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French Cardinal Etchegaray, former vice-dean of College of Cardinals, dead at 96

September 04, 2019

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the retired vice-dean of the College of Cardinals, died on September 4, just short of his 97th birthday.

Cardinal Etchegaray had been named an auxiliary bishop of Paris in 1969, then Archbishop of Marseilles in 1970, before being called to Rome to serve as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 1988. He served in that role until his retirement in 1998 at the age of 75.

Cardinal Etchegaray had been president of the French bishops’ conference from 1975 to 1981, and of the conference of European bishops’ conferences from 1971 to 1979.

He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1979. In 2005 he became vice-dean of the College; he stepped down from that honorary post in 2017, at the age of 94, and returned to live his last days near his native Bayonne, France.

The French prelate’s death came shortly after that of Cardinal José de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez, who was 100 years old. The two had been the oldest living cardinals.


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