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Spanish cardinal dies in Rome

May 02, 2011

Cardinal Agustín García-Gasco, the retired Archbishop of Valencia, died in Rome of a heart attack in the hours before the beatification of Pope John Paul II. He was 80 years old.

Born in Spain and ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Madrid in 1956, the prelate was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid in 1985 and became Archbishop of Valencia in 1992. Pope Benedict created him a cardinal during the consistory of 2007; he retired in 2009.

The Latin American Herald Tribune reported that “Garcia-Gasco was one of the most combative bishops regarding the policies of the socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, above all everything connected to certain laws dealing with same-sex marriage … and the so-called ‘express divorce law,’ among others.”

Pope Benedict XVI praised the deceased Spanish prelate for his service to the Church, especially in Valencia, where he was "wisely and generously devoted to her evangelizing actions, tirelessly supporting numerous pastoral initiatives, above all in the area of the teaching and pastoral care of the family."

With Cardinal Garcia-Gasco’s death, the number of cardinals has fallen to 198, 115 of whom are eligible to participate in a conclave.


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