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Toni May, Joachim Cardinal Meisner

Bishops and archbishops of Cologne


Joachim Meisner was born in Wrocław (Breslau) on Christmas Day 1933. He studied in Erfurt, where he took Holy Orders in 1962.

He was a chaplain in Heiligenstadt and a rector in the Caritas organisation from 1963 to 1975. Meisner gained his doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1969. Six years later he was ordained bishop and made auxiliary bishop in Erfurt/Meiningen. In 1980 he was made Bishop of Berlin. Three years later he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. In 1988 he was made Archbishop of Cologne. He is a member of numerous Vatican congregations and councils and chairman of a number of commissions set up by the German Bishops’ Conference.