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Pope Francis: An alliance between old and young will save the family

2022-08-18T00:01:47+08:00

Pope Francis with a surprise visitor on stage at the General Audience in the Vatican on Aug. 17, 2022 / Pablo Esparza / CNA Rome Newsroom, Aug 17, 2022 / 06:19 am (CNA). Pope Francis Wednesday emphasized the family’s need for healthy relationships and dialogue between the young and the elderly.“The alliance — and I am saying alliance — the alliance between the elderly and children will save the human family,” the pope said at his weekly audience Aug. 17. “If this dialogue does not take place between the elderly and the young, the future cannot be clearly seen.”Near the end of the pope’s general audience, which took place in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, a young boy approached Francis while sitting on the stage.An unknown little boy approached Pope Francis near the end of the audience Aug. 17, 2022. Pablo Esparza/CNAPope Francis spoke to him in Italian, greeting him and asking his name, though the little boy did not respond. “During the audience, we spoke of the dialogue between the elderly and the young,” the pope said to those watching, as he gestured to the boy. “He was courageous, this one.”The sandy-haired child stood next to Francis for the remainder of the audience, including the singing of the Our Father in Latin and the pope’s final blessing. Afterward, Francis traced a cross on the boy’s forehead.Pope Francis called the little boy who approached him during the general audience Aug. 17, 2022, "courageous.". Pablo Esparza/CNAThe 85-year-old Pope Francis, who usually stands for the prayer and blessing, remained seated on Aug. 17. He has been suffering from a knee injury forcing him to use a wheelchair or walk with a cane for several months. While the pope was greeting the different language groups toward the end of the audience, one of two Swiss Guards on stage with him appeared to lose his balance and fall toward the floor momentarily. The Swiss Guard immediately got back up, according to photographer Pablo Esparza, who witnessed the event.A Swiss Guard appeared to lose his balance, or faint, and fell to the ground toward the end of the general audience Aug. 17, 2022. Pablo Esparza/CNAA Swiss Guard fell during the pope's general audience Aug. 17, 2022, but immediately got back up, according to a witness. Pablo Esparza/CNAIn his address, the pope said “it is painful — and harmful — to see that the ages of life are conceived of as separate worlds, in competition among themselves, each one seeking to live at the expense of the other: this is not right.”“Old age,” he said, “must bear witness — for me, this is the core, the most central aspect of old age — old age must bear witness to children that they are a blessing.”“This witness consists in their initiation — beautiful and difficult — into the mystery of our destination in life that no one can annihilate, not even death. To bring the witness of faith before a child is to sow that life. To

Pope Francis: An alliance between old and young will save the family2022-08-18T00:01:47+08:00

Reform and obedience to the Pope: How two crucial meetings will shape the future of the Order of Malta

2022-08-18T00:01:46+08:00

null / Giorgio Minguzzi via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0). Rome Newsroom, Aug 17, 2022 / 05:45 am (CNA). The debate on the reform of the Order of Malta is entering a crucial phase on Wednesday: Two meetings are scheduled to help shape the future of the unique if troubled Catholic institution.On one side of the table on Aug. 17 are two key protagonists: Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the Pope's special delegate for the Order of Malta, and Fra 'John Dunlap, Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta. On the other side of the table, they are first facing the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta — and then the Governing Council.The latter comes to the meeting with a document that CNA today is publishing in full. The paper was delivered on Aug. 12 to the High Charges of the Order of Malta and caused a harsh reaction from the Lieutenant of the Grand Master.Before considering the document and further reactions, however, a little background is needed. First of all, why are these meetings today important?According to the Order of Malta website, "the Sovereign Council is the government of the Order. It comprises the Grand Master, the holders of the four High Offices (Grand Commander, Grand Chancellor, Grand Hospitaller, and Receiver of the Common Treasure), and six other members. Apart from the Grand Master, they are elected by the Chapter General, by a majority of the Knights present".The Government Council is "the advisory board to the Sovereign Council in charge of studying political, religious, humanitarian assistance, and international issues. It is convened and chaired by the Grand Master. It comprises six Councilors from various geographical regions elected by the Chapter General among Knights in the three Classes of the Order. It meets at least twice a year.The topic of the discussion will be the debate following the dissemination of a letter sent to Pope Francis by the presidents of various associations linked to the Order of Malta, which claim to represent 90 percent of the works of the Order.The reform, the associations noted, would compromise their work, which affects, among other things, 80,000 volunteers and 42,000 employees. The reform of the Order of Malta is still under discussion, and it has been argued several times that how the Order of Malta will be represented risks diluting its sovereignty.Some actions of the Pope have already questioned the sovereignty of the Order. In his latest move, Pope Francis appointed Fra 'John Dunlap as Lieutenant of the Grand Master after the sudden death of his predecessor Fra' Marco Luzzago, thus avoiding the electoral process that should have taken place. Before that, Pope Francis had extended the mandate of Fra 'Marco Luzzago himself until the end of the reform process, bypassing the procedures that provided for a new election at the end of the term of the Lieutenant, which lasts one year. In addition, Pope Francis has given extensive powers to his delegate, Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, effectively taking the reform into his own

