VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2011 (VIS) – Yesterday, Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolence to Bishop Matthias Heinrich, auxiliary and diocesan administrator of Berlin, Germany, for the death of Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky, archbishop emeritus of that archdiocese. The cardinal died on 30 June at the age of 75.

In his telegram the Pope expresses his closeness to the faithful of Berlin as they mourn the death of their cardinal who, he writes, “had the task of guiding and, as bishop to all its inhabitants, uniting a politically divided archdiocese in the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. His efforts over the years were always at the service of reconciliation”.

“In the same way”, the Pope continues, “he felt a great need to show solidarity towards people without a land of their own, refugees and immigrants, and to give them a homeland within the family of the Church. May Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, reward him for his commitment and give him life in abundance in His Kingdom”.

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