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Lithuanian Cardinal Audrys Bačkis turns 80 years old

2017-02-01

The archbishop of Vilnius (Lithuania) Audrys Juozas Bakis turns 80 years old, and thus loses his right to enter a conclave.

His father was a diplomat, and in 1937, a year after the future cardinal was born, his entire family moved to Paris.

World War II, and the Soviet Union, prevented them from returning home until 50 years later.

Cardinal Bakis has been a diplomat of the Holy See for years, and has worked in the Netherlands, Nigeria, Turkey and Costa Rica.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, John Paul II appointed him archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania. Since then, his priority has been to rebuild the structures of the Catholic Church in the country and to help those in need.

John Paul II made him a cardinal in 2001. 

Once they turn 80, Cardinals lose the right to vote in a conclave. The current number of cardinal electors stands at 119. 

JMB