Pope Sends Condolences for Death of Cardinal Biffi

Imparts Blessings Upon Loved Ones of Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna

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Pope Francis has expressed his heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, who died early Saturday at the age of 87 after battling health issues.

In a telegram sent the same day to the current archbishop of the Italian city, Cardinal Carlo Caffara, during the Pope’s Apostolic Visit to Latin America, July 5-13, Francis expressed his deep sympathy to the diocese and to all loved ones of Cardinal Biffi.

Born in 1928, Giacomo Biffi would go on to serve as Archbishop of Bologna from 1984 to 2003. In 1985, he had been elevated to cardinal. The late cardinal’s funeral is taking place this morning in Bologna’s main cathedral and its Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Caffara.

The Pope’s telegram noted, “I learned with sadness of the death of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, after long illness,’ and how he thinks ‘with affection of this dear brother in the episcopate, who served the Gospel with joy and wisdom and loved the Church.” He also recalled the late cardinal’s years of intense pastoral work, especially as a priest and auxiliary bishop in Milan, and his ‘tireless service.’

The Pope’s message concluded, praying to Mary that the late Cardinal be welcomed into Heaven and imparting his Apostolic Blessing.


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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