Former Secretary to John XXIII Says He is Too Frail to Take Part in Ceremony on Saturday

The archbishop's name was noticeably absent from a list distributed by the Holy See today of new cardinals who will be meeting members of the public in the Vatican at the weekend.

"I asked the Holy Father to dispense me from coming to Rome, my forces are greatly diminished, and I feel uncomfortable meeting so many people," he said, according to a report by La Stampa. 

He will be made a cardinal in absentia at Saturday's ceremony, and will receive his red biretta a few days later.

At 98, the archbishop will become the oldest living cardinal, and possibly the oldest prelate in the history of the Church to receive a red hat. 


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