“I remember with grateful spirit the collaboration that he gave for so many decades to the Holy See in the service of seven pontiffs: first in the Secretariat of State, then as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, finally as Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches,” Pope Francis wrote in a condolence telegram to Maria Luisa and Angela Silvestrini, the nieces of Cardinal Silvestrini.
“He leaves behind the memory of a life spent in adhering to his vocation as a priest attentive to the needs of others, a skilful and flexible diplomat, a pastor faithful to the Gospel and to the Church,” the Pope recalled Cardinal Silvestrini, expressing his condolence to his family, those who have known and esteemed him, as well as to the diocesan community of Faenza-Modigliana to which he belonged.
The Pope said he prays that the “Lord may welcome him in joy and eternal peace”, and sent his comforting apostolic blessing to those mourning him.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside over the funeral Mass of Cardinal Silvestrini on Friday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica.
At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, Pope Francis will preside over the Ultima Commendatio and Valedictio rites.