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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 13.03.2004]


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


KÖNIG Card. Franz




Cardinal Franz König, Archbishop emeritus of Vienna and President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-believers, was born on 3 August 1905 in Rabenstein, (Austria).

From 1927 until 1933 he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was ordained priest on 29 October 1933.

In 1937 he obtained a licentiate in social sciences from the University of Lille, while he did pastoral work in the diocese of Sankt Pölten. In 1945, he became a faculty member of the College of Krems. In 1948, he was called to teach moral theology at the University of Salzburg.

On 3 July 1952 he was nominated coadjutor bishop with the right of succession of Sankt Pölten.

On 10 May 1956 he was nominated Archbishop of Vienna. 

During 1962-1965, he participated in the Second Vatican Council.

On 6 April 1965 he was nominated President of the Secretariat for Non-Believers. 

He also served as president-delegate of the III Ordinary Assembly of the World Synod of Bishops, 27 September - 26 October 1974.

He also acted as president of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference.

He is also the author of many written works.

President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers, 27 June 1980.

Archbishop emeritus of Vienna, 16 September 1985.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John XXIII in the consistory of 15 December 1958, of the Title of S. Eusebio (St. Eusebius).

Cardinal Franz König died on 13 March 2004.



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