Pope Francis expressed his condolences for the death of Polish Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
In a telegram sent to Wladislaw Grocholewski, the Cardinal’s brother, the Holy Father expressed his “closeness” to him and to his family in this time of mourning by those who “knew him and esteemed the deceased Cardinal.”
Pope Francis recalled “with gratitude, the meritorious work he carried out as valuable docent in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian and Lateran Universities,” as well as his authorship “of numerous scientific publications.”
In particular, the Cardinal dedicated himself “generously at the service of the Holy See, first as Secretary and Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and then as Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
In these areas he gave witness of “priestly zeal, fidelity to the Gospel and edification of the Church,” added the Pontiff.
Finally, the Pope elevated a prayer to the Lord that “He may give the deceased Cardinal the eternal reward promised to His disciples,” and sent his family members, “who mourn his passing,” the Apostolic Blessing.
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski’s funeral rites will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 18, at the Vatican Basilica’s Altar of the Chair. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, will celebrate the Liturgy together with the Cardinals.
At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, the Holy Father will preside over the rite of the final Commendatio and Valedictio.
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski
Born on October 11, 1939, in Brodki, Poland, he was ordained for the Archdioceses of Poznan on May 27, 1963. For three years he worked in Poznan’s Christ the Redeemer parish, before obtaining a Doctorate in Canon Law from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.
From 1972 to 1999 he worked in the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura as Notary, Chancellor, Secretary, and Prefect. During this time he was one of the seven members of the Commission that studied, together with the Pope, the draft of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and taught Canon Law at the Gregorian and Lateran Universities and the Studio Rotale.
On December 21, 1982, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Agropoli and consecrated on January 6, 1983. He was promoted to Archbishop on December 16, 1991.
On November 15, 1999, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and in March 2015, for reasons of age, he became its Prefect Emeritus. At present he was Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Cardinal Grocholewski took part in the Conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI, and in the Conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
He was created Cardinal by Saint John Paul II in the Consistory of February 21, 2001, with the title of S. Nicola in Carcere Saint Nicholas in Prison.