Pope Mourns Death of Paul VI's Secretary

Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, Former Prelate of Shrine of Loreto

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI expressed his sympathy on hearing of the death of Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, who was Pope Paul VI's personal secretary.



Archbishop Macchi died in a Milan clinic on Wednesday. He was 82.

In a telegram sent to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, the Holy Father recalled "with gratitude the profound spirituality and generous episcopal commitment, which characterized the deceased prelate's ministry."

Benedict XVI said that he "raises fervent prayers to the Lord to receive him, as a good and faithful servant, in eternal happiness, recompensing him for his constant commitment to the diffusion of the Gospel and devotion to the Most Holy Virgin Mary."

Father Macchi became secretary to Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini (the future Paul VI) when he took possession of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1955.

After Paul VI's death in August 1978, the secretary returned to his native archdiocese as archpriest of the Sacro Monte of Varese.

In 1989, Pope John Paul II named him archbishop prelate of Loreto, Italy's national Marian shrine.

Monastery

After his resignation from pastoral governance in 1996, Archbishop Macchi withdrew to a monastery of Lecco, where he dedicated himself to promote the memory of the Pope he served, collaborating with the Paul VI Institute of Brescia.

In a communiqué, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls stated that Archbishop Macchi's funeral service will be presided over by Cardinal Tettamanzi in Milan's cathedral this Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

The spokesman added: "Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, will participate in the name of the Holy Father."