Reform and obedience to the Pope: How two crucial meetings will shape the future of the Order of Malta2022-08-18T00:01:46+08:00

What you need to know about Pope Francis’ next consistory

2022-08-18T00:01:44+08:00

A consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica Nov. 28, 2020. / Vatican Media. Rome Newsroom, Aug 17, 2022 / 05:31 am (CNA). On Saturday, Aug. 27, Pope Francis will place a red biretta on the heads of 18 bishops and two priests, declaring them to be cardinals “to the glory of almighty God and the honor of the Apostolic See.”Here’s what you need to know:What is a consistory?A consistory is a formal meeting of the College of Cardinals. The pope can convene them for several different reasons.One of the most common reasons for a consistory is to create new cardinals. The ceremony in which the pope makes cardinals is an ordinary public consistory.In addition to the red biretta, at the Aug. 27 ceremony, Pope Francis will also place a ring on the hand of each new cardinal while saying: “Receive this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened.”The pope will also assign each new cardinal a church in the Diocese of Rome, called a “titular church.” This further links the cardinal to Rome and to the pope, who is the Bishop of Rome.The other members of the College of Cardinals, clergy, Catholics, and members of the public may all attend a consistory to create cardinals.Another consistory the pope may convene is an ordinary consistory to vote on the causes of new saints, the last step before a formal canonization can take place.There are also extraordinary consistories, which every cardinal is expected to take part in, barring a serious reason.The three consistories of AugustThe consistory to create cardinals on Aug. 27 will be an ordinary consistory, open to the public.A second public ordinary consistory will immediately follow it for cardinals to give their approval for the canonizations of two blesseds: Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, an Italian bishop and founder of the Missionaries of St. Charles, and Artemide Zatti, an Italian immigrant to Argentina who was a nurse and Salesian Coadjutor Brother.Pope Francis has also called for an extraordinary consistory to take place Aug. 29-30.With this third consistory, the pope has asked the world's cardinals to come to Rome to discuss the new constitution of the Roman Curia, Praedicate evangelium.This will be only the third extraordinary consistory of Francis’ pontificate and the first to take place in seven years.At the end of the two-day meeting, in the afternoon of Aug. 30, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass with the new cardinals and the entire College of Cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica.A trip in the middleIn between all of these consistories, on Aug. 28, Pope Francis will travel for half a day to the central Italian city of L’Aquila for an important annual event, the Celestinian Forgiveness.The Celestinian Forgiveness (Perdonanza Celestiniana in Italian) is a legacy of Pope Celestine V, who reigned from July 5, 1294, to Dec. 13 of the same year, when he resigned.Both a controversial and revolutionary figure, Celestine

What you need to know about Pope Francis’ next consistory2022-08-18T00:01:44+08:00

Pope Francis on the Assumption: ‘Do I believe that to love is to reign, and to serve is power?’

