VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence for the death of Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The cardinal died in Rome on Saturday 19 April at the age of 72.
In his telegram, addressed to the late cardinal's brother Anibal, the Holy Father writes:
"Having received the sad news of the death of the beloved Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to you, to your brothers Flavio and Asdrubal, and to all your relatives. I feel close to all of you at this painful time, and I ask God, by the intercession of Our Lady of Chiquinquira, to grant eternal repose to this tireless pastor, so generously committed to the service of the Church and of the Gospel of life.
"His wide-ranging ministerial work - as priest and auxiliary bishop of Bogota, as archbishop of Medellin, secretary and president of the Latin American Episcopal Council, president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia and, finally, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family - is clear evidence of his profound love for the Church and his dedication to the noble cause of promoting marriage and the Christian family.
"At this time, I am pleased to grant you a comforting Apostolic Blessing, which I happily extend to all those who helped him, and to the bishops, priests, religious communities and faithful who accompanied him closely with their friendship and collaboration".
At the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 23 April, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will celebrate Mass with other members of the college.
The Pope will then preside at the funeral liturgy, pronounce the homily, and administer the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and of "Valedictio".
TGR/DEATH LOPEZ TRUJILLO/... VIS 20080421 (330)