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Jaeger, Lorenz


German Cardinal, archbishop, and ecumenist; b. Halle, Sept. 23, 1892; d. Paderborn, Apr. 2, 1975. An ordinary soldier during World War I, Jaeger was ordained to the priesthood in 1922. After 19 years in teaching and other pastoral ministries, he was ordained bishop of Paderborn in 1941. In the consistory of Feb. 22, 1965, he became a cardinal.

Especially interested in ecumenism, Cardinal Jaeger, along with Cardinal bea, was influential in the establishment of the secretariat for promoting christian unity. He was also a member of the Preparatory Commission for vatican council ii and a frequent intervener in conciliar discussions. Earlier (Jan. 18, 1957) in his own diocese, he founded the "Johann-Adam-Möhler-Institut für Konfessions and Diasporakunde" (the Johann Adam Möhler Institute), one of the world's foremost centers for ecumenical study, research, and publication. Its quarterly journal, Catholica, is one of the most authoritative in the Roman Catholic-Protestant (especially Lutheran and Calvanist) theological dialogue.

The institute's goals reflect Cardinal Jaeger's own interests and activities: scholarly research and description of the doctrine, worship, and life of those Christian churches separated from Rome, especially the Reformation Confessional Churches; the presentation of the Catholic faith in its fullness as the response to the questions posed by the Reformation; and the sharing of the results of these scholarly investigations with those engaged in other pastoral activity.

In addition to his episcopal and ecumenical activities, he was also a general spokesman for the German hierarchy on a wide range of other subjects, especially on pastoral care, on the status of women in civil and ecclesial society, on students, and on intellectuals. He played a significant role in the reconstruction of the German Church and nation after World War II. Jaeger's ecumenical outlook and insight are well illustrated in his pre-Vatican II The Ecumenical Council, the Church and Christendom, tr. A. V. Littledale (New York 1961) and his commentary on Vatican II's decree on ecumenism, A Stand On Ecumenism: The Council's Decree, tr. H. Graef (New York 1965).

[r. kress]

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