Monday, February 06, 2017

Lithuanian Cardinal Backis turns 80, drops from list of cardinal-electors

Image result for Cardinal Audrys BackisCardinal Audrys Backis, the retired Archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania, celebrated his 80th birthday on February 1. By reason of age, he is no longer eligible to participate in a papal conclave.

Although he was born in Lithuania, the future cardinal lived in exile with his family as a child. 

After ordination to the priesthood he worked as a Vatican diplomat. With the fall of the Soviet empire he was named Archbishop of Vilnius, where he led the revival of the Catholic Church after the Communist era. 

He was raised to the College of Cardinals by St. John Paul II in 2001, and retired in 2013 at the age of 76. 

There are now 226 living members of the College of Cardinals, of whom 119 are under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a papal election.

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