The second and concluding volume of this biography of Cologne archbishop and cardinal Josef Frings emphasizes his last 15 years as bishop, during which initiatives for the Universal Church (Weltkirche)
constituted the crux of his efforts.
Frings recognized early on that a bishop bears responsibility not only for his own diocese but, in cooperation with the Pope, for the Universal Church as well. Inspired by his vicar general Joseph Teusch,
in 1954 the cardinal established a partnership between the archdioceses of Cologne and Tokyo, a Universal Church pilot project that at the time required special approval from Rome.
In 1958, the Fulda Bishops Conference acted on the urging of its chairman Frings to establish the charitable organization »Against Hunger and Sickness in the World,« also conceptualized by Teusch. Renamed
»Misereor,« the organization earned widespread admiration that persists to this day. The Latin American Papal Commission's appeal to the German bishops for help in assuaging the problems of ministry
in Latin America moved Cardinal Frings to instigate a second major Universal Church initiative in 1961, »Episcopal Action Adveniat.«
Misereor and Adveniat earned the German bishops considerable prestige at the Second Vatican Council inaugurated in 1962. Advised by Teusch, the Bonn professors Ratzinger and Jedin, and his own personal
secretary Luthe, Frings won great respect in the Council assembly hall. The numerically small but – thanks to Frings – well-organized caucus of German-speaking bishops and their chairman
exercised considerable influence on the Council’s proceedings.
Published 40 years after the the Second Vatican Council concluded on 8 December 1965, this biography of Josef Cardinal Frings makes an important contribution to the history of
the global Church and the Catholic Church in Germany during the 20th century.