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OBIT-DEPAOLI (UPDATED) Oct-11-2007 (490 words) xxxi

U.S.-born archbishop, nuncio to Australia, dies in Miami Beach

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- U.S.-born Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli, the Vatican nuncio to Australia, died Oct. 10 in the intensive care ward of Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla., the Vatican newspaper said.

The newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said the 73-year-old archbishop had been diagnosed with leukemia in March 2005.

"Despite the treatments he underwent, he was physically very debilitated in the last few weeks" and doctors recommended that he return to the Archdiocese of Miami, where he was incardinated, it said.

The newspaper said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, sent Archbishop De Paoli a message in late August, assuring the archbishop of his prayers and those of Pope Benedict XVI, "asking the Lord to grant him serenity, comfort and strength."

The archbishop sent a brief message to the Vatican Oct. 6, "expressing his devotion and his gratitude to the Holy Father," the newspaper said.

Archbishop De Paoli's funeral will be held Oct. 17 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Miami.

The same day in Canberra, Australia, a memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Christopher Cathedral. The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference also will offer a Mass for the repose of the archbishop's soul when the bishops gather in November for their plenary meeting.

Born Aug. 19, 1934, in Jeannette, Pa., he was ordained to the priesthood for the then-Diocese of Miami in 1960. After completing a degree in canon law, he entered the Vatican's diplomatic corps in 1966.

He served in Vatican embassies in Zambia, Venezuela and Canada before working in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Ordained a bishop in 1983, he served as the Vatican's chief representative in Sri Lanka, then as the Vatican representative in southern Africa, in Lesotho and in Swaziland.

The Vatican and South Africa established diplomatic relations in 1994 after the dismantling of apartheid, and Archbishop De Paoli became the Vatican nuncio to the country.

After serving as nuncio to Japan, he was named nuncio to Australia in late 2004.

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide expressed sadness over the death of Archbishop De Paoli in an Oct. 11 letter to Cardinal Bertone.

"Archbishop De Paoli's personal and friendly demeanor allowed him to mix easily with those he met at the many and varied functions and activities he attended which make up Catholic life in Australia," said Archbishop Wilson. "Above all, his love and fidelity for Jesus Christ and the church, and his loyal service to the Holy Father, (were) always most evident."

Jesuit Father Mark Raper, president of Catholic Religious Australia, expressed appreciation for Archbishop De Paoli's attention to the leaders of Australia's religious congregations. He said in an Oct. 11 statement that the archbishop "was respectful of the role of religious and appeared to understand the value of their prophetic and contemplative role in the church and in society."


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