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The death of Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño

· Protagonist of the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala ·

Three days of national mourning were proclaimed in Guatemala for the death of Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, at 6:45 a.m. on Monday, 4 June. The Archbishop emeritus of Guatemala died following post-surgical cardiac arrest in Hermano Pedro Hospital, to which he had been admitted on 31 May. Last 8 March he celebrated his eightieth birthday. He was born in Guatemala City in 1932 and was ordained a priest on 21 September 1956. Then on 5 April 1972 he was appointed titular Bishop of Gadiaufala and Auxiliary of Zacapa and received episcopal consecration on 13 May that same year. In 1975 he was appointed Coadjutor of the diocese and succeeded as Bishop of Zacapa on 16 February 1980. On 24 June 1986 he was appointed Prelate of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas. On 19 June 2001 he became Archbishop of Guatemala and at the Consistory of 21 October 2003 was created and published a cardinal, with the title of San Saturnino. On 2 October 2010 he resigned from the pastoral government of the Archdiocese. The Cardinal's funeral will be celebrated on 7 June at 10:00 am in the Cathedral where he will subsequently be buried. On this occasion a collection will be taken up for the John Paul II Paediatric Hospital,  which the Cardinal always supported. “Justice for the poor and an end to violence in Guatemala: this sums up my whole mission”, Cardinal Quezada Toruño used to say, when recounting his long and passionate service to the Church. He played a major role in the peace process, which was recognized in his homeland and in international organizations, starting with the United Nations. From 1987 to 1993 he was Chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission which led to peace between the militants and guerrillas after 36 years of strife. In the “Basic Agreement for the Search for Peace by Political Means (26-30 March 1990) [also known as the Oslo Agreement] he was appointed “conciliator in the peace process” of Guatemala.

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