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Pope praises Italy's former President Scalfaro, dead at 93

Catholic World News - January 30, 2012

Upon the death of former Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Pope Benedict XVI praised the deceased leader as “an illustrious Catholic statesman.”

In a telegram to Marianna Scalfaro, the former president’s daughter, the Pope said that Oscar Scalfaro “always strove to promote the common good, and the perennial ethical and religious values of Christianity.”

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, added that Scalfaro was “one of the last and most eminent representatives of that generation which generously pledged itself for the reconstruction of the country at the end of the tragedy of fascism and war, and did so with perfect intense passion, professionalism and absolute cultural integrity.” He added:

He was also a person who never hid his Christian faith, his full participation in the life of the Catholic Church, or even his genuine devotion to Mary. In this way he effectively demonstrated how to be both a deeply convinced believer and a supporter of the shared fundamental values of the civil and political life of the country, while respecting the pluralism of positions.

Scalfaro, who served as president from 1992 to 1999, died on January 29 at the age of 93.

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