Italian Cardinal Severino Poletto arrives at a pre-conclave meeting on March 9, 2013, at the Vatican. The cardinal passed away on Dec. 17, 2022, at the age of 89. / Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images
Rome Newsroom, Dec 19, 2022 / 11:15 am (CNA).
The Italian Cardinal Severino Poletto died in his home Saturday evening at the age of 89.
Poletto was the retired archbishop of Turin, a city in northern Italy. Since his retirement in 2010, he has been living in Moncalieri, a southern suburb of Turin.
As head of the Archdiocese of Turin, Poletto oversaw the display of the Shroud of Turin for the Jubilee Year 2000. He also hosted the first International Symposium on Shroud Studies in March 2000.
His 11 years as archbishop of Turin followed 10 years as bishop of Asti, another northern Italian diocese.
Poletto was ordained a priest in 1957 in Casale Monferrato. In 1980, at age 47, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Fossano, Italy; he became bishop of Fossano six months later.
Pope John Paul II made Poletto a cardinal in a consistory in February 2001, the same consistory in which Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, was created cardinal.
On Monday, Pope Francis sent a message of condolence for Poletto’s death.
“I think of this brother, who spent his life as a shepherd of God’s holy people,” the pope said, noting that the cardinal was attentive to the laity and “dedicated in particular to families, young people, and the promotion of catechesis.”
“He wanted to devote himself unsparingly, animated by the desire to be close to priests and to give impetus to evangelization, including through significant public events,” he said.