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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Spanish Cardinal Jose Estepa Llaurens, a former military bishop of Spain, died July 21 in Madrid. He was 93.
Pope Francis, offering his condolences in a telegram July 22, praised the cardinal's "generous service to the church."
Cardinal Llaurens was one of the six bishops who worked with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in editing the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He also was in charge of overseeing the Spanish edition of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
His funeral Mass and burial were to be at the Cathedral of the Armed Forces in Madrid July 23.
Born in Andujar, he studied in Salamanca, Rome and Paris and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954. In 1972, St. Paul VI named him an auxiliary bishop of Madrid, where he served for 11 years as rector of the archdiocesan seminary.
Over the years, he also served as a consultant, and later member, of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy and as a member of the council of military ordinaries under the Congregation for Bishops.
In 1983, St. John Paul II named him an archbishop and head of the military ordinariate for Spain. After he retired in 2003, he continued to serve as a chaplain to retired Spanish veterans and was the grand prior of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in western Spain.
Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the college of cardinals in 2010; he was one of four cardinals over the age of 80 the pope named that consistory because they were "distinguished for their generosity and dedication in service of the church."
His death leaves the College of Cardinals with 218 members, 120 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.