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Argentine cardinal suffers stroke, visited in hospital by Pope Francis

Catholic World News - March 15, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Maria Meija, an elderly Argentine cardinal who now lives in Rome, suffered a stroke on the day that his countryman, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected Pope.

Pope Francis reported on Cardinal Meija’s condition Friday morning, when he met with the College of Cardinals. Later in the day he made an unannounced visit to the ailing prelate at a Roman hospital.

Cardinal Meija, who is 90, did not participate in the papal conclave. Vatican officials were not sure whether his stroke occurred before or after the new Pope was introduced. His condition was described as stable on Friday.

The cardinal’s stroke prompted memories of the late Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, who suffered a crippling stroke on the eve of the conclave that elected his close friend, Pope John Paul II. The newly elected Pontiff rushed to see then-Bishop Deskur in the hospital on the day after his election.

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