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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 March, 2004, 15:41 GMT
Austrian 'diplomat cardinal' dies
Cardinal Franz Koenig
Cardinal Koenig was influential in Vatican affairs
Cardinal Franz Koenig, the former archbishop of Vienna, has died at the age of 98.

He is said to have been instrumental in the election of the Polish Pope John Paul II in 1978.

He became archbishop in 1956, and was elevated to cardinal by the then Pope, John XXIII, in 1958.

He became one of the Catholic Church's international statesmen during the Cold War, creating links with churches in communist eastern Europe.

He also played a key role in the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which reformed and modernised the church. He retired in 1985.

The Austrian President, Thomas Klestil, paid tribute to the outspoken cardinal, saying he had long been a moral authority in the country and had worked for spiritual renewal in Europe.




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21 Oct 03  |  Europe


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