Cardinal Roger Etchegaray (96) Dies; Oldest Cardinal For 1-Day — First Suburbicarian See Bishop To Die In 11-Years.
He was the OLDEST living cardinal for all of one day!
Yes, the prior day Colombian Cardinal José Rodriguez died, aged 100. And then 24-hours later, French Roger Marie Élie Etchegaray, 96, died.
Etchegaray was kind of a legend. Well respected and liked. He had been a cardinal since 1979 (i.e., 40 years).
But, he never attended a conclave! He turned 80 in 2002 (after being a cardinal for 23-years) and aged-out to become a non-elector.
He was elected Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals just ahead of the 2005 conclave but was too old to attend. He, still the Vice-Dean, also missed the 2013 conclave.
He was a bona fide Cardinal Bishop, i.e., held the title to an original Suburbicarian See. There are only 7 of these, and the Dean, automatically gets two. So, only 5 remain. They are scarce. The last time one was vacant was 2008, i.e., 11-years ago. Now Francis gets the chance to promote someone to this vacant Suburbicarian See making him a bona fide cardinal bishop.