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German cardinal Joachim Meisner passes away

The German Church says goodbye to one of its influential bishops, Cardinal Joachim Meisner. He passed away at the age of 83. ; He was ordained a priest in 1962 and bishop in 1975. Five years later, as cardinal, John Paul II placed him in charge of the Diocese of Berlin during the finals years of communist rule in East Germany. ; In 1988, the pope appointed him archbishop of Cologne, where he remained until his retirement in 2014. In 2005, he was in charge of receiving the newly elected Benedict XVI on his first international trip for World Youth Day. ; Cardinal Meisner participated in the last two conclaves; one that chose his compatriot, Benedict XVI, and then Pope Francis. ; With his death, the College of Cardinals is reduced to 224 members, of which 121 are electors. ; JRB/JC RR -F -PR Up: