Pope Offers Mass for Recently Deceased Cardinals and Bishops

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 6, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II celebrated Mass today in St. Peter´s Basilica for the cardinals and bishops who died this past year.

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«On the wall of the shadow of death, faith projects the radiant light of the Risen One, first fruit of those who have passed from the frailty of the human condition and now share in God the gift of life without end,» the Pope said in his homily.

The Holy Father mentioned the names of the deceased cardinals. They are Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky, Eastern-rite archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine; Giuseppe Casoria, former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; José Alí Lebrún Moratinos, former archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela; and Pierre Eyt, former archbishop of Bordeaux, France.

Other deceased cardinals are Thomas Joseph Winning, archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland; Silvio Oddi, former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; and Giuseppe Maria Sensi, Vatican diplomatic representative.

John Paul II made special mention of the death of Greek-Melkite Patriarch Maximos V Hakim of Antioch.

The Pope said, «With his cross, Christ also gave new meaning to death. In him, in fact, the latter becomes a sublime gesture of love in obedience to the Father, and supreme testimony of mutual love for brothers.»

«Because of this, considered in the light of the paschal mystery, the end of human existence is no longer a condemnation without the possibility of appeal, but the passage to full and final life, which coincides with perfect communion with God,» the Holy Father concluded.

The College of Cardinals now has 179 members, including 130 electors who could vote for a new pope in a conclave.

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