Johann Weber (Bishop)

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Bishop Johann Weber (2009)
Signature of Bishop Johann Weber
Coat of arms Bishop Johann Weber

Johann Weber (born April 26, 1927 in Graz , Styria ; † May 23, 2020 ibid) was an Austrian Roman Catholic clergyman and the 56th diocesan bishop of the Graz-Seckau diocese . From 1995 to 1998 he was chairman of the Austrian Bishops' Conference .

Live and act

Bishop Johann Weber (1998)
Bishop Johann Weber (2008)

Johann Weber's father was a gendarmerie inspector . In 1937/38 Weber attended the episcopal boys' seminar and, after its dissolution, from 1938 the academic high school in Graz . Like many others of his generation, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1943 after the 6th grade and in 1945 he was awarded the high school diploma by decree. In 1945 he began studying German , history and geography at the University of Graz (today Karl Franzens University Graz) and switched to theology in 1946 . He was ordained a priest on July 2, 1950, then was chaplain in Kapfenberg and from 1953 chaplain in Köflach . In 1956 he became the diocesan pastor of the Catholic workers' youth and in 1962 the city pastor of Graz- St . Andrä . His commitment to the poor and needy characterized his work during these years. An example of this was the establishment of the home with the open door , a house for pregnant women in need.

On June 10, 1969 he was appointed by Pope Paul VI. appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Graz-Seckau. His motto was Evangelizare pauperibus ( Bring the good news to the poor , Lk 4.18  EU ). On September 28, 1969, he donated Salzburg Archbishop Andreas Rohracher the episcopal ordination . Co-consecrators were the titular archbishop of Monteverde Josef Schoiswohl , Weber's predecessor as Styrian diocesan bishop, and the diocesan bishop of the diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt Joseph Köstner . After the consecration, Weber was congratulated by the believers in Graz Cathedral with clapping hands , which was not common in Austria at the time.

He very quickly began to implement the decisions of the Second Vatican Council . As early as 1969 he set up parish councils in his diocese and a diocesan council in 1970 . In 1970 he assigned the position of a pastoral assistant to a lay theologian (a person with a fully completed theological training, but without ordination to a spiritual office ) for the first time and in 1971 appointed women religious for the first time to "manage" a priestless parish. In 1975 he ordained married men as permanent deacons . The principle of the three-step see - judge - act by Cardinal Joseph Cardajn , the founder of the international Christian working-class youth (CAJ), who was also followed by the pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes of the Second Vatican Council, directed the work of Bishop Weber, who is always particularly connected to Catholic Action was.

In 1981, on Weber's initiative, the Styrian Catholic Day took place as a celebration of brotherhood . On September 13, 1983 Pope John Paul II visited the Mariazell pilgrimage site in the diocese of Graz-Seckau as part of the Austrian Catholic Day , which was under the motto Live Hope - Giving Hope . Further highlights in Weber's episcopal work were in 1993 the Styrian Ecumenical Day, which also goes back to him , in which all the religious communities represented in the Ecumenical Council of Churches of Styria were involved, the Pilgrimage of Diversity in 1996 and the Second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz in 1997 . The establishment of the cultural center at the Minoriten , the Welthaus in Graz and the telephone counseling (1974) in the diocese of Graz-Seckau also fell in his era .

After allegations surfaced in the spring of 1995 that Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër had sexually abused a former student , Weber wanted to have these allegations examined by a “council of wise men”. He was unable to assert himself with this idea, but replaced Groër on April 6, 1995 as chairman of the Austrian Bishops' Conference and remained so until June 30, 1998. After that, he was deputy chairman.

Many of the claims made in 1995 church-Begehren he refused, but saw it as an impetus for the church, "not remain seated," and also encouraged the "Dialogue for Austria", which in October 1998 in Salzburg took place.

In 2001 he resigned the leadership of his diocese for health reasons. His successor as diocesan bishop was Egon Kapellari , who headed the diocese until 2015. Bishop Weber served at the consecration of Bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl as successor to Bishop Kapellari on June 14, 2015 Graz Cathedral next to the main consecrator Archbishop Franz Lackner OFM as Mitkonsekrator.

