Italian Cardinal Silvio Oddi Dies at 90

Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2001 ( John Paul II sent a telegram of sympathy over the death of Italian Cardinal Silvio Oddi, a former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy who served under five Popes.

The cardinal died Friday afternoon in a hospital just outside Piacenza, the diocese of his birth. He was 90.

«I recall with a grateful spirit the precious cooperation he gave to the Holy See over so many decades, at the service of five Pontiffs, as apostolic nuncio in several countries and, later, as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy,» the Pope wrote.

Before his appointment to the above congregation — he was prefect from 1979 to 1986 — Cardinal Oddi served as papal representative in several countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, France, Yugoslavia, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as the Holy Land.

Named archbishop in 1953, he attended sessions of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal in 1969.

The deceased cardinal «leaves the memory of a life spent in consistent and generous adherence to his own vocation, as a priest attentive to the needs of others, and faithful pastor of the Gospel and the Church,» John Paul II concluded.

There are now 180 cardinals, including 132 younger than age 80 who could vote for a new pope in a conclave. There are now 39 Italian cardinals, including 24 electors.

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