetter apologizes for mishandling case". Catholic News Agency. 25 January 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Kardinal Wetter bittet um Entschuldigung". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). 25 January 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Isidor Markus Emanuel
Bishop of Speyer
28 May 1968 – 28 October 1982
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Munich and Freising
28 October 1992 – 2 February 2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal Priest of Santo Stefano al Monte Celio
25 May 1985 – present