Oldest Italian cardinal dies at 95

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Italian cardinal Luigi De Magistris has died at 95 years old. 

He was made a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2015, when the Pope kept him by the altar to share some words with him.

At the time De Magistris was 88 years old, meaning he was never eligible to vote in a conclave.

Pope Francis has sent this telegram to the Archbishop of De Magistris' native Cagliari to share his condolences, in which he describes him as a “diligent and wise collaborator” of the Pope's predecessors, and praises his love for the ministry of reconciliation.

Under Pope John Paul II, De Magistris was the Pro-Major Penitentiary, head of the Vatican tribunal responsible for issues relating to the forgiveness of sins committed in the Church, such as desecrating the Eucharist. 

The role is one of only three persons who retain their position during a sede vacante, after a pope dies or retires. 

Cardinal De Magistris died at his home in Cagliari just one week before his 96th birthday as the oldest living Italian cardinal. 

The college of cardinals falls to 213 members, of which 119 are currently eligible to vote in the next conclave. 


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