Canadian Cardinal Gerald Carter Dies at 91

Pope Mourns Archbishop Emeritus of Toronto

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter, archbishop emeritus of Toronto, died Sunday at his residence in the Canadian city. He was 91.

“Deeply saddened” by the news, John Paul II relayed his sympathy in a telegram sent to the current archbishop, Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic.

In his message, the Pope expresses his “grateful recognition” for the “many years of selfless service, both as an archbishop of the Church in Toronto and as a member of the College of Cardinals.”

The Holy Father offers “fervent prayers that God, the Father of mercies, will grant eternal rest to him and every spiritual consolation to those who mourn his passing.”

Born in Montreal in 1912, and ordained a priest in 1937, Gerald Carter was named bishop in 1961, and transferred to the Diocese of London, Ontario.

In April 1978, he was made the archbishop of Toronto, which he led until March 1990, when he resigned for reasons of age. John Paul II made him a cardinal in June 1979.

Bishop Carter took part in the Second Vatican Council (1962-’65) and was president of the Canadian episcopal conference and member of the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

His funeral will take place in Toronto’s cathedral this Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

With the death, the College of Cardinals now has 169 members, including 112 electors who could vote for a new pope in a conclave.

Here is the text of the papal telegram sent to Cardinal Ambrozic:

Deeply saddened upon learning of the death of Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter, archbishop emeritus of Toronto, I send condolences to you and the faithful of the archdiocese. With grateful recognition of Cardinal Carter’s many years of selfless service, both as an archbishop of the Church in Toronto and as a member of the College of Cardinals, I offer fervent prayers that God, the Father of mercies, will grant eternal rest to him and every spiritual consolation to those who mourn his passing. To the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Toronto, I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in our risen Savior Jesus Christ.

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