Cardinal Giuseppe Caprio Dies at 90

Former Prefect for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- On learning the news of the death of Cardinal Giuseppe Caprio, Benedict XVI sent a message to acknowledge his service to the Church.

Cardinal Caprio died Saturday at age 90. He was the retired Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and the retired president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

In a telegram, sent to Maria Caprio, the cardinal’s sister, the Pope expressed his admiration for this «solicitous collaborator of five Popes, my predecessors, who entrusted delicate and important missions to him.» His fidelity to the Bishop of Rome resulted in his expulsion from China in 1951.

Benedict XVI will preside over the cardinal’s funeral rites Tuesday in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Giuseppe Caprio was born on Nov. 15, 1914, in Lapio, Italy. Ordained a priest in December 1938, he studied at the Ecclesiastical Pontifical Academy and immediately after worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

In 1947 he was sent to the apostolic inter-nunciature of China, where he worked until 1951, the year he was expelled by the Communists, after spending three months without being able to leave his residence.

Pope Paul VI entrusted him with the delicate office of substitute of the Secretariat of State in June 1977. Pope John Paul II appointed him head of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See in April 1979. He made him a cardinal the following June 30.

From 1981 to 1990 Cardinal Caprio was president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and from 1988 to 1995 Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

With his death, the College of Cardinals now has 180 cardinals, including 112 electors who could participate in a conclave.

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