Pontiff Mourns Cardinal Innocenti
Led Vatican Congregation and Commissions
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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 8, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a telegram expressing his condolences at the death of Cardinal Antonio Innocenti, who died Saturday at age 93.
Cardinal Innocenti was past prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, and past president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
The papal telegram, addressed to the cardinal's sister, Maria Antonietta Baggiani, mentioned Cardinal Innocenti's "testimony of fervent priestly zeal and faithfulness to the Gospel" during his many years serving the Church.
Antonio Innocenti was born in Italy in 1915 and ordained a priest in 1938.
He served as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 1986 to 1991; as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (then the Commission for the Conservation of the Artistic Patrimony of the Church) from 1988 to 1991; and as the president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei from 1991 to 1995.
He was named a cardinal in 1985.
The funeral Mass for the Italian prelate will be presided over by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, on Wednesday. After Mass, Benedict XVI will address the people and preside over the rites of final commendation and farewell.
With the death of Cardinal Innocenti, the College of Cardinals now has 193 members, including 116 electors and 77 non-electors.