September 5, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Polish Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, passed away Saturday September 3rd, at the age of 87. He served as the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and was a close friend of Pope John Paul II.
The then bishop Deskur was also very influential in the eventual election of John Paul II to the papacy. In the week before the conclave, Deskur presented the young Karol Wotyla to many of the cardinals that would vote in the papal election.
Then, the day before the conclave, Deskur suffered a stroke and the entire left side of his body was paralyzed. The day after John Paul II's election he made a special visit to the hospital to see his friend telling the hospital staff the bishop had taught him how to be a pope.
After his recovery, Deskur was confirmed as an archbishop by John Paul II in 1980. During his time at the Vatican, he worked with the media, traveling to some 70 countries. He also helped launch “Radio Veritas,” a Catholic radio station broadcast throughout Asia and other parts of the world.
Benedict XVI sent a telegram to the current cardinal of Krakow, Poland making note of the “valuable contributions” made by Deskur during his 61 years in the priesthood.
The College of Cardinals now has 193 members, including 114 who are called upon to elect a new pope. members, including 114 who are called
upon to elect a new pope.