2022-08-16T12:01:15+08:00

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address at St. Peter's Square, Aug. 15, 2022. / Vatican Media Denver Newsroom, Aug 15, 2022 / 14:24 pm (CNA). Reflecting on the Visitation during his Angelus address on Monday, Pope Francis reflected on the raising up to heaven of the humble handmaid of the Lord, and how that attitude is to repeated in our lives.In the Magnificat Mary intends “to tell us … that God, through her, has inaugurated a historical turning point, he has definitively established a new order of things. She, small and humble, has been raised up and – we celebrate this today – brought to the glory of Heaven, while the powerful of the world are destined to remain empty-handed,” the pope said Aug. 15 in Saint Peter’s Square for the feast of the Assumption.“Let us look at ourselves, and let us ask ourselves: will this prophetic reversal announced by Mary affect my life? Do I believe that to love is to reign, and to serve is power?”Pope Francis continued: “Do I believe that the purpose of my life is Heaven, it is paradise? To spend it well here. Or am I concerned only with worldly, material things? Again, as I observe world events, do I let myself be entrapped by pessimism or, like the Virgin, am I able to discern the work of God who, through gentleness and smallness, achieves great things?”The Magnificat, he said, is the “canticle of hope.” He reflected on the description of the Lord who “has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.”“As we listen to these words, we might ask ourselves: is the Virgin not exaggerating a little, perhaps, describing a world that does not exist? Indeed, what she says does not seem to correspond to reality; while she speaks, the powerful of the time have not been brought down: the fearsome Herod, for example, is still firmly on his throne. And the poor and hungry remain so, while the rich continue to prosper.”But the meaning of the Blessed Virgin’s canticle is not a historical description, but a prophecy, the pope said.In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Dives ends up “empty-handed” after his death, he reflected.“Our Lady … announces a radical change, an overturning of values. While she speaks with Elizabeth, carrying Jesus in her womb, she anticipates what her Son will say, when he will proclaim blessed the poor and humble, and warn the rich and those who base themselves on their own self-sufficiency.”“The Virgin, then, prophesies with this canticle, with this prayer: she prophesies that it will not be power, success and money that will prevail, but rather service, humility and love will prevail. And as we look at her, in glory, we understand that the true power is service – let us not forget this: the true power is service – and to reign means to love. And that this is the road to Heaven.”In the Magnificat, Mary “sings of hope and rekindles

Pope Francis on the Assumption: ‘Do I believe that to love is to reign, and to serve is power?’2022-08-16T12:01:15+08:00

Pope Francis: Faith is like fire, not a lullaby

2022-08-15T00:01:16+08:00

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during the Angelus Aug. 14, 2022. / Vatican Media Vatican City, Aug 14, 2022 / 05:23 am (CNA). The fire of faith should spur us to conversion, not lull us into complacency, Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Sunday.In his weekly message on the Gospel, the pope reflected on a passage from St. Luke, who wrote: “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!’”“Faith is not a ‘lullaby’ that lulls us to sleep, but rather a living flame to keep us wakeful and active even at night,” Francis said Aug. 14.The pope delivered his reflection on the flame of faith from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Afterwards, he prayed the Angelus, a traditional Marian prayer, in Latin, before sharing some concluding remarks.“The Gospel,” he said, “does not leave things as they are; when the Gospel passes, and is heard and received, things do not remain as they are. The Gospel provokes change and invites conversion.”According to Francis, the fire of the Gospel does not give a false sense of peace, but spurs people into action.“It is just like fire: while it warms us with God’s love, it wants to burn our selfishness, to enlighten the dark sides of life — we all have them — to consume the false idols that enslave us,” he said.The pope said Jesus is inviting each person to be rekindled by the flame of the Gospel. To illustrate this point, he quoted from the book “The Discovery of God,” by Henri de Lubac, a 20th century theologian and Jesuit priest.“As Father de Lubac said — faith in God ‘reassures us — but not on our level, or so to produce a paralyzing illusion, or a complacent satisfaction, but so as to enable us to act,” he emphasized.He also suggested everyone ask themselves if they are passionate about the Gospel, if they read it often, and if they carry it with them.“Does the faith I profess and celebrate lead me to complacent tranquility or does it ignite the flame of witness in me?” he said, proposing the question for reflection. “We can also ask ourselves this question as Church: in our communities, does the fire of the Spirit burn, with the passion for prayer and charity, and the joy of faith? Or do we drag ourselves along in weariness and habit, with a downcast face and a lament on our lips? And gossip every day?”Do an interior examination on these questions, Francis said, so that like Jesus, we can say “we are inflamed with the fire of God’s love, and we want to spread it around the world, to take it to everyone, so that each person may discover the tenderness of the Father and experience the joy of Jesus, which enlarges the heart — and Jesus enlarges the heart — and makes life beautiful.”Pope Francis closed his message by asking for the intercession of

