Joseph Wendel

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His Eminence
Joseph Wendel
Cardinal, Archbishop of Munich and Freising
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F003951-0012, Köln, 77. Deutscher Katholikentag.jpg
Joseph Wendel (right) next to Konrad Adenauer (center) on the final rally of the 77th Deutscher Katholikentag 1956 (German Catholic Day) in Cologne.
Archdiocese Munich and Freising
See Munich and Freising
Appointed 9 August 1952
Installed 7 November 1952
Term ended 31 December 1960
Predecessor Michael von Faulhaber
Successor Julius August Döpfner
Other posts
Ordination 30 October 1927
by Basilio Pompilj
Consecration 29 June 1941
by Ludwig Sebastian
Created Cardinal 12 January 1953
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1901-05-27)27 May 1901
Died 31 December 1960(1960-12-31) (aged 59)
Nationality German
Denomination Roman Catholic
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Motto veritati et caritati
Coat of arms
Styles of
Joseph Wendel
Coat of arms of Joseph Wendel.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Joseph Wendel (May 27, 1901–December 31, 1960) was a German Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1952 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1953 by Pope Pius XII.


Joseph Wendel was born in Blieskastel, and studied at the seminary in Speyer, and the Pontifical German-Hungarian College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. From the Gregorian he obtained doctorates in philosophy and theology. Wendel was ordained to the priesthood on October 30, 1927, and then did pastoral work in Speyer, also serving as director of Caritas, until 1941.

On April 4, 1941, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Speyer and Titular Bishop of Lebessus. He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 29 from Bishop Ludwig Sebastian, with Bishops Matthias Ehrenfried and Joseph Kolb serving as co-consecrators. Wendel succeeded Sebastian as Bishop of Speyer on May 20, 1943, being installed on June 4 of that same year. During World War II, he strongly defended the rights of the Church and humanity.[1] Wendel became known as the "Bishop of Peace" following the war because of his efforts to restore West Germany's good will[2]

Pope Pius XII named him Archbishop of Munich and Freising on August 9, 1952 (three Bishops of Speyer have become Archbishop of Munich and Freising, the others being Michael von Faulhaber and Friedrich Wetter), and created him Cardinal Priest of S. Maria Nuova in the consistory of January 12, 1953. On February 4, 1956, Wendel became the Apostolic Vicar of the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Germany. He was one of the cardinal electors in the 1958 papal conclave, which selected Pope John XXIII. The German prelate also made gestures of ecumenism to Protestants,[3] and organized the International Eucharistic Congress in Munich in 1960.

Shortly after delivering his New Year's Eve sermon, Wendel died from a heart attack in Munich, at age 59.[2] He is buried in the metropolitan cathedral of that same city.


  1. ^ Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. Joseph Kardinal Wendel (1901-1960)
  2. ^ a b TIME Magazine. Milestones January 13, 1961
  3. ^ TIME Magazine. Chasms & Bridges August 24, 1959

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ludwig Sebastian
Bishop of Speyer
Succeeded by
Isidor Emanuel
Preceded by
Michael von Faulhaber
Achbishop of Munich and Freising
Succeeded by
Julius Döpfner
Title last held by
Franz Josef Rarkowski
Military vicar of Germany (West)
Succeeded by
Franz Hengsbach