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Detroit's Cardinal Szoka dead at 86

August 21, 2014

Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the former Archbishop of Detroit, died on August 20 at the age of 86 at a hospital in Michigan.

Born to Polish immigrants in 1927, Edmund Szoka was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan. He was named Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan, in 1971, and chosen by Pope John Paul II to become Archbishop of Detroit a decade later. He was raised to the College of Cardinals in 1988.

In 1990, Pope John Paul II, who was his close friend, called Cardinal Szoka to the Vatican to become president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs. He remained in Rome, later serving as president of the Vatican city-state governatorate and president of the commission for the Vatican city-state, until he retired in 2006.

Cardinal Szoka had recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. His successor, Detroit’s Archbishop Allen Vigneron, remarked: “We mourn the loss of a dedicated shepherd.”

With the death of Cardinal Szoka, there are now 211 living cardinals, of whom 117 are eligible to vote in a papal conclave.


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