Albert Vanhoye, the oldest Cardinal in the Catholic Church, has died

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The College of Cardinals now consists of 220 cardinals, 123 electors and 97 non-electors.

Newsdesk (July 30, 2021 12:20, Gaudium Press) French Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and former secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, died in Rome last Thursday, July 29, at the age of 98.

Cardeal Albert Vanhoye

Born on July 24, 1923 in Hazebrouck, in the Diocese of Lille in northern France, Cardinal Vanhoye joined the Society of Jesus on September 11, 1941, took his first vows on November 15, 1944, and was ordained a priest on July 26, 1954 in Enghien, Belgium. He received a degree in literature from the Sorbonne and a theology degree from the University of Enghien, and then a doctorate in Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 1961.

In 1963 he was invited to teach in Rome, where he remained until 1998. He was a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission from 1984 to 2001 and its secretary from 1990 to 2001. He was also a consultant of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 1980 to 1996.

Cardinal after 80

The Bishop was one of three ecclesiastics over the age of 80 whom, in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI elevated to the dignity of Cardinal, “in consideration of the services rendered to the Church with exemplary fidelity and admirable devotion. On the occasion, the pontiff stated that he was a great exegete.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri will preside over the funeral ceremony of the Cardinal, which is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 31. The College of Cardinals now consists of 220 cardinals, 123 electors and 97 non-electors.

Message from Pope Francis

On Friday morning, July 30, Pope Francis sent a telegram of regret over the Cardinal’s death to the Superior General of the “Residence San Pedro Canisio” in Rome, Father Manuel Moruja. In his message, the Holy Father expressed his closeness to the Community and the relatives of the deceased cardinal.

Francis said he remembers with affection and admiration this brother who served the Lord and the Church with great dedication. The Pontiff also described him as a “zealous religious, spiritual son of St. Ignatius, excellent teacher, outstanding biblical scholar and esteemed rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.”

The Pope also stated that Cardinal Vanhoye will always be remembered “for his love for the preaching ministry which he exercised with generosity, animated by the desire to announce the Gospel. At the end of his message, he sent an apostolic blessing to those who mourn his death. (EPC)

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