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A Catholic statesman and an outstanding scholar

· Supreme Pontiff's condolences on death of Senator Cossiga, former President of Italian Republic ·

The Holy Father expressed his condolences upon the death of Francesco Cossiga, former President of the Italian Republic, in a Telegram addressed to his children, Giuseppe and Annamaria. Senator Cossiga died in the early afternoon on Tuesday, 17 August. He was 82 years old. The following is a translation of the Pope's Telegram, which was written in Italian and released on 18 August.

Spiritually close at this moment of grief at the news of the death of your father, Senator Francesco Cossiga, former President of the Italian Republic, I would like to offer you my most heartfelt condolences, together with the assurance of my sincere participation in the grave bereavement that afflicts the entire Italian Nation. I remember with affection and gratitude this distinguished Catholic statesman, an outstanding expert in law and in Christian spirituality, who in the public offices with which he was entrusted strove with generous commitment to further the common good. I raise fervent prayers of suffrage as I invoke from the Divine Goodness eternal peace for his soul and I warmly impart to all his relatives the comfort of the Apostolic Blessing.

Benedictus pp. XVI.

A similar message was sent on the same day to Senator Cossiga's son and daughter by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, sdb, Secretary of State. On the Pope's behalf, he also sent a telegram of condolence to H.E. Mr Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic. The following is a translation of the Pope's Message in Italian that was signed by the Cardinal.

On learning of the death of Senator Francesco Cossiga, former President of the Italian Republic, for many years a protagonist of public life and a generous servant of this country's Institutions, the Supreme Pontiff wishes to extend to you, Your Excellency, and to the entire Italian Nation, the expression of his deep sympathy while he raises fervent prayers of suffrage for this distinguished and beloved man who has now passed away.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

Secretary of State of His Holiness




St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 17, 2019