Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Bishop of Mainz, Germany, was born on May 16, 1936 in Sigmaringen, Germany. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau on October 10, 1963 and holds doctorates in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
He was an assistant to Fr Karl Rahner at the University of Münster. After earning his "habilitation", he taught dogmatic theology at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. He was a member of the Central Committee of German Catholics and the Jaeger-Stählin Ecumenical Circle. He later taught at the Albert Ludwig University, Freiburg im Breisgau, and was a member of the International Theological Commission. He also edited the official publication of the documents of the Joint Synod of the Dioceses in the Federal Republic of Germany (Synod of Würzburg, 1971-75).
On June 21, 1983 he was appointed Bishop of Mainz and received episcopal ordination on October 2.
He is President of the German Bishops' Conference since 1987.
In 1991 he was Special Secretary of the First Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of February 21, 2001, of the Title of S. Leone I (St. Leo I).
- Congregations: for the Oriental Churches; for Bishops;
- Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;
- Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;
- Special Council for Europe of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.