Pope Francis: Faith is like fire, not a lullaby2022-08-15T00:01:16+08:00

In phone call, Zelenskyy thanks Pope Francis for praying for Ukraine

2022-08-14T00:01:06+08:00

Pope Francis and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. / Quirinale.it/President.gov.ua via Wikimedia. Rome Newsroom, Aug 13, 2022 / 04:45 am (CNA). Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that he spoke with Pope Francis over the phone on Friday and thanked the pope for his prayers and humanitarian support.In a tweet posted on Aug. 12, Zelenskyy wrote that he had briefed the pope on Russia’s “horrible crimes” and aggression against Ukraine.“Our people need support of world spiritual leaders who should convey to the world the truth about acts of horror committed by the aggressor,” the Ukrainian president said.Talked to @Pontifex_it. Briefed him on RF aggression against 🇺🇦, its horrible crimes. Grateful to the pontiff for his prayers for 🇺🇦. Our people need support of world spiritual leaders who should convey to the world the truth about acts of horror committed by the aggressor in 🇺🇦.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) August 12, 2022 Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, reported that this is the third time that Pope Francis has spoken with Zelenskyy since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly six months ago. The ambassador added that Ukraine would be happy to welcome the pope for an official visit to help with the peace process.SinceStart ofWar it was3rd telephoneConversation betweenPopeFrancis @Pontifex &PresidentOf🇺🇦VolodymyrZelenskyy @ZelenskyyUa ThankingForPrayer&Humanitarian Support, 🇺🇦confirms Again:🇺🇦&🇺🇦Society will beHappy toGreetHolyFather.Papal touchToSufferingLand canHelpStopWar&Install Peace pic.twitter.com/3asoehbZiL— Andrii Yurash (@AndriiYurash) August 12, 2022 Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his interest in a potential visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.On his return flight from Canada, the pope reiterated his interest in traveling to the war-torn country. In July, the Ukrainian foreign ministry renewed its invitation for Pope Francis to visit.“I said I would like to go to Ukraine. Let's see now what I find when I get home,” the pope said in the in-flight press conference on July 30.Pope Francis is scheduled to participate in September in the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan, where he could potentially meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who is expected to participate in the congress.At the end of his Angelus address on Aug. 7, Pope Francis welcomed the departure of the first grain ships allowed to leave ports in Ukraine.“This step demonstrates that it is possible to dialogue and to reach concrete results which benefit everyone,” the pope said. “Therefore, this event also presents itself as a sign of hope, and I sincerely hope that, following this path, there can be an end to combat, and that a just and lasting peace might be reached.”

In phone call, Zelenskyy thanks Pope Francis for praying for Ukraine2022-08-14T00:01:06+08:00

In Rome, a setback for Father Vincent Capodanno sainthood cause

2022-08-13T12:01:23+08:00

Father Capodanno with fellow Marines in Vietnam / null Denver Newsroom, Aug 12, 2022 / 09:40 am (CNA). There is a new obstacle for the sainthood cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, the “grunt padre” who died on a Vietnam battlefield as a military chaplain to U.S. Marines. Consultants to the Vatican body tasked with judging possible saints have recommended the suspension of Capodanno’s cause, though his backers are appealing the decision they say is only preliminary.“It is the firm conviction of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, that Father Capodanno is enjoying the bliss of heaven and it is felt that raising the exemplary service of this distinguished priest to the altars would serve the Church and especially the Chaplain Corps of the USA,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told CNA Aug. 11.Broglio’s archdiocese is responsible for launching the priest’s canonization cause.At the Vatican, the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints is responsible for canonization decisions. In May, an advisory panel of theological consultants considered the “positio” document prepared by the postulator and its arguments in favor of and against Capodanno’s beatification.The consultants voted to recommend to the dicastery that Capodanno’s cause be suspended.Broglio characterized the recommendation as “a consultative vote” for the dicastery, previously known as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.“The body only makes a recommendation to the congregation,” the archbishop said. “The postulator has already petitioned the congregation to appeal the decision and allow the postulation to respond to some of the questions raised by the theologians.”Broglio said the dicastery has the responsibility “to determine if the process can continue.”Capodanno, a member of the Maryknoll religious order, was a U.S. Navy chaplain who served in the Vietnam War with U.S. Marines. Enlisted Marines are informally known as “grunts,” and he acquired the moniker “the grunt padre.” When in combat he would put the well-being of Marines above his personal safety. The priest would move among the wounded and dying on the battlefield to provide medical aid, comfort, and Last Rites.He died on the battlefield Sept. 4, 1967 after shielding a Marine from enemy machine gun fire.In 2006, the Congregation for Saints declared him a Servant of God, a first step to possible beatification or canonization.The Father Capodanno Guild, a private Catholic association that promotes the priest’s canonization cause, also responded to the consultants’ recommendation to suspend the beatification cause.The recommendation is “not what we have been praying for,” the guild said on its website Aug. 8. Nonetheless, it added, the decision is “not the end of our journey.”“Other causes have had to struggle through the process in Rome,” the guild said. “Let us pray for the will of God and arm ourselves with faith, hope, and trust.”“Initial engagements with congregation leaders have emphasized the widespread interest in the cause,” the guild said. “These leaders have responded that the possibility to move forward exists and should be pursued.”The theological consultants have written individually to Dr. Nicola Gori, the postulator of Capodanno’s cause to

