Colombian Cardinal Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez, who participated in the Second Vatican Council, has died at the age of 100.
Before his death on September 3, Cardinal Pimiento, the retired archbishop of Manizales, was the oldest cardinal in the world.
In a statement released after his death, the Colombian bishops’ conference said it mourned the cardinal’s death and praised him “for his contribution to peace in the country” as well as 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.
According to Vatican News, Cardinal Pimiento’s nephew, Julio Cesar Pimiento, told journalists the cardinal suffered a heart attack in the town of Floridablanca, in the Archdiocese of Bucaramanga. Cardinal Pimiento died in his residence at Casa San Jose, a retreat house for diocesan priests.
Born in 1919, Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez 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. During this time, he also 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 the age of 76.
However, during his retirement he still 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 ineligible to vote in a conclave, such nominations are used by popes to honour churchmen for their scholarship or other contributions.
His death leaves the College of Cardinals with 214 members, 118 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund