Catholic World News

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who signed dubia, dead at 79

September 06, 2017

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the retired Archbishop of Bologna, Italy, died on September 6 at the age of 79.

Cardinal Caffarra was one of the four cardinals who submitted dubia to Pope Francis, asking for clarification of Amoris Laetitia. Another one of the “dubia cardinals,” Cardinal Joachim Meisner, died in July.

Ordained to the priesthood in the Fidenza diocese in 1961, the future cardinal earned his doctorate from the Gregorian University with a dissertation on the ends of marriage. He taught theology in Milan, emerging as an expert on the Catholic vision of marriage, and in 1980 was appointed by Pope John Paul II as an expert when the Synod of Bishops met to discuss marriage and family life. Later he was named the first head of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Life.

In 1995 he was appointed Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, and in 2003 became Archbishop of Bologna, serving there until his retirement in 2015 at the age of 77. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

Although Cardinal Caffarra had been ill for some time, his death came suddenly.

With the death of Cardinal Caffarra there are now 220 living cardinals, of whom 120 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to take part in a papal conclave.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Sep. 06, 2017 2:24 PM ET USA

    With their request for clarification of Amoris, the four Cardinals represent most of the Church's clergy and laity. They should hear from Pope Francis before they all die waiting for his response.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Sep. 06, 2017 1:26 PM ET USA

    Oh my, a great defender of the traditional understanding of marriage and family. I am saddened that he is gone and I fear there are some who are happy he is gone.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Sep. 06, 2017 9:51 AM ET USA

    No mention of that fact that he is the second of the four "dubia cardinals" to die this year. (Cardinal Joachim Meisner died on July 5.)