Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (11 March) to mark the death of Cardinal Lehmann:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Lehmann. With his passing away, we have lost a frank, honest but also often admonitory voice. Cardinal Lehmann was not one to shy away from direct engagement. Even when it came to difficult or controversial matters, for example political issues, he always adopted a clear stance.
At the same time, however, he was also a mediator and a great man who was able to bring all sides to the table to talk. He made an outstanding contribution to ecumenism in Germany. His empathetic eloquence, his heartfelt words and his alert mind were what persuaded people. I am extremely grateful to him for all his work. Our thoughts are now with his family and we wish them great strength.