Francis has officially informed him of this

Pope: Viennese Cardinal Schönborn should still be in office at 80

Vienna - According to canon law, bishops must offer their resignation to the Pope when they reach the age limit of 75: But the Viennese Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is likely to remain in office for at least five years longer.

Published  on 18.12.2023 at 12:29  – 

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (78) will apparently remain Archbishop of Vienna beyond his 80th birthday. With a view to his retirement, Schönborn said in an interview with the Austrian magazine "Die Malteser": "Pope Francis has officially informed me that I should still celebrate my 80th birthday - which is at the beginning of 2025 - in office. That means we all have to be patient with each other." According to canon law, bishops must offer their resignation to the Pope when they reach the age limit of 75. The Pope often leaves the heads of important dioceses in office for some time after that.

One of the most prominent representatives of the universal church

As a theologian, ecumenist and international mediator, Schönborn is one of the most prominent representatives of the universal church. The Dominican has headed Austria's capital city archdiocese since 1995; he took over at the height of an abuse scandal involving his predecessor Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer (1919-2003). As Chairman of the Austrian Bishops' Conference (1998-2020), he also campaigned for renewed trust in the Church at various levels.

Schönborn is one of Pope Francis' confidants in the Vatican. He himself was named as a possible candidate in the papal elections of 2005 and 2013. Born on 22 January 1945, shortly before the end of the war, in the Bohemian town of Skalka (Skalken near Leitmeritz), the scion of nobility is known for his friendliness, eloquence and concilience. This was sometimes interpreted as weakness by critics. His word is heard, for example, on the issue of refugees, where he can draw on his own family's experience of flight.

Schönborn, who was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1998, maintains numerous contacts with the Eastern churches. He was one of the contributors to the World Catechism and was the initiator of the youth catechism "YouCat". Schönborn had been in poor health for a long time. Among other things, he suffered a lung infarction at the end of 2019. (KNA)