Deceased cardinal's “zeal and passion” praised by the Pope

The Church continued to witness to the life of Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo today as it celebrated a funeral Mass and Pope Benedict delivered a homily praising his lifelong defense of the truth, especially of the family.

As he spoke to those gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica, Benedict XVI said, "The late cardinal drew his love for the truth about mankind and for the gospel of the family from the belief that each human being and each family reflects the mystery of God Who is Love.”

The Holy Father recalled the biography of Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, noting that he was the youngest cardinal created by John Paul II in the consistory of 1983. Among other notable accomplishments, the Pope highlighted the late cardinal’s priestly ordination in 1960, his work as auxiliary bishop of Bogota in the 1970s, as president of the Latin American Episcopal Council from 1979 to 1983, as president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia from 1987 to 1990 and his appointment as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family in 1990.

One of the qualities that the Colombian cardinal was known for was his “zeal and passion" with he worked during the 18 years he spent as the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Pope Benedict described him saying, "his tireless activity in safeguarding and promoting the family and Christian marriage" as well as "the courage with which he defended the non-negotiable values of human life".

“We cannot", he added, "but be grateful for the tenacious battle he fought to defend the truth of familial love and to spread the gospel of the family".

He also recalled the Synod of 1997 during which the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family "proposed a highly effective form of spirituality for those committed to realizing the divine plan for the family.”

The Pontiff also noted that Cardinal Lopez Trujillo was attentive to science as well. At the 1997 Synod he said “if science does not dedicate itself to understanding life and to educating for life, it will lose the most important battles in the fascinating and mysterious field of genetic engineering".

Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, whose motto was "Veritas in caritate", dedicated "his entire life to affirming the truth", said the Pope. This, he explained, was because "the truth of love" always remained the bedrock of the cardinal's life. While still in Colombia, he sought "to discover the significance of genuine liberation in the area of theology" and later, in Rome, he dedicated himself to "proclaiming and spreading the gospel of life and the gospel of the family, as a collaborator of the Holy Father".

"May the generosity of the lamented cardinal - which translated into multiple works of charity, especially in support of children in various parts of the globe - encourage us to use all our own physical and spiritual resources for the Gospel, may it spur us on to work in defense of human life, and help us to look constantly to the goal of our earthly pilgrimage," the Pope concluded.

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