Spanish Cardinal Agustín García Gasco, former Archbishop of Valencia, died today in Rome after suffering a heart attack.
Garcia Gasco, aged 80 years, was in Rome to attend the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The Cardinal fell ill a few minutes before the beatification ceremony and was taken to hospital San Carlos de Nancy, near the Vatican, where he died of a heart attack.
Agustin Garcia Gasco Vicente was born in Corral de Almaguer, Toledo, on February 12th 1931. He was a Bachelor of Theology from the University of Comillas and was ordained on May 26th, 1956. In 1985 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Nona and auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Madrid-Alcalá.
On July 24th 1992 he was appointed archbishop of Valencia, where he remained until his retirement in 2006.
In July 2006 he was in Valencia when Pope Benedict XVI made his first trip to Spain to preside over the V World Meeting of Families.
On November 24th 2007, Agustín García-Gasco was created cardinal by Pope Ratzinger in the second consistory called by Benedict XVI.
Agustín García-Gasco was one of the most militant bishops and an outspoken critic of many of the policies of the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, particularly on matters related to gay marriage, the Organic Law of Education (LOE) and the ‘express divorce law’.