VATICAN CITY, AUG. 23, 2012 ( Benedict XVI sent a message of condolence to the bishop of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, upon the death Monday of his predecessor, Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, 88.

The cardinal served as president of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, as well as serving as bishop of Hwalien (1979-1991) and Kaohsiung (1991-2006).

He was a priest of the Society of Jesus, ordained in 1955 at the age of 31. He was a native of Puyang.

The Pontiff recalled his "dedicated service" and expressed his gratitude to God for his work.

"I offer you, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of those Dioceses, and indeed the entire Church in Taiwan, my condolences and the assurance of my prayers," the papal message added. "In joining you and all who mourn him, including his Jesuit confreres, I commend his priestly soul to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father. To all assembled for the solemn funeral Mass, and as a pledge of peace and consolation in the Lord, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing."