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Brazilian Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns dies aged 95

Brazilian Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns died on Wednesday morning, aged 95, after a long struggle with lung and kidney problems.

The Archbishop Emeritus of Sao Paulo was the last living Cardinal to be appointed by Pope Paul VI in 1973.

Cardinal Arns served as Archbishop of Sao Paulo from 1970 to 1998. A pastor at heart, never far from his flock, Cardinal Arns was much beloved by the faithful.

He was also known for having challenged leaders of the brutal Brazilian military dictatorship of 1964-1985 and for his fight against torture in Latin America.

A commission created by Cardinal Arns at his Archdiocese documented many cases of torture and helped later governments pay damages to victims and shame perpetrators of violence.

"Let us praise God for the Franciscan life of Dom Paulo and for his courageous engagement in the defense of human dignity and inalienable rights of each person," Sao Paulo Archbishop Odilo Scherer said in a statement.

Cardinal Arns will be buried in Sao Paulo's Central Cathedral.

Following his death, the College of Cardinals is composed of 227 Cardinals, of whom 120 are Cardinal Electors, while 107 are Cardinal Non-Electors.

[Source: Vatican radio, Vatican City, 14Dec16]

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