In Rome, a setback for Father Vincent Capodanno sainthood cause2022-08-13T12:01:23+08:00

What is the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life?

2022-08-11T12:01:09+08:00

null / Vatican Media. Rome Newsroom, Aug 10, 2022 / 09:47 am (CNA). A controversy over a book and statements made on Twitter has recently drawn increased attention to the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.In late June, the academy's official Twitter account began promoting a Vatican-published book synthesizing a 2021 seminar on ethics, in which a participant discussed "the possible legitimacy of contraception in certain cases."The pontifical academy said in an Aug. 8 press release that the seminar discussed "all the issues related to the ethics of life … including contraception and sexual matrimonial morality." Euthanasia was also a topic of the seminar.Some of the promotional posts for the seminar and subsequent book received pushback in media reports and from Catholic Twitter users who said they presented wrong or confusing information about the Church's teachings.The academy's Twitter account called the negative responses "insults and out-of-control criticism" by "fake accounts." On Aug. 10, several of the Tweets had been deleted.A screenshot of a press release shared on Aug. 8, 2022, via a now-deleted Tweet from the Pontifical Academy for Life. A member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Spanish-based bioethicist Elena Postigo, distanced herself from the book, which is titled "Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition, Practical Challenges.""The book is not an official statement but the seminar records in which 20 people made their personal statements. Many members didn't know about it and are astonished," Postigo shared on Twitter.What exactly is the institution which started this controversy?The beginningsThe Pontifical Academy for Life is one of several academic and cultural institutions which bring together experts in their fields to discuss issues of relevance to the Church and the world.St. Pope John Paul II founded the Pontifical Academy for Life in February 1994.In the document establishing the academy, the motu proprio Vitae Mysterium, he wrote that the institute has "the specific task to study and provide information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion and protection of life, especially in the direct relationship they have with Christian morality and the directives of the Church's Magisterium."Venerable Jérôme Lejeune, a French pediatrician and geneticist who opposed the use of prenatal testing for the purposes of carrying out elective abortions, was the academy's first president, though he died from lung cancer in April 1994, just a few weeks after its founding.Before his death, however, Lejeune managed to draft the academy's first bylaws and a declaration to be signed by members of the academy stating that "before God and men we bear witness that for us every human being is a person" and that "from the moment the embryo is formed until death it is the same human being which grows to maturity and dies."The 2016 changes Pope Francis approved new statutes for the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2016, the first significant reform of the institution since its beginning. The statutes are due to expire at the end of this year, after going into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, for five years.The use of the declaration of pro-life belief drafted by Lejeune was dropped

What is the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life?2022-08-11T12:01:09+08:00

Pope Francis: The desire for ‘eternal youth’ and ‘unlimited wellbeing’ is delusional conceit

