Cardinal Schönborn resigns as President of the Austrian Bishops' Convention

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The Austrian Bishops' Conference has elected a new president, ending Cardinal Christoph Schönborn's 22-year term.

At a vote on Tuesday, the bishops elected Salzburg Archbishop Franz Lackner as the new chairman. He succeeds Schönborn, who turned 75 in January, the canonical retirement age. Lackner had been vice president for five years.

After the vote, Cardinal Schönborn admitted that there were sometimes “conflicts and scandals” during his 22-year term, but was nevertheless grateful for the opportunity to become president.

He was first elected in 1998 and then re-elected for six years.

The cardinal submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Vienna at the age of 75, but later said that Pope Francis had refused to resign and asked him to stay "indefinitely".

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