Pope Benedict mourns death of influential Latin American Cardinal

.- Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his personal condolences at the death of Cardinal Raul Francisco Primatesta, Archbishop emeritus of Cordoba, Argentina, a man who has been called a “living testimony to the social doctrine of the Church.”

The Vatican announced that the Holy Father has sent an official letter of condolence to Archbishop Carlos Jose Nanez of Cordoba.

Upon learning of the Cardinal’s death, the Pope wrote, “I offer my fervent prayers, united to the faithful of that diocesan community and to those of San Rafael, where Cardinal Primatesta previously exercised with faithfulness his episcopal ministry, asking God to grant eternal rest to he who, for so many years, was a diligent pastor.”
“Remembering his selfless pastoral work that distinguished his episcopal service in that nation,” the Holy Father continued, “working for the implication of the doctrines of the Second Vatican Council and for the renewal of the Church in faithfulness to Christ and toward the successor of Peter,” he expressed his condolences and also extended his apostolic blessing to participants in the funeral Mass “as a sign of Christian faith and hope in the Risen Lord.”

Following his retirement as Archbishop of Cordoba, Cardinal Primatesta became President of the Commission for Social Concern of the Argentinean Bishops' Conference.

As such, he was a critical and highly respected social mediator, who prevented greater conflict during the Argentinean Social crisis in the late 1990's.

Even in his later years, he was frequently sought by political authorities and social leaders for his advice in ways to avoid conflict. He was regarded by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as "a living testimony of the Social Doctrine of the Church."

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