President of Pontifical Family Council Dies

Colombian Cardinal Lòpez Trujillo Was 72

ROME, APRIL 20, 2008 ( Colombian Cardinal Alfonso Lòpez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, died from a respiratory infection at the Pius XI Clinic in Rome on Saturday evening.

Cardinal Lòpez Trujillo, 72, was the archbishop of Medellín, Colombia, from 1979 to 1991.

Alfonso Lòpez Trujillo was born in Villahermosa, Colombia. As a child he moved with his family to Bogota and entered the local major archdiocesan seminary when he was a university student.

Sent to study in Rome, he earned a degree in philosophy from the Angelicum, where he also took courses in theology and sociology and studied Marxism.

After being ordained a priest in 1960, he continued studying in Rome for another two years, and then returned to Bogota, where he taught philosophy in the local major seminary for four years.

In 1971 he was named auxiliary bishop of Bogotá and received episcopal ordination that year.

He was named coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Medellín in 1978, and succeeded as archbishop of the see the next year.

He was elevated to cardinal in 1983, and in 1990 he was named president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Under his direction the council organized the first five World Encounters of Families: in Rome (1994), Río de Janeiro (1997), Rome (2000, for the Jubilee of Families), Manila (2003) and Valencia (2006). The next meeting will take place in January 2009 in Mexico City.

With the death of Cardinal Lòpez Trujillo, the College of Cardinals now has 195 members, 118 who are electors and 77 who have are non-electors, being 80 or older.