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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.07.2002]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


DEGENHARDT Card. Johannes Joachim




Cardinal Johannes Joachim Degenhardt, Archbishop of Paderborn , Germany, was born on 31 January 1926 in Schwelm, Germany. At the age of 15 he was arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo for belonging to a Catholic group, Bund Neudeutschland, banned by the Nazis. After the war he studied philosophy and theology in Paderborn and Munich, and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Paderborn on 6 August 1952.

He did parish work for seven years in Brackwede and was appointed prefect of the Collegium Leonianum, Paderborn, in 1959. At the same time he completed his doctoral thesis and was an assistant professor of theology in Bochum and later dean of the Hochstift Paderborn pastoral region.

On 12 March 1968 was appointed titular Bishop of Vicus Pacati and Auxiliary of Paderborn, receiving episcopal ordination on 1 May. On 4 April 1974 he was promoted to Archbishop of Paderborn. In 1990 he became Chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Association of German Dioceses.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001. Titular church St. Liborius.

Cardinal Johannes Joachim Degenhardt died on 25 July 2002.


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