Colombian Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez

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Colombian Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, who participated in the Second Vatican Council, died Sept. 3. He was 100.

At the time of his death, Cardinal Pimiento, the retired archbishop of Manizales, was the oldest cardinal in the world.

In a statement, the Colombian bishops’ conference said it mourned the cardinal’s death and praised him “for his contribution to peace in the country” and his efforts in “raising awareness for the common good and development” of his people.

“The bishops raise prayers for him and give thanks to God for his vocational witness and long life, as well as express their fraternal condolences to the family of the cardinal and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Bucaramanga,” the bishops’ conference said.

Cardinal Pimiento died in his residence at Casa San Jose, a retreat house for diocesan priests, in the Archdiocese of Bucaramanga.

He was ordained a priest in 1941 in Bogota. After serving several assignments, including as parish priest and a professor at the seminary, he was named a bishop by Pope Pius XII in 1955.

Four years later, he was appointed bishop of Monteria by St. John XXIII. In 1964, St. Paul VI appointed him to lead the Diocese of Garzon-Neiva. He attended four sessions of the Second Vatican Council as a council father.

He served as president of the Colombian bishops’ conference in 1972 and, three years later, was appointed as bishop of the Archdiocese of Manizales by St. Paul VI. St. John Paul II accepted his retirement in 1996 at age 76.

During his retirement he remained active in ministry, including serving as a missionary in the Diocese of Apartado.

In 2015, Pope Francis announced then-Archbishop Pimiento would be among five prelates over the age of 80 to be created cardinals. Although such appointees are ineligible to vote in a conclave, the nominations honor them for their scholarship or other contributions.—CNS

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