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Rome Reports

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José de Jesús Pimiento, the oldest cardinal, passes away

The Episcopal Conference of Colombia announced the death of the oldest cardinal, José de Jesús Pimiento. He turned 100 on Feb. 18 and suffered a heart attack on Tuesday.

Pope Francis made him a cardinal in February of 2015. Although he was unable to attend the ceremony, he was very present. 

"He has asked to receive the biretta in Colombia, due to him not being able to come because of his advanced age."

 He was named bishop by Pope Pius XII, and since then he has known another six popes. 

With his death, the number of cardinals now stands at 214, of whom 118 are electors. 

The number will change on Oct. 5 when the pope creates new cardinals. 

Currently, the oldest cardinal is Roger Etchegaray. He lives in retirement in France and in a few days will turn 97 years old.