The Church today mourns the death of Cardinal Jan P. Schotte, C.I.C.M. in Rome yesterday at the age of 76.
The Belgian cardinal was secretary general emeritus of the Synod of Bishops and president of the Central Labor Office of the Holy See.
Cardinal Schotte was an enthusiastic supporter of the Church in the U.S. The cardinal, who was fluid in English, greatly supported Christendom College in Virginia along with many other institutions.
The Holy Father sent the following telegram of condolence to Hubert Schotte.
"It was with great sadness that I learned the news of the sudden demise of the dear Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, and I wish to express my deepest sympathy to you and to your relatives, as well as to the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to all those who knew and respected him.”
With a grateful soul I recall his many years of industrious collaboration with the Holy See, and especially his generous service as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.”
He leaves the example of a life spent for Christ in coherent devotion to his own priestly and religious vocation and ever attentive to social questions in complete faithfulness to the Gospel and the teaching of the Church.”
I raise fervent prayers appealing to the Lord to welcome this dearly beloved brother cardinal in joy and eternal peace, and I send to you and to others mourning his demise a comforting apostolic blessing as a sign of my sincere participation in your pain".
The Holy Father will preside at the cardinal's funeral on Friday January 14 at 11 a.m. at the altar of the Confession in the Vatican Basilica. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, will celebrate Mass along with other cardinals.