Prominent Venezuelan cardinal dead at 86

.- Archbishop Baltazar Porras, president of the Committee on the Media of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, announced on Tuesday the death of Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, one of the most important figures in the history of the Church in Venezuela.

“The death of Cardinal Castillo Lara is cause for mourning not only for the Church and for Venezuelan society, but for the universal Church as well.   We all know of this role at the side of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, occupying very important posts and responsibilities,” the archbishop said.

Rosalio Castillo Lara was born on September 4, 1922, in San Casimiro in the Diocese of Maracay and was a nephew of Lucas Guillermo Castillo, Archbishop of Caracas.  He studied at the Salesian school in Bogota, Colombia.

He obtained his doctorate in Turin, Italy, and also studied at the University of Bonn in Germany.  He was ordained to the priesthood on September 4, 1949, in Caracas and was director of studies at the Institute of San Jose in Los Teques from 1949-1950.

On October 5, 1981, he became President of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia and Pro President of the Pontifical Commission for the revision of the Code of Canon Law.  In 1985 he was named president of that commission. 

He received the cardinal’s hat on May 25, 1985 and held important posts at the Vatican, including president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.  He oversaw the construction of the Casa Santa Marta, where the cardinals stay during a conclave.

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