A difficult birth. The successor of the deceased Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky as Archbishop of Berlin will be made public shortly.
|Auxiliary Bishop Rainer Woelke|
(kreuz.net)Today at 12:00 o'clock the Cathedral Rector Stefan Dybowski, like the 'Angel of the Lord' will announce the Archbishop of Berlin.
It will fall about the Cologne Auxiliary Bishop Msgr Rainer Maria Woelki (54).
The Archdiocese of Berlin has about 400,000 Catholics on paper.
The region of Upper Pommerania and part of Brandenburg belong to this Archdiocese.
The previous Ordinary, Georg Cardinal Sterzinsky († 75)died on June 30th a few days ago.
Previously, Curial Bishop Josef Clemens (64), Cologne Auxiliary Bishop Heiner Koch and Berlin's Auxiliary Matthias Heinrich were hot candidates for the office.
Msgr Woelki studied Catholic Theology from 1978 - 1983 in Bonn and Freiburg.
He was ordained on June 14th 1985 by Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Höffner in Cologne Cathedral.
After pastoral activity as chaplain to St. Marien in Neuss, as Minister of the Kolpings family Neuss-Zentral, Military Pastor and chaplain to St. Joseph in Ratingen, he was made the Archbishop's chaplain and personal secretary.
From 1997 to 2003 Msgr Woelke was Director of the Theological Faculty of the Albertininum in Bonn.
Pope John Paul II named him in 1999 as a Chaplain to His Holiness.
In 2000 he was at the Papal University of Holy Cross -- which is directed by Opus Dei -- in Rome where he received a Doctorate for a dissertation on the theme "The Parish -- an Article on its Ecclesiological Localization" [ „Die Pfarrei – ein Beitrag zu ihrer ekklesiologischen Ortsbestimmung“]
Pope John Paul II named him as titular Bishop of Scampa in 2003 and sent him to be Auxiliary Bishop in Cologne.
Joachim Cardinal Meisner consecrated him a Bishop on 30. March 2003 in Cologne Cathedral.
Co-Consecrators were his predecessor Auxiliary Klaus Dick and current Auxiliary Bishop of Cologne and current Bishop of Hildescheim, Msgr Norbert Trelle.
Joachim Cardinal Meisner named Msgr Woelki as the Episcopal Vicar for questions of Doctrine and Ecumenism and charged him with the East Pastoral District of the Archdiocese.
In 2003 he was elected as resident Cathedral Rector.
Since 1 Juanary 20005, Msgr Woelki has been Diocesan Vicar of the Permanent Diaconate and since 1 January 2006 as responsible for the North Pastoral Area.
He is a member of the Commission IV "Spiritual Professions and Church Service" and VIII "Science and Culture" of the German Bishops Conference.
Church insiders get more important Diocese than Berlin.
The Archdiocese is attractive for that reason, because the coming Archbishop will be put into the ring for elevation to Cardinal.
As one of the first official acts the new Bishops will be requested to visit the Pope on September 22.
The naming of Msgr Woelke for Berlin is probably a first step, toward being later sent back to take over the Archdiocese of Cologne.
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© Pressefoto Erzbistum Köln