Cardinal Arns, Brazilian social-justice warrior, dead at 95
December 14, 2016
Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, the retired Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, died in that city on December 14 at the age of 95.
Known for years as an outspoken champion of human rights and an opponent of Brazil’s military regime, Cardinal Arns was lauded by his successor, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, for his “courageous commitment to the defense of human dignity and the inalienable rights of each person.”
Born in Forquilhinha, Brazil, the future cardinal joined the Franciscan order in 1943 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1945. He was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Sao Paulo in 1966, then became Archbishop in 1970, serving until his retirement in 1998 at the age of 76.
Cardinal Arns had been hospitalized in November, suffering from pneumonia. Raised to the College of Cardinals in 1973 was the last surviving cardinal to receive his red hat from Pope Paul VI. (Pope-emeritus Benedict also was elevated by Pope Paul VI, but no longer is a member of the College of Cardinals.) The Brazilian prelate had been the 3rd-oldest living cardinal.
With the death of Cardinal Arns there are now 227 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 120 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote in a papal election.
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