Germany: Mgr. Schätzler has died. Card. Marx, “a priest and a pastoral guide”

The passing of “prelate Wilhelm Schätzler” means for “our Bishops’ Conference the loss of a person to whom we owe a lot, who has deeply marked the Secretariat of the Conference. In a special way, he was committed to being faithful to his priestly ministry”. Card. Reinhard Marx, president of the German Bishops, wrote this in a letter of condolence to Mgr. Rudolf Voderholzer, bishop of Regensburg, the city where Mgr. Schätzler, who has been Secretary General of the bishops from 1983 to 1996, passed away today. Born in Weiden in 1929, Mgr. Schätzler was ordained a priest in 1957. He played an “essential” role when, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German Bishops gathered in a single Conference: in those years, besides a “critical analysis of the socio-political events”, it became necessary to “develop appropriate prospects for the Church in Germany”, and build “mutual trust in an open dialogue with other Churches and ecclesial communities” – all tasks to which Mgr. Schätzler “devoted a lot of his time and energy”. “I bow down”, the cardinal wrote, “before a priest and a pastoral guide, an architect and a forerunner of the Catholic Church in Germany, who has done a lot for the Bishops’ Conference and the reunification of the two Bishops’ Conferences of East Germany and West Germany”.

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