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Cardinal Silvestrini, veteran Vatican insider, dead at 95

August 29, 2019

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, long an influential figure in Vatican affairs, died on August 29 at the age of 95. The Italian prelate had served in the Secretariat of State, eventually becoming the Vatican’s “foreign minister” in 1979. In 1988 he was raised to the College of Cardinals and made prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. Three years later he was moved to be prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, holding that post until his retirement in 1999. A leading liberal, Cardinal Silvestrini was linked to the “St. Gallen mafia.” With his death the College of Cardinals now has 215 members, of whom 118 are eligible to vote in a papal conclave.

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