Spanish Cardinal Carlos Amigo dies at age 87 after lung surgery

Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo (1934-2022) Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo (1934-2022). | Miguel Ángel fotógrafo via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Spanish Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, an advocate for dialogue between Christians, Muslims, and Jews, died on Wednesday at the age of 87.

The archbishop emeritus of Seville died from heart failure at the University Hospital of Guadalajara, Spain, after his health declined following an April 25 operation to remove fluid from his left lung.

Amigo also underwent surgery at the end of February for a fractured hip, after he fell during a Mass at Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, where the retired archbishop resided.

Pope Francis expressed his condolences in a telegram sent to Archbishop Josep Ángel Sáiz Meneses of Seville on April 27.

He described the cardinal as a “devoted prelate who over the years and with fidelity gave his life to the service of God and the Church.”

He said that he prayed “through the intercession of Our Lady of Montserrat” that God would “grant him the crown of glory that does not wither.”

Amigo’s death was announced by the Seville archbishop on Twitter on April 27.

His funeral will be on April 30 in Seville Cathedral and he will be buried in the cathedral’s St. Paul chapel.

The cardinal, who was a member of the Order of Friars Minor, retired as archbishop of Seville in 2009, after 27 years at the helm of the archdiocese.

The Franciscan previously led the Archdiocese of Tangier in Morocco from 1974 to 1982.

While serving in Morocco, Amigo took part in the Holy See’s delegation for the 1976 meeting for Islamic-Christian dialogue in Tripoli, Libya.

He was also the North African bishops’ delegate for the Synod of Bishops on catechesis in 1977.

In Morocco, he was known for his work to promote the social situation of Muslim women and championing dialogue among the followers of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

While he was archbishop of Seville, Amigo welcomed Pope John Paul II to the archdiocese on two occasions, in 1982 and 1993.

He also advocated for the equal inclusion of women in Seville’s many brotherhoods: fraternal groups that organize religious festivals including the city’s famous Holy Week processions.

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John Paul II elevated Amigo to the rank of cardinal in 2003.

Amigo also participated in the 1983 Synod of Bishops on penance and reconciliation, and in the 1994 Synod of Bishops on consecrated life.

In his 13 years as archbishop emeritus, Amigo continued to be active in the Archdiocese of Seville. In 2013, a stretch of street was named after him by the Seville City Council in recognition of his contributions.

He was born in the northern Spanish town of Medina de Rioseco on Aug. 23, 1934.

This report was updated on April 28 to include Pope Francis’ condolence telegram.

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