Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, the prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura, died on January 13 at the age of 94.
Born in 1922 in Switzerland, the prelate was ordained a priest of the
Diocese of Basel and Lugano in 1946. He spent much of his priesthood in
the Roman Curia and was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the
Clergy in 1986.
From 1992 until his retirement in 1998, he led the Apostolic
Signatura, the highest ecclesiastical court. In 1994, Pope St. John Paul
II created him a cardinal.
In his telegram of condolence to the deceased cardinal’s niece, Pope
Francis called Cardinal Agustoni a “sincere and diligent collaborator of
the Holy See,” one who bore “witness to priestly zeal and loyalty to
“I raise fervent prayers to the Lord Jesus that, by the intercession
of the Virgin Mary, he may grant to the departed cardinal the eternal
reward promised to His faithful disciple,” the Pope added.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will
celebrate Cardinal Agustoni’s funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on
With Cardinal Agustino’s passing, there are now 226 members of the
College of Cardinals, of whom 120 are eligible to take part in a papal