Cardinal Simonis (88) died

Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, emeritus archbishop of Utrecht, passed away. He was 88 years old.

Simonis was bishop in Rotterdam for thirteen years and was archbishop of Utrecht between 1983 and 2007. In 1985 Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal, which is the highest rank in the Roman Catholic Church after the Pope.

Cardinal Eijk, Simonis’ successor, says in a statement that the Church is losing someone “with a great pastoral heart.

Simonis was initially known as orthodox and conservative, but later became more open to modernizing the faith. He remained opposed to issues such as euthanasia and abortion, but debated them.

For the last few years Simonis lived in a care centre in Voorhout, not far from his birthplace Lisse. Cardinal Simonis was honest about the prospect of death, the archdiocese of Utrecht writes in an in memoriam. “He was not looking forward to the narrow gate that will soon await us all. Paradise lies behind it, but we must first take on the adventure alone.”