Austria: Cardinal Franz Konig

The former Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal DDr. Franz Konig, left his mark on an entire era. Franz Konig was born at Warth bei Rabenstein on the river Pielach in Lower Austria, on August 3, 1905, the oldest of nine children. Having passed his school leaving certificate with distinction at the Melk Monastery grammar school, he studied philosophy, theology and ancient Persian religion at the Gregoriana Papal University in Rome. In the course of the years, he learned 10 foreign languages. Three years after graduating as Doctor of Philosophy, Franz Konig was ordained on October 29, 1933. In 1936 he graduated as Doctor of Theology. From 1934 to 1937, Konig was chaplain at the parishes of Altpolla, Neuhofen an der Ybbs, St. Valentin and Scheibbs in the diocese of St. Polten, and from 1938 he was Cathedral Curate and pastor for young people for the same diocese. After acquiring his qualifying (known in Austria as Habilitation) as Associate Professor for Religious Science in the subject of Old Testament Studies, Franz Konig was appointed Professor of Religion at Krems in 1945, and Associate Professor for Moral Theology in Salzburg in 1948.

On August 31, 1952, Franz Konig was ordained bishop in the cathedral at St. Polten. On May 10, 1956, he was appointed Archbishop of Vienna, a post he held until 1985.

On December 15, 1958, Franz Konig was made a member of the College of Cardinals by Pope John 23rd.

From 1965 till 1981, Cardinal Konig was head of the Vatican Secretariat for Unbelievers.
Kardinal Franz Konig died on March 13th 2004.

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