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Card. Godfried Danneels dies at 85

Cardinal Godfried Danneels died on March 14, 2019, at age 85. He was the archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels and known for his writings and books on the topic of liturgy. 

Pope Francis sent a letter of condolences saying that he “zealously served the Church with dedication” both “in his diocese and at the national level. ” He asked God to welcome Danneels with “peace and joy.”

The oldest of six children, he was ordained a priest at age 24.

Danneels participated in many Vatican congregations including Evangelization of Peoples, the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishops and the Clergy. 

He also was a member of the “St. Gallen Group.” It is described as an informal organization of reformist clerics in the Church, who met annually in St. Gallen Switzerland. 

When Benedict XVI was elected in 2005, the group allegedly tried to block his election. Likewise, the group reportedly helped contribute to Francis' election in 2013. 

In 2011, he was involved in mishandling a sexual abuse case with former bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who had molested two of his nephews.