The Vatican announced in May that the synod on synodality had been postponed to 2023, with a two-year consultative preparatory phase involving Catholic dioceses worldwide.
Hollerich was born on Aug. 9, 1958, in Differdange, southwestern Luxembourg.
He began his studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1981, within the Jesuit Province of South Belgium and Luxembourg.
In 1985, he departed for Japan, where he studied theology at Sophia University in Tokyo, as well as the Japanese language and culture.
After further theological studies in Frankfurt, Germany, he was ordained to the priesthood on April 21, 1990, in Brussels, Belgium.
He then spent four years studying the German language and literature at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in southern Germany.
He made his final vows in 2002 at the Church of St. Ignatius in Tokyo, passing to the Jesuit Province of Japan.
Named archbishop of Luxembourg by Benedict XVI, Hollerich served as president of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions from 2014 to 2018.
He was appointed a cardinal by Pope Francis, receiving the red hat on Oct. 5, 2019.
Hollerich was elected president of COMECE in 2018, succeeding German Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Since then, he has spoken out on religious freedom, the plight of refugees in Europe, and secularization.
In September 2020, he expressed “great respect” for the German Church’s controversial “Synodal Way,” saying that participants dared “to ask very big questions.”
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He said that the most important issue that German Catholics were grappling with was the role of women.
“I’m not saying they have to become priests; I simply don’t know that. But I am open to it,” he told the German Catholic news agency KNA. “What is clear, however, is that the current situation is not enough. You have to see and notice that women have a right to a say in the Church.”
Hollerich tested positive for COVID-19 in January, but recovered.