Heim, Bruno Bernhard 1911-2003

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HEIM, Bruno Bernhard 1911-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 5, 1911, in Olten, Switzerland; died March 18, 2003, in Olten, Switzerland. Priest and author. Heim is best remembered for his twelve-year role as the pope's representative in England, but he was also a noted expert on heraldry. Educated in Rome and Switzerland, he earned a Ph.D. in 1934 from St. Thomas University, a B.D. in 1937 from the University of Fribourg, a Dr. Jr.Can. in 1946 from Gregorian University, and a degree from the Pontifical Diplomatic Academy in 1947. He was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic church in 1938, whereupon he served in parishes in Arbon and Basle, Switzerland. During World War II he was chief chaplain for Italian and Polish military internees in the Emmental. One of the first non-Italians to be trained for diplomatic service in the church, in 1947 Heim was a secretary to Archbishop Angelo Roncalli in Paris before working directly for Pope John XXII, serving in the nunciatures in Vienna, Austria, and Bonn, Germany, during the 1950s. After being promoted to Archbishop of Xanthos in 1961, Heim was assigned to be a delegate and then pro-nuncio for Scandinavia until 1969. The next four years were spent in Cairo, Egypt, as pro-nuncio. In 1973 he was made fifth apostolic delegate to Great Britain, where he remained until 1985. While in England, Heim played an important role in appointing bishops there and helped to smooth out relations between England and Rome, especially during the Falkland Islands War. He was made apostolic pro-nuncio to the Court of St. James in 1982, the first priest to be so named since the Reformation. In addition to his work in the church, Heim designed coats of arms for four popes as an authority on ecclesiastical heraldry and was the author of such books on the subject as Heraldry in the Catholic Church: Its Origin (1978) and Or and Argent(1994).



Independent (London, England), March 26, 2003, p. 20.

Times (London, England), March 25, 2003, p. 34.