Alfred Bengsch

Alfred cardinal Bengsch (* 10. September 1921 in Berlin; † 13. December 1979 in Berlin) was bishop of Berlin.


Bengsch studied catholic theology in Fulda after the attendance of the High School 1940 - 41. 1941 he became a soldier of the armed forces and was 1944 - 1946 in American war shank.

for 1946 to 1950 it set the theology study in new cell received to 2. April 1950 the Sakrament of the Priesterweihe. Until 1954 it was Kaplan in Berlin. Until 1956 it studied again in Munich and Erfurt and attained a doctorate to the Dr. theol. 1957 to 1959 he was lecturer in dogma TIC and Homiletik in new cell. 1959 it became rain of the seminar for priests in Erfurt. To 2. May 1959 appointed it Pope Johannes XXIII. to the Titularbischof of Tubia and to the bishop in Berlin with seat in east Berlin. The Bischofsweihe donated Julius cardinal Döpfner at the 11 to it. June of the same yearly. 1961 he was selected as a successor of Julius cardinal Döpfner to the bishop of Berlin.

1962 were lent to it by the Vatikan of the titles of an archbishop. it took 1962 to 1965 on II. Vatikani council in Rome part. To 26. June 1967 took it to Pope Paul VI. as cardinal priests with the title church San Filippo Neri in Eurosia into the Kardinalskollegium up.

Bengsch was an advocate of the papal Primats and the course of the political Abstinenz of the catholic church in the GDR. 1976 he became a chairman of the citizens of Berlin bishop conference.


bishop Bengsch differs in its office guidance clearly from its predecessors. Bishop Bengsch was particularly in the political and economic questions and concerns of the everyday life provoked as a strategist. Its theological and pastorale side was coining/shaping for the whole catholicism in the GDR into the 1960er and 70's, partly is it that this very day.

Its emphasis always was on the Primat of the pfarreilichen Seelsorge and the collection of the Gläubigen around the celebration of the Sakramente. It was also always endeavored around the priests and bishops, whose responsible person and leading function he often lifted out. Further emphasis was the concrete promotion of the training of municipality aids and the youth work (z. B. Religious education), in addition, the symbolic dimension of its acting as a bishop.

Its most important goal was visible the unit - in the diocese Berlin. It represented this on many occasions: Lectures, prayer and service orders, with the building of churches, in structure and personnel decisions. This becomes also particularly clear in planning and executions of its official travel to West Berlin and the journeys abroad, where Bengsch always set indications of the unit of its diocese and the catholic church in the GDR. It paid attention always clearly to it, not by the state for its goals instrumentalisieren itself to leave.

Its course did not remain however also without contradiction: Particularly in consequence of the opening of church and the 68er its silence was critically attacked to many topics, since the goals and reasons of Bengschs „downward “were not communicated.


  • “welfare history and welfare knowledge”, Leipzig 1957
  • “on the way to the gentleman”, 1959
  • “appointment and probation”, Leipzig 1960
  • “the faith in the Auferstehung "", 1962
  • “in expectation of the Wiederkunft”, 1966
  • “council for you”, 1966
  • “bankruptcy of the principles? ”, 1967
  • “faith and criticism”, 1968
  • A. Bengsch, Michael Schmaus, Elizabeth pouring man “credit we still principles? ”, 1968, ISBN 3-88096-412-2
  • “church without cross? ”, 1969
  • “became the service”, 1969
  • “a bishop stand for speech and answer”, 1970
  • “manipulation and Christian life”, 1970
  • “with the heart believe”, 1971
  • “neither present nor future…”, 1972, ISBN 3-87554-100-6
  • “where stand the lecture today? ”, 1974, ISBN 3-87554-118-9
  • “Mysterium and follow-up”, Berlin 1978
  • “Eucharistie. Memory and devotion ", 1980, ISBN 3-87554-191-X
  • “Alfred Bengsch - the cardinal from Berlin”, 1980, ISBN 3-87554-190-1
  • young, Ruth: “A policy of skepticism: Alfred Bengsch, the diocese Berlin and the catholic church in the GDR (1961-1979). “ In: KÖSTERS, Christoph (Hg.) and TISCHNER, Wolfgang (Hg.): Catholic church in SBZ and GDR. Paderborn: Publishing house Ferdinand Schöningh, 2005, S. 147-191, ISBN: 3-506-71347-7


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