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Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte dies at 78


Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte died in Canada following a lengthy illness. He was 78.

He was ordained a priest in 1959 at the age of 22 and became a bishop in 1982. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Montreal in 1990. He was made a cardinal four years later. 

Turcotte was well-known in Canada, where he often appeared on television and radio. He also wrote a newspaper column for more than a decade.

Although he staunchly defended Catholic tradition, Turcotte supported reform and modernization of the Church. 

The Canadian cardinal participated in the conclaves that elected Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He predicted that Pope Francis would have a special focus on the poor.

The College of Cardinals now has 122 cardinals eligible to vote in a future conclave and 225 overall.