Brazilian cardinal dies at age 88 after long illness

Cardinal_Eusbio_Oscar_Scheid_Credit_Archdiocese_of_Rio_de_Janeiro.jpg Cardinal Eusébio Oscar Scheid. Credit: Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Brazilian Cardinal Eusébio Oscar Scheid, the archbishop emeritus of Rio de Janeiro and a theologian, died Wednesday afternoon after a long period of illness.

The 88-year-old cardinal was living in the city of São José dos Campos, where he was a bishop from 1981 to 1991. He was admitted to the hospital Jan. 12 after testing positive for COVID-19 and showing signs of pneumonia.

Scheid retired as archbishop of Rio de Janeiro in 2009 at the age of 76. The following year he also retired as the bishop of the Ordinariate of Brazil for the faithful of the Eastern rite, which he had led from 2001.

The ordinariate was established in 1951 to oversee Eastern Catholics in Brazil who do not have proper jurisdiction of their own sui iuris churches.

Scheid was a member of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also known as Dehonians, making his religious profession in 1954.

He then studied theology in Rome, where he received a doctorate in Christology. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1960.

The cardinal was born in 1932 in the city of Luzerna, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

He was a professor of theology at several seminaries in Brazil and at the Theological Institute of Taubaté-SP, where he was later director of the theology faculty.

While bishop of São José dos Campos, he established the Santa Teresinha Institute of Philosophy and the Padre Rodolfo Komorek Theological Residence.

Scheid was named archbishop of Florianópolis in 1991, where he served for 10 years, until his appointment as Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro.

In the Florianópolis archdiocese he established the John Paul II Social Institute and the Emmaus Convivial Theology and Edith Stein Philosophy seminars.

He was made a cardinal by St. Pope John Paul II in 2003, while archbishop of Rio de Janeiro. He retired in 2009.

Scheid was also an advisor to the Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Latin America and a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication.

In 2007, he was a member of the Council of Cardinals created to study the Holy See's organizational and economic problems.

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