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Felix Genn (born 6 March 1950) is a German bishop of the Catholic Church who is currently the Bishop of Münster. Previously, he was the Bishop of Essen and, prior to that, was an Auxiliary Bishop of Trier. Since 2013, he has been a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

Felix Genn
Bishop of Münster
ChurchCatholic Church
Appointed19 December 2008
Installed29 March 2009
PredecessorReinhard Lettmann
Personal details
Born (1950-03-06) 6 March 1950 (age 69)
Burgbrohl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Previous postBishop of Essen (2003–2008)
Auxiliary Bishop of Trier (1999–2003),
Titular Bishop of Uzalis (1999–2003)
Alma materUniversity of Trier (Ph.D.)
MottoLatin: Annuntiamus vobis vitam
Ordination history
Priestly ordination
Ordained byBernhard Stein
Date11 July 1976
PlaceTrier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorHermann Josef Spital
Co-consecratorsFranz-Josef Hermann Bode,
Alfred Kleinermeilert
Date30 May 1999
PlaceCathedral of Trier, Trier


Early life and educationEdit

Genn was born on 6 March 1950 in the town of Burgbrohl, which is located in the Ahrweiler district of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. He was raised on a farm in Wassenach[1] and graduated from the Kurfürst-Salentin gymnasium in Andernach in 1969. Between 1969 and 1974, he undertook the study of theology at the University of Trier and the University of Regensburg. Finally, on 29 June 1985, he received his Ph.D. in theology from the University of Trier.[2] He wrote his doctoral thesis on St. Augustine.[3]


Genn speaking at the 100th Katholikentag in Leipzig

Priestly ministryEdit

Genn was ordained a priest on 11 July 1976 in Trier by Bishop Bernhard Stein.[4] Upon being made a priest, he was appointed a curate of the Holy Cross Church in Bad Kreuznach, a position he held for two years. In 1978, he was made the subregens (assistant head) of the diocesan seminary of Trier, where he remained until 1994. In 1985, he was made the seminary's spiritual director.[2]

From 1994 to 1997, Genn was a permanent lecturer of the theological faculty of the University of Trier. Following this, he was made the regens of the St. Lambert House of Study in the Burg Lantershofen.[2]

Episcopal ministryEdit

On 16 April 1999, Genn was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Trier and simultaneously the Titular Bishop of Uzalis by Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated a bishop in the Cathedral of Trier on 30 May 1999 and was charged as vicar for the Visitation District of Saarland. Bishop Hermann Josef Spital was his principal consecrator, while Bishops Franz-Josef Hermann Bode and Alfred Kleinermeilert were his co-consecrators.[4] On 4 April 2003, he was then transferred by Pope John Paul II with his appointment as the third Bishop of Essen. He was enthroned in the diocese on 6 July 2003.[2]

Genn was appointed the seventy-sixth Bishop of Münster on 19 December 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI after being elected by the cathedral chapter,[3] succeeding Reinhard Lettmann. He was enthroned in the diocese on 29 March 2009.[2] On 21 August 2010, he was awarded honorary citizenship of Wassenach.[2]

As part of a major political shake-up of the Congregation for Bishops on 16 December 2013,[5] Pope Francis appointed Genn as a member of the congregation, succeeding Cardinal Joachim Meisner.[6]

Coat of armsEdit

Current coat of arms
Arms as Bishop of Essen

Upon being made a bishop, Genn took up an episcopal coat of arms. Upon being made Bishop of Münster, he adopted a new coat of arms. On his current coat of arms, the yellow and red striped fields on the top left and bottom right of the shield are taken from the Diocese of Münster's coat of arms. The eagle in the top right field is indicative of Genn's hometown of Wassenach, as an eagle is present in its coat of arms, and is a remnant of his previous coats of arms as Bishop of Essen and Auxiliary Bishop of Trier. Moreover, the eagle relates to his Latin episcopal motto, Annuntiamus vobis vitam, which is taken from 1 John 1, 1-4.[7]

The seven heads of grain in the lower left field reference Genn's peasant background. However, their number also symbolizes the fullness of life and believers of God who gather from all directions with a hunger and thirst for life.[7]


  1. ^ "Bischof Dr. Felix Genn: Vom Aufbruch eines Verwurzelten" [Bishop Dr. Felix Genn: From the Start of a Rooted]. (in German). Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bischof Felix Genn" [Bishop Felix Genn]. (in German). Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Bischof Felix Genn neuer Bischof von Münster" [Bishop Felix Genn new Bishop of Münster] (in German). Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Cheney, David M. (16 June 2018). "Bishop Felix Genn". Archived from the original on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Pope appoints, confirms members of bishops' congregation". Catholic News Agency. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Papst beruft Bischof Genn in vatikanisches Ministerium" [Pope appoints Bishop Genn in the Vatican ministry]. Domradio (in German). 16 December 2013. Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Wir verkünden euch das Leben" [We proclaim your life]. (in German). Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Reinhard Lettmann
Bishop of Münster
Preceded by
Hubert Luthe
Bishop of Essen
Succeeded by
Franz-Josef Overbeck
Preceded by
Bernard Joseph Harrington
Bishop of Uzalis
Succeeded by
Oscar Sarlinga
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Trier
Succeeded by