Oldest member of College of Cardinals dies at 98
April 30, 2010
Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, who had been the oldest living member of the College of Cardinals, died in Rome on April 28, a few weeks short of his 99th birthday.
Born in Bavaria in 1911, Paul Augustin Mayer joined the Benedictine order in 1931 and was ordained in 1935. For years he taught at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, serving as rector from 1949 to 1966. After serving as secretary for the commission preparing for Vatican II, he became secretary of the Congregation for Religious. In 1984 he was named to head the Congregation for the Sacraments-- which later became the Congregation for Divine Worship-- and remained in that post until 1988. He then was named president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, and held that title until his retirement in 1991 at the age of 80. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
In a message of condolence on the cardinal's death, addressed to Father Notker Wolf, the abbot primate of the Benedictine order, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that Cardinal Mayer "leaves the indelible memory of an industrious life spent with mildness and rectitude in coherent adherence to his vocation as a monk and pastor, full of zeal for the Gospel and always faithful to the Church."