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Brazilian Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales dead at 91; was cardinal for 43 years

July 10, 2012

Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, the retired Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, died on July 9 at the age of 91.

The Brazilian prelate had been the longest-serving member of the College of Cardinals, having received his red hat from Pope Paul VI in 1969. With his death, there are only two surviving cardinals who were elevated by Pope Paul VI: another Brazilian, Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, the retired Archbishop of Sao Paulo, who was named a cardinal in 1973; and an American, Cardinal William Baum, the former head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, who was elevated at the conclave of 1976.

Cardinal Araujo had also served an unusually long term as Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro: from 1971 until his retirement in 2001 at the age of 80. He had previously been an auxiliary bishop of Natal from 1954 to 1964, then the Archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia from 1964 to 1971.

Cardinal Araujo was known for his support for the poor people of Rio de Janeiro and his opposition to the country’s military regime. In a message of condolence, Pope Benedict XVI praised him for his “long life dedicated to the Church in Brazil.”


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