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Guatemalan Cardinal Quezada Toruño dead at 80

June 05, 2012

Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, the retired Archbishop of Guatemala City, died on June 4 at the age of 80.

Born in his nation’s capital, Rodolfo Quezada Toruño was ordained to the priesthood in 1956 and became an auxiliary bishop of Zacapa in 1972. He was named coadjutor bishop of Zacapa in 1975, and became head of that diocese in 1980. In 2001 he was named Archbishop of Guatemala City, serving in that post until his retirement in 2010 at the age of 78. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

The Guatemalan cardinal played a key role in negotiations that led to a peace accord that ended a long and bloody civil war in his country. From 1987 to 1993 he chaired a National Reconciliation Commission, dealing with the aftermath of the violence.

In a message of condolence, addressed to the cardinal’s successor, Archbishop oscar Julio Vian Morales of Guatemala City, Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to Cardinal Quezada Toruño for having “served the Church with such intensity and generosity.”


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