Cologne's Archbishop has sparked anger after praising the high birth rate among Catholics for making up for large Muslim families. He later admitted his choice of words was "unfortunate".

Cardinal Joachim Meisner was speaking on Friday to members of a conservative Catholic group famous for their large families when he said: "I always say, one of your families to me makes up for three Muslim families."

Muslim organizations and politicians from the Social Democrat and Green parties said they were "stunned" by the comments – which came a month before Meisner, 80, was due to retire.

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