World's oldest cardinal dies at the age of 98

World's oldest cardinal dies at the age of 98
Credit: Belga

The world’s oldest cardinal, Jozef Tomko, has died in Rome at the age of 98, the Slovak Bishops Conference announced on Monday. He had been a close associate of Pope John Paul II for many years.

The Slovakian cardinal had worked in the Vatican since 1945, holding important political positions there. In 1979, Pope John Paul II appointed him Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops and ordained him bishop shortly afterwards.

Tomko was succeeded as secretary-general by Flemish Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte in 1985, when he was made a cardinal by the Polish Pope.

However, he was best known as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a position in which he served until he retired in 2001 at the age of 77.

The cardinal was hospitalised on 25 June for a cervical spine injury, according to Vatican News. He returned to his apartment in Rome on 6 August to continue his in-home care with a dedicated nurse, but died at 5.00 a.m. on 8 August in his apartment, the news service reported.

The oldest cardinal in the world is now Angolan Alexandre do Nascimento, who is 97 years old.

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