2022-08-11T00:01:09+08:00

Pope Francis at the general audience on Aug. 10, 2022 / Vatican Media Rome Newsroom, Aug 10, 2022 / 04:48 am (CNA). Pope Francis said Wednesday that it is “delusional” to try to stop the natural passage of time in pursuit of “eternal youth” and “unlimited wellbeing.”Speaking at his live-streamed general audience on Aug. 10, the pope pointed out that from the Christian perspective, the passing of time “is not a threat, it is a promise.”“The conceit of stopping time — of wanting eternal youth, unlimited wellbeing, absolute power — is not only impossible, it is delusional,” Pope Francis said in Vatican City’s Paul VI Hall.“Our existence on earth is the time of the initiation of life; it is life, but one that leads you toward a fuller life … a life which finds fulfillment only in God.”The pope underlined that life on earth is best understood as a “novitiate,” a preparation for an eternal life in heaven that will be “superior to the time of our mortal life.”“We are apprentices of life, who — amid a thousand difficulties — learn to appreciate God’s gift, honoring the responsibility of sharing it and making it bear fruit for everyone,” he said.“We are imperfect from the very beginning, and we remain imperfect up to the end,” Francis added.He explained that life is not meant to “be wrapped up in itself in an imaginary earthly perfection.” Life “is destined to go beyond, through the passage of death — because death is a passage. Indeed, … our destination is not here, it is beside the Lord, where he dwells forever,” the pope said.With this reflection, Pope Francis concluded a cycle of catechesis on old age that he began in February. During this time, the 85-year-old pope has faced health problems that limited his mobility, particularly an injury to his right knee.For his final catechesis on old age, the pope walked slowly using a cane as he made his way onto the stage of the audience hall. He later greeted the crowd from a wheelchair.Pope Francis underscored that old age should be a time of “expectation” that brings one closer to life’s fulfillment in God. “In the fulfillment of God’s promise, the relationship is inverted: the space of God, which Jesus prepares for us with the utmost care, is superior to the time of our mortal life. Hence: old age brings closer the hope of this fulfillment,” Pope Francis said.“Old age knows definitively, by now, the meaning of time and the limitations of the place in which we live our initiation. This is why old age is wise. God’s world is an infinite space, in which the passage of time no longer carries any weight,” he said.At the end of the audience, Pope Francis prayed for Cuba, where a lightning strike at an oil facility set off multiple explosions of fuel storage tanks and caused a devastating fire. The pope also expressed his continued concern for Ukraine, where people are “still suffering from this cruel war,” and for migrants. In total, Pope Francis gave 16 reflections on the dignity of the elderly in his audiences this

Pope Francis: The desire for ‘eternal youth’ and ‘unlimited wellbeing’ is delusional conceit2022-08-11T00:01:09+08:00

Cardinal Tomko, oldest living cardinal, dead at 98

2022-08-09T00:01:07+08:00

Cardinal Jozef Tomko in 2018 at a shrine on Mount Zvir, above the village of Litmanová, Slovakia. / Sirocan69 via Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0 Rome Newsroom, Aug 8, 2022 / 04:53 am (CNA). Cardinal Jozef Tomko died early Monday morning in Rome at the age of 98. At the time of his death, the Slovakian-born cardinal was the world’s oldest living member of the College of Cardinals.Tomko died at 5:00 a.m. Aug. 8 in his apartment, where he was under the care of a dedicated nurse after hospitalization on June 25 for a cervical spine injury, according to Vatican News. He had returned home from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Aug. 6.The Slovak bishops’ conference invited people to pray for Cardinal Tomko in a message announcing his death on Aug. 8.The conference said more information about the cardinal’s funeral in Rome and his burial at St. Elizabeth Cathedral in Košice, Slovakia, will be announced soon.Tomko was a member of the College of Cardinals for over 37 years after St. Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in the consistory of May 1985.A confidant of John Paul II, Tomko had been secretary general of the Synod of Bishops for almost six years at the time he was created cardinal.Two days later, on May 27, 1985, he was named prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He served in that position until his retirement in 2001 at the age of 77.For the following six years, Tomko served as president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. In this position, he attended several international events as Vatican envoy.Tomko was born in the small village of Udavské, Czechoslovakia, in the northeast part of what is now known as Slovakia.After beginning his studies for the priesthood in Bratislava in 1943, he was sent to study at the Pontifical Lateran University and Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from which he received doctorates in theology, canon law, and social sciences.He was ordained a priest in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome in 1949. As a priest, he continued his studies, did pastoral work, and later served as vice rector and rector of the Pontifical College Nepomucenum, a theological seminary for Czech men.Tomko was also co-founder of the Slovak Institute of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Rome.From 1962 he served as an assistant in the doctrinal office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He headed the same office from 1966. During that time, he was chosen as one of the special secretaries for the first synodal assembly of 1967.He was appointed under-secretary of the Congregation for Bishops at the end of 1974.After naming Tomko secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, John Paul II consecrated him a bishop in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel on Sept. 15, 1979.In the 1980s, the Slovak prepared and oversaw three ordinary general synods, a particular synod of the bishops of the Netherlands, and an extraordinary synod on the 20th anniversary of the closing of the

Cardinal Tomko, oldest living cardinal, dead at 982022-08-09T00:01:07+08:00