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French Cardinal Bernard Panafieu dead at 86

November 13, 2017

Cardinal Bernard Panafieu, the retired Archbishop of Marseille, France, died on Sunday evening, November 12, after a long illness; he was 86 years old.

Ordained in 1956 as a priest of the Albi diocese, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Annecy in 1974, then Archbishop of Aix in 1978. In 1994 he was named as coadjutor in Marseille, succeeding to become the archbishop a year later. He held that post until his retirement in 2006 at the age of 75. He was raised to the College of cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

In a message of condolence, address to Archbishop George Pontier of Marseille, Pope Francis praised the deceased French prelate for his “eminent contribution to the dialogue between cultures and religions.”

With the death of Cardinal Panafieu there are now 218 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 120 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to participate in a papal conclave.

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