Slovakian Cardinal Josef Tomko died on Monday morning. He was the Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the oldest member of the College of Cardinals.

Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, died in Rome at 5 a.m. on Monday, 8 August, aged 98.

The Slovak-born Cardinal was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals. He was created a Cardinal in 1985 by Pope John Paul II.

Cardinal Tomko died in his apartment in Rome, where he was cared for by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

He had been admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on June 25 due to an injury to his cervical spine, and he had returned home on Saturday, August 6, to continue his in-home care, with a dedicated nurse.

During his stay in the hospital, he was visited by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Upon receiving the news of his death, the Slovak bishops’ Conference invited the faithful to pray for the repose of the soul of the Cardinal. The date of the funeral in Rome and subsequently in Košice will be announced.

An initial message from the Press Office of the Slovak Bishops’ Conference read:

“It is with a heavy heart and at the same time with the hope of resurrection that we announce that His Eminence Cardinal Jozef Tomko rendered his noble soul to the Lord today, August 8, 2022, in the early hours of the morning at his residence in Rome, surrounded by his closest associates.

We invite all to include him in their prayers. More information about the funeral in Rome and the burial at St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral in Košice, where he will be buried, will be provided in the near future.”

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