Vatican Remembers a Cardinal Who Averted a War

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 8, 2005 ( A top Vatican official celebrated a Mass to mark the centenary of the birth of a cardinal who was credited with keeping Chile and Argentina from going to war.

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Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, celebrated the Mass on Tuesday in the Vatican Grottoes to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Cardinal Antonio Samorè.

In December 1978, Pope John Paul II assigned Cardinal Samorè as his special representative in Argentina and Chile, to seek a peaceful resolution to their border conflict. The cardinal’s mediation averted an imminent war between the then military-led countries.

The cardinal’s efforts led to the 1984 signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Chile and Argentina, in the presence of then Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Cassaroli.

Cardinal Samorè did not live to see the fruit of his efforts; he died in Rome in February 1983.

A native of Bardi, Italy, he was elevated to cardinal in 1967 and was named president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

He was prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments from November 1968 to December 1974, when he was appointed librarian and archivist of the Holy Roman Church.

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