Catholic World News

Cardinal Piovanelli dead at 92

July 11, 2016

Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, the archbishop emeritus of Florence, died on July 9 at the age of 92.

Born near Florence in 1924, Piovanelli was ordained an archdiocesan priest in 1947. He worked for a dozen years as vice rector of the minor seminary before being named a parish priest and, in time, archdiocesan vicar general.

Pope St. John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of Florence in 1982 and archbishop of Florence in 1983 following the death of Cardinal Giovanni Benelli. Archbishop Piovanelli was created a cardinal in the consistory of 1985 and led the Church in Florence until his retirement in 2001.

In a telegram of condolence, Pope Francis said that the prelate faced his final illness with “a serene heart and with trustful submission to the Lord's will.”

He added, “I think with affection of this dear brother in the episcopate, who served the Gospel with joy and wisdom and loved the Church tenaciously, recalling with gratitude his intense pastoral work, first as a zealous priest and auxiliary bishop, and then as an attentive and wise guide of the archdiocese.”

With the death of Cardinal Piovanelli, there are now 212 members of the College of Cardinals, 112 of whom are under 80 and thus eligible to vote in a papal election.

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