Friedrich Wetter

Friedrich Wetter (born 20 February 1928 in Landau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)[1] is a German cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, from 1982 to 2007. He was Bishop of Speyer from 1968 to 1982. Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in 1985.

Friedrich Wetter
Archbishop Emeritus of Munich and Freising
Kardinal Wetter 2008.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseMunich and Freising
SeeMunich and Freising
Appointed28 October 1982
Installed12 December 1982
Term ended2 February 2007
PredecessorJoseph Ratzinger
SuccessorReinhard Marx
Other postsCardinal Priest of Santo Stephano in Coelio Monte (1985-)
Ordination10 October 1953
by Clemente Micara
Consecration29 June 1968
by Isidor Markus Emanuel
Created cardinal25 May 1985
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Birth nameFriedrich Wetter
Born (1928-02-20) 20 February 1928 (age 93)
Landau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
DenominationCatholic (Roman Rite)
Previous post
Alma mater
MottoPax Vobis
("Peace to you")
Coat of armsFriedrich Wetter's coat of arms
Styles of
Friedrich Wetter
Coat of arms of Friedrich Wetter.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeMunich and Freising (emeritus)

At age 93, Cardinal Wetter is the oldest living cardinal from Germany.[2]

Early life and ordinationEdit

Born in Landau (Rhineland-Palatinate), Wetter studied in Landau and then, from 1948 to 1956, at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology and in the Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in theology. In 1953, he was ordained a priest in Rome.[3]

After being chaplain for two years (1956–1958) in Speyer, teaching in the seminary in the same city for another two years (1958–1960), and being assistant parish priest for a year in Glanmünchweiler, he became Professor of Fundamental Theology in Eichstätt for five years (1962–1967) and Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in 1967, a post he held for only one year before being appointed bishop.[4]


He was Bishop of Speyer (1968–1982) and became Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1982.[5]

Portrait of Wetter by Günter Rittner, 1997


He was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1985, with the title of Cardinal-Priest of Santo Stefano Rotondo. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.[6]

Pope Benedict accepted his resignation on 2 February 2007.[7]


Rights of Catholic politiciansEdit

Cardinal Wetter criticized in 2004 the Italian government's withdrawal of its nomination of Rocco Buttiglione to the European Commission.[8]

Liturgical abusesEdit

In an open letter in 2004, Wetter wrote that anonymous informers reporting liturgical abuses would labour in vain in the Archdiocese of Munich. "Blackening people's names, especially when the talebearer wishes to stay anonymous, will not get anyone anywhere in our archdiocese," Wetter warned. His comments followed the promulgation of the Vatican instruction on abuses in the liturgy, Redemptionis Sacramentum.


  1. ^ "WETTER, Card. Friedrich". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. ^ "All Cardinals of Germany". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Friedrich Cardinal Wetter". Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  4. ^ Bavarian Radio Archived 24 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Friedrich Cardinal Wetter". Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Friedrich Cardinal Wetter". Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 02.02.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  8. ^ Clark, Andrew. "Euro Theo-Cons Ready to hit back at Secularism". Christian Today. Retrieved 1 October 2019.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Isidor Markus Emanuel
Bishop of Speyer
Succeeded by
Anton Schlembach
Preceded by
Joseph Ratzinger
Archbishop of Munich and Freising
Succeeded by
Reinhard Marx