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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Elderly cardinal falls, fractures leg in St. Peter's basilica-- for 2nd time

October 26, 2015

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the 93-year-old vice-dean of the Collge of Cardinals, suffered a broken leg on Sunday when he fell as he was greeting Pope Francis after Mass in St. Peter’s basilica.

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The accident was, incredibly, the 2nd time that Cardinal Etchegaray had broken a leg in the Vatican basilca. On Christmas Eve in 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI entered St. Peter’s to celebrate midnight Mass, an evidently disturbed woman rushed at the Pontiff. Both Pope Benedict and Cardinal Etchegaray, who was close to him in the procession, were knocked down. The Pope was uninjured, and proceeded with the Mass without further intteruprtion, but the French cardinal was hospitalized.

Cardinal Etchegaray was taken to Gemelli Hospital after his most recent accident. Pope Francis visited him there on Sunday evening, October 25.

A former Archbishop of Marseille, Cardinal Etchegaray was president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 1984 until his retirement in 1998 at the age of 75. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by St. John Paul II in 1979, and became vice-dean of the College of Cardinals—a mostly ceremonial post that he still holds—in 2005 after the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

 


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