The late Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber with Pope Francis The late Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber with Pope Francis 

Pope sends condolences on death of German Cardinal Rauber

In a message to Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, Germany, Pope Francis pays tribute to German Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber, former apostolic nuncio, who died on Sunday evening at the age of 88, following a life of diplomatic service for the Holy See.

By Vatican News staff reporter

In a telegram sent to Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, Germany, Pope Francis paid tribute to the life and service of Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber, a former Apostolic Nuncio, who died on Sunday.

The Pope recalled his "dedication for the unity of the people of God" both at the Vatican and in the various parts of the world he served as Apostolic Nuncio. He added that as a "true shepherd of the Church," Cardinal Rauber showed the love of Christ in every gesture, sharing it "unreservedly and joyfully" with everyone. 

Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber was born in the diocese of Bamberg, Germany on 11 April 1934, in 1950. He obtained a diploma from the St. Michaels-Gymnasium of the Benedictine Order in Metten. He then studied theology and philosophy at the University of Mainz.

He was ordained a priest in the Cathedral of Mainz on 28 February 1959.

In 1962, he transferred to Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

Long-service in diplomacy

On 1 October 1966, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and worked at the Secretariat of State until 1977 eventually becoming responsible for the German section. He subsequently worked in the apostolic nunciature in Belgium, Luxembourg and Greece.

On 18 December 1982, he was appointed as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Uganda and assigned the titular see of Iubaltiana. He received episcopal consecration on 6 January 1983. Following his mission in Uganda, in January 1990 he was nominated president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

On 16 March 2003, he was appointed as apostolic nuncio in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein.

On 25 April 1997, he assumed the role of apostolic nuncio in Hungary and Moldova.

On 22 February 2003, he was appointed as apostolic nuncio in Belgium and in Luxembourg, concluding his mandates in June-July 2009.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 14 February 2015, of the Deaconry of Sant’Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia (St. Anthony of Padua at Circonvallazione Appia).

With his passing, the College of Cardinals consists of 222 cardinals, of whom 123 are electors and 99 are non-electors.

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27 March 2023, 12:29