Eric Leitenberger was an expert on ecclesiastical affairs and a pioneer of the ecumenical movement in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe. Leitenberger worked from 1967 to 1974 as the editor of the local newspaper Die Presse. He was appointed by Cardinal Franz König to the position of spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna until 2011. Leitenberger served as the editor and chief of KathPress for nearly three decades, from 1981 to 2009, and served as a spokesperson of the official assembly of the Roman Catholic bishops of Austria between 1981 and 2009. Since 2010, he volunteered as spokesperson for the ProOriente Foundation in Vienna. Leitenberger was a Non-Resident Fellow of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) and an active participant in the LISD’s Program on Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations (PORDIR).
Professor Erich Leitenberger died in his home in Vienna, Austria on January 18, 2021. In a moving tribute, Founding Director, Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, reflects on Prof. Leitenberger's profound legacy.