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Monday, March 15, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of the telegram sent by the Holy Father to Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria, upon the death of Cardinal Franz Koenig, emeritus of the same archdiocese, at age 98. He was the last of the cardinals created by Blessed John XXIII.

"With deep sadness, I learned of the news of the death of His Eminence, Cardinal Franz Koenig, your illustrious predecessor as archbishop of Vienna from 1956 to 1985. Faithful to his motto 'Veritatem facientes in caritate,' the late cardinal shaped the Church and the life of Austria with his long and intense pastoral work. His witness to Christ's message and his commitment to peace and reconciliation went beyond the borders of his homeland. He represented a special resource in sustaining believers in Eastern Europe during the time of unhappy division of the European continent. At the same time, as a builder of bridges, he was recognized by the Churches in the East. I join the archdiocese of Vienna in prayers in memory of the late pastor whom I entrust to the goodness of the Lord of life and death. May God Almighty welcome him in eternal peace and grant him eternal happiness, reserved for him for his faithful service. Through the intercession of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, I impart the apostolic blessing as a sign of divine consolation upon all, especially those in mourning and for the eternal salvation of the late cardinal,."

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