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Zambia's Cardinal Mazombwe dead at 81

August 30, 2013

Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, the former Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, died on August 29 at the age of 81.

The first Catholic prelate in Zambia’s history to enter the College of Cardinals, Medardo Joseph Mazombwe was ordained to the priesthood in 1960 and became Bishop of Chipata in 1971. He was appointed Archbishop of Lusaka in 1996, and remained in that post until his retirement in 2006 at the age of 75. He received his cardinal’s red hat from Pope Benedict XVI after his retirement, in November 2010.

The Zambian cardinal died in a Lusaka hospital after a long battle with cancer. Responding to the news of his passing, Pope Francis praised his “unfailing commitment to spread the Gospel in Africa and his tireless efforts on behalf of the poor.”

With the death of Cardinal Mazombwe there are now 201 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 112 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote in a papal conclave.


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