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Cardinal Spidlik, Czech scholar, dead at 90

April 19, 2010

Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, a Czech Jesuit scholar, died in Rome on April 16 at the age of 90.

A theologian who specialized in the study of the Eastern Christian traditions, Cardinal Spidlik received his red hat from Pope John Paul II at the conclave of 2003-- when he was already over 80, and thus unable to participate in a papal conclaveā€”in recognition of his scholarly work. Last December 17, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for the Czech prelate on his 90th birthday. In reaction to his death the Pontiff said: "It is with profound gratitude that I recall his solid faith, his paternal affability and his intense cultural and ecclesial labours, especially as an authoritative expert on Eastern Christian spirituality."

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