Pope Francis sent his condolences to the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. following the death of Cardinal William Wakefield Baum, the Archbishop Emeritus of the archdiocese.
Cardinal Baum, the longest serving US Cardinal, passed away on July 23rd at the age of 88.
In a telegram sent to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., the Holy Father said he was “saddened” after learning of the death of the American prelate and assured his prayers “to all the faithful of the Archdiocese.”
“With gratitude for the late Cardinal’s years of episcopal service in Springfield-Cape Girardeau and in Washington, and for his long service to the Apostolic See as Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and subsequently Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, I join you in commending the late Cardinal’s soul to God the Father of mercies,” he wrote.
Concluding his message, Pope Francis imparted his Apostolic Blessing to those present at the prelate’s funeral “as a pledge of strength and consolation in the Lord.”
For his part, Cardinal Wuerl also conveyed his sadness at Cardinal Baum’s passing.
“With his death I have lost a longtime friend with whom I had the privilege of working in a variety of capacities going back to the late seventies,” Cardinal Wuerl wrote.
“As I offer my prayers for him and my sympathy to his family and friends, I also thank God for the generosity with which Cardinal Baum responded with a quiet but firm and enduring yes to God’s call that enabled him to touch, by his ministry, so many people over so many years. May God now grant him a place in the house of Our Father.”