Bishop Weber was active as a pastor in the parish association St. Leonhard - Kroisbach - Ragnitz until Christmas 2018 . He last lived in the old people's and nursing home of the Servants of Christ in Graz- Andritz , the district in which he was born.

Weber died on May 23, 2020 in the LKH Graz II location west .

Bishop Weber was on June 2, 2020 Graz Cathedral for personal farewell laid . On June 3, 2020, Diocesan Bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl celebrated the Requiem together with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn OP , Archbishop Franz Lackner OFM as well as other bishops, priests, deacons , religious , representatives of other churches and religious communities in Austria , politicians , friends and companions in Graz Cathedral. The consecration Weber was his childhood friend, consecration colleagues and long-time Vicar General Monsignor Leopold Städtler led, with 95 years at that time the oldest priest of the Diocese Graz-Seckau.

The Requiem and the subsequent burial of Weber in the bishop's crypt of the cathedral were broadcast live by ORF 2 and ORF 3 .

Awards (excerpt)


  • I am an optimist. Answers from young people. Fährmann, Vienna 1970.
  • With the people. Experiences and thoughts of a bishop. 4th edition. Styria, Graz u. a. 1994, ISBN 3-222-12191-5 .
  • Bringing good news to the poor. Dr. Karl Kummer Institute f. Social policy and Social reform in Styria, Graz 1995.


  • Johann Weber: Festival academy for Bishop Johann Weber on the occasion of the 30th return of the appointment of bishops. Kienreich, Graz 1999.
  • Karl Amon and Maximilian Liebmann (Hrsg.): Church history of Styria. Styria, Graz a. a. 1997, ISBN 3-222-12183-4 .
  • Karl Amon (ed.): The bishops of Graz-Seckau 1218–1968. Styria, Graz a. a. 1969.
  • Johann Bruckmoser: Johann Weber. Church on the trail of the council. Styria, Graz et al. 2001, ISBN 978-3-222-12887-5 .

Web links

Commons : Johann Weber (bishop)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bishop Johann Weber died. In: Retrieved May 23, 2020 .
  2. ^ Written information from the former director of the Academic Gymnasium Graz , Josef Wilhelm .
  3. Karl Brodschneider: retired Bishop Johann Weber died. In: May 24, 2020, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  4. Emeritus Bishops: Dr. hc Johann WEBER. In: Retrieved May 25, 2020 .
  5. ^ Church in Austria mourns Bishop Johann Weber. In: May 23, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020 .
  6. a b Grazer Former Bishop Johann Weber died. In: May 23, 2020, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  7. The Styrian Catholic Day. In: Retrieved May 25, 2020 .
  8. ^ Bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl , on, accessed on June 15, 2015.
  9. Parish Graz-St. Leonhard, staff: Former Bishop Johann Weber ( Memento from July 4, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  10. The House of the Servants of Christ in Graz. In: Retrieved May 24, 2020 .
  11. "Heart Bishop" Johann Weber died. In: May 23, 2020, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  12. ^ Great sympathy for the death of Bishop Johann Weber. In: May 23, 2020, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  13. ^ BIG Citizen Information of the City of Graz: Obituary notice of the City of Graz - Johann Weber (pdf, p. 35.)., June 2020, accessed on June 9, 2020 .
  14. Burial of Bishop Johann Weber. In: May 25, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020 .
  15. ^ Grazer Former Bishop Johann Weber died at the age of 94. In: May 23, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020 .
  16. ^ Burial of former bishop Johann Weber. In: June 3, 2020, accessed June 3, 2020 .
  17. Requiem in Graz Cathedral: The leaders of the church and the country said goodbye to Johann Weber. In: June 3, 2020, accessed June 3, 2020 .
  18. ^ Johann Weber obituaries. In: May 30, 2020, accessed May 30, 2020 .
  19. ^ ORF broadcasts the funeral of Bishop Weber on June 3rd. In: May 25, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020 .
predecessor Office successor
Hans Hermann Cardinal Groër OSB Chairman of the Austrian Bishops' Conference
Christoph Cardinal Schönborn OP
Josef V. Schoiswohl Bishop of Graz-Seckau
1969 - 2001
Egon Kapellari