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Spanish Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo dies at 94


Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo has died at 94 years old. 

After joining the Vatican's diplomatic corps at a young age, the cardinal accompanied Pope Paul VI on his trip to Colombia and become one a longtime collaborator of Pope John Paul II, who made him a cardinal in 1988. 

Cardinal Martínez Somalo was the Substitute, or Chief of Staff, in the Vatican Secretariat of State and was prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for Consecrated Life. He was also the Cardinal Chamberlain, or Camarlengo, responsible for overseeing the administrative tasks of the Vatican after a pope's death. 

The Camarlengo confirms the pontiff's death, looks after his apartment, and organizes events leading up to the conclave, as happened in 2005. 

Now, the College of Cardinals falls to 219 members.

Javier Romero

TR: JM