DFormer Benedictine Abbot Primate Notker Wolf has died. As the Sankt Ottilien monastery in Upper Bavaria announced on its website, the monk died on Wednesday on his way home from Italy. He was 83 years old.

Wolf was one of the most famous Catholics in Germany. From 2000 to 2016, as Abbot Primate, he was the head of the Benedictine Order, which included more than 23,000 male and female members worldwide. The funeral will take place on April 6 at 10:30 a.m. in Sankt Ottilien.

Wolf, who was born in Bad Grönenbach in the Allgäu, has lived in his Upper Bavarian home monastery of Sankt Ottilien since he retired as abbot-primate. He regularly spoke in church political and social debates. His books on spirituality, faith and lifestyle became bestsellers. He was also known for his love of classical and rock music. Sometimes he himself played the electric guitar or the flute, which earned him the nickname “the rocking abbot”.

“A symbol of how much strength and courage faith can give”

In 1961, Wolf entered St. to the Benedictine monastery of Ottilien. He studied philosophy, theology and natural sciences in Rome and Munich. He was ordained a priest in 1968. In 1971, he went to the Pontifical Benedictine College of Sant'Anselmo in Rome as a professor of natural philosophy. In 1977 he returned to Germany as abbot of the monastery of Sankt Ottilien. He was first elected abbot-primate in 2000, and in 2008 and 2012 he was confirmed for four more years.

Herder publishing house, where Wolf last wrote the book “Why do we allow ourselves to be driven crazy?” New heretical thoughts”, paid tribute to the deceased as a long-time and valued author. For decades he was one of the most defining faces of Christianity in Germany. “We will miss his energy, humor and unusualness. Especially in times like these, he was a symbol to all of us of how much strength and courage faith can give,” explained executive director Simon Biallowons.

The publisher of the Catholic weekly “Die Tagespost” said in a statement that Wolf's charisma and clear personality left an unforgettable mark. Benedictine and journalist Sigmund Gottlieb launched a publishing house podcast titled “Abbot and Anchorman” last September. Always on the last Friday of the month, “important issues” were discussed. The last episode was recorded in Munich at the end of March.

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