Joseph Frings ( February 6, NeussCologne1887 – 17 december 1978) was Archbishop of Cologne and Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.


Joseph was the second child – by a total of eight children-Heinrich Frings out of the marriage with Maria Sadat. His father was employed as a Weaver.

After various studies at the universities of Innsbruck and Bonn was Joseph on 10 August 1910 in Cologne to dedicated priest . From 1913 to 1915 he studied at thePontifical biblical Institute in Rome, then at the University of Freiburg in 1916 earned his doctorate theology .

Between 1915 and 1942 was Joseph worked as a Pastor in various parishes, he was appointed Director of an orphanage in Neuss (1922-1924) and in 1937 he was appointed rector of the Seminary in Cologne.

On 1 May 1942, Joseph Frings by Cesare Orsenigo, papal Nuncio in Berlin, dedicated to Archbishop of Cologne. Frings was a fierce opponent of Nazism and described the persecution of the Jews as an "outrageous injustice". His stance against the regime led to him was observed by the Gestapo : by its popularity among the population was prevented that he actually was imprisoned by the Nazis.

[1][2]Frings (right) during the reopening of the Gürzenich (1955)

From 1945 Joseph took a key position within the Catholic Church in Germany, when he was appointed President of the Episcopal Conference of Fulda. During the consistory of 18 February 1946, Frings by Pope Pius XII to cardinal-priest created. On February 22 of that year, he received the Cardinal's beret and became to him the title of cardinal priest of San Giovanni a Porta Latinaassigned.

Joseph Frings was one of the cardinal electors who during the opening session of the Second Vatican Council opposed the (re) election of the members of the committees, which would coordinate the running of the Council. Also during the continuation of the Council Frings took a prominent place. One of his speeches in which Jozeph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, had contributed focused against the Holy Office, that Frings described as too conservative and authoritarian. Frings ' speech would eventually have contributed to the reorganization of the Office. The name was by Pope Paul VI in 1965-with the motu proprio'Integrae Servandae -changed to Congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

On 10 February 1969 took Frings resigned as Archbishop of Cologne. By his advanced age he was not authorized to take part in the conclaves of August and October 1978, as determined by Pope Paul VI in his motu proprio Ingravescentem Ætatem .

Joseph Frings died from a heart attack on december 17, 1978 in Cologne. His body was buried in the Cologne Cathedral.

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Archbishop of Cologne



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