By Vatican News staff writer
In a telegramme to the current Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, O. Cist., Pope Francis says he received with deep regret the news of Cardinal Scheid’s death.
He also offers “prayerful solidarity” to all the faithful who found him to be “a zealous pastor.”
The Pope writes that the late Cardinal’s Episcopal motto is “God is Good,” which he says, “Reminds us of God’s goodness to His Church.” He adds, “This remembrance is truly consoling when we remember beloved Eusebio’s gift that served the people of God so diligently, having been the first Bishop of São José dos Campos.”
Pope Francis also remembered the Cardinal’s pastoral care as Archbishop of Florianopolis and at the Metropolitan See of San Sebastian of Rio de Janerio.
In the telegramme, the Pope thanks “the Most High for having given to the Brazilian Church such a generous pastor."
“I offer fervent prayers to welcome him into eternal happiness and console him with hope in the resurrection and to all those who mourn the loss of their beloved pastor.”
Cardinal Scheid had tested positive for Covid-19 and been admitted to the hospital on 12 January with a possible case of pneumonia.
Life and ministry
Bishop Eusebio was born in Luzerna, Santa Catariana, on December 8, 1932. He attended elementary school and high school at the Seminary of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Corupá, Brazil.
A religious of the Congregation of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, (also known as Dehonians after their founder, Leo John Dehon), he made his religious profession on 2 February 1954. He studied Philosophy in Brusque, Brazile (1954) and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy (1955-1957), where he also studied Theology (1957-1964). He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1960 in Rome. He continued his postgraduate studies and received his Master's and Doctoral degrees in Christology. On 18 February 1981 he was named first bishop of the Diocese of São José dos Campos, Brazil, where he was ordained bishop on 1 May 1981.
On 23 January 1991 he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Florianopolis. In 2001 he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro. He was made a Cardinal on 21 October 2003, by Pope John Paul II. He became Archbishop emeritus in April 2009.
Before being ordained bishop, Cardinal Scheid worked at the Cristo Rei Seminary and Northeast Regional Seminary, Recife, Brazil (1964-1965); Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Liturgy at the Theological Institute of Taubaté (1966-1981) and Aparecida; Coordinator of Catechesis in Taubaté (1970-1974); Director of the Faculty of Theology in Taubaté; Guest Professor at PUC, São Paulo to teach Religious Culture (1966-1968).
As bishop, he performed the following services: Bishop of São José dos Campos(1981-1991); Archbishop of Florianópolis (1991-2001); President of South Regional 4 - CNBB (1994-1998); Member of the Episcopal Commission of Doctrine of CNBB for 12 years; Ordinary for the faithful of the Oriental Rite without their own Ordinary (2001); director of family pastoral care in South Regional 1 for 8 years.
At the Vatican he was a Counselor of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America from 25 November 2002; Member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication on November 29, 2003; Papal Legate of St. Benedict XVI to the XV National Eucharistic Congress in Florianopolis from May 18-21, 2006. At the CNBB he was a member of the Permanent Council; Member of the Episcopal Commission for the National Sanctuary of Our Lady Aparecida; President of the Eastern Regional 1 - CNBB (2003-2007).
Cardinal Scheid participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.
He was also a member of the Council of Cardinals for the study of the organizational and economic issues of the Holy See from 17 January 2007.