Pope Mourns Cardinal Who Was Bishop of Berlin in '89

VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is mourning the death of the cardinal who was the bishop of Berlin during the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky died Thursday at age 75.

In a telegram to Bishop Matthias Heinrich, auxiliary and diocesan administrator of Berlin, Germany, the Pope expresses his closeness to the faithful of the archdiocese.

Cardinal Sterzinsky «had the task of guiding [Berlin] and, as bishop to all its inhabitants, uniting a politically divided archdiocese in the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. His efforts over the years were always at the service of reconciliation.»

Bishop Sterzinsky was appointed to Berlin in May of 1989, a few months before the Wall came down that November. He served in the post until he retired in February.

«He felt a great need to show solidarity toward people without a land of their own, refugees and immigrants, and to give them a homeland within the family of the Church,» the Holy Father added. «May Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, reward him for his commitment and give him life in abundance in his Kingdom.»

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