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Cardinal Capovilla, secretary to St. John XXIII, dies at 100

May 26, 2016

Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who served as private secretary to Pope John XXIII, died on May 26.

Cardinal Capovilla had been the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, having celebrated his 100th birthday last October. 

Ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Venice in 1940, then-Father Capovilla became secretary to Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, and accompanied him to Rome after his election as Roman Pontiff. After the death of John XXIII, he continued to serve in Rome as an expert during Vatican II. In 1967 he was appointed Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, and in 1971 became prelate of Loreto. He resigned from that post in 1988 at the age of 73.

Cardinal Capovilla was among the prelates elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2014. However, because of his failing health, he did not attend the February 2014 consistory, and received his red hat from Cardinal Angelo Sodano later that year. 

With the death of Cardinal Capovilla there are now 213 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 114 are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to participate in a papal conclave. 


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  • Posted by: Conor Cook - May. 26, 2016 9:27 PM ET USA

    That's St. John XXIII.