Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - With deep sadness and gratitude for the service rendered, the collaborators of the Vatican Dicastery for Evangelization received the news of the death of Slovak Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He died this morning in Rome at the age of 98 (March 11, 1924 -August 8, 2022) and was the eldest Cardinal in the College of Cardinals.
Born on March 11, 1924 in Udavské in the Archdiocese of Košice in Slovakia, he was ordained a priest on March 12, 1949 for the then Diocese of Košice. He had begun his work in Rome as an Official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was later appointed Undersecretary of the Congregation for Bishops.
On July 12, 1979 he was appointed Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops and on September 15, 1979 he was consecrated Titular Archbishop of Doclea. He was created Cardinal in the Consistory of May 25, 1985.
The Cardinal's great spiritual and missionary legacy - recalled today in the Dicastery for Evangelization - includes the accounts of his experiences in the apostolic journeys during the sixteen years that he was at the head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
These were pastoral trips to establish new dioceses, found new churches, seminaries, educational and health centers or trips to prepare for the visits of the great missionary John Paul II. For him, every experience was a gift from God to the Church and the world, each journey a testimony of what the Spirit accomplishes and what is to be shared so that the message of Jesus Christ can reach all peoples. (Agenzia Fides, 8/8/2022)