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Slovak Cardinal Tomko dead at 98

August 08, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Jozef Tomko, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, died early on Monday morning, August 8.

At 98, Cardinal Tomko had been the oldest living member of the College of Cardinals. He was hospitalized in June because of an injury to his cervical spine, but released last week to spend his final days at his home in Rome.

Born in what was then Czechoslovakia—now Slovakia—the future cardinal was sent to study in Rome and ordained in Rome in 1949. He served in several Vatican posts, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Bishops, before being secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops in 1979. He remained in that office, helping to organize four worldwide Synod meetings, until Pope John Paul II made him prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization: a position that he held until his retirement in 2001 at the age of 77. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

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