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Italian Cardinal Giordano dead at 80

Catholic World News - December 03, 2010

Cardinal Michele Giordano, the retired Archbishop of Naples, died in that city on December 2 at the age of 80 after a short illness.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1953, the Italian cleric had been ordained as an auxiliary bishop of the Matera archdiocese in 1971. He became Archbishop of Matera in 1974, then Archbishop of Naples in 1987. In 1988 he was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II. He resigned from active ministry in 2006, having reached the normative retirement age of 75.

Known in Naples as a fearless critic of the Mafia, Cardinal Giordano was dogged for several years by legal charges involving financial dealings between the archdiocese and the cardinal’s brother, a banker who faced loan-sharking and money-laundering charges. Cardinal Giordano always maintained his innocence, and in 2004 the charges against him were dropped.

In a message of condolence addressed to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the current Archbishop of Naples, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the “intense pastoral activity” of the deceased prelate and offered his blessings to his grieving relatives and the faithful of Naples.

With the death of Cardinal Giordano there are now 201 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 121 are eligible to vote in a papal conclave.

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