Italian Cardinal Bafile Dies at 101

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2005 ( Cardinal Corrado Bafile, the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, died in Rome. He was 101.

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Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College, presided Saturday at the funeral Mass of Cardinal Bafile, who died on Thursday after a brief hospitalization in the Pius XI Clinic.

Born in the Italian city of Aquila, Corrado Bafile studied law in Germany. He worked as a lawyer until he pursued a call to the priesthood at 33.

As Cardinal Ratzinger recalled in the homily, Corrado Bafile’s life became a constant search for God in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, as apostolic nuncio in Germany and finally as prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes.

In a message of gratitude addressed to Cardinal Ratzinger, John Paul II remembered the deceased cardinal as «competent» and an «appreciated» servant of the Gospel.

The Church now has 183 cardinals, including 120 electors under the age of 80 who could vote in a conclave for a new pope.

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