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Prominent Beninese cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the highest ranking Catholic to come from Africa since ancient times, as some popes were believed to have originated there.


ANS – Autograph Note Signed, one page, 1970, on his imprinted biglietto. Untranslated. Very good.  Also accompanied by a 4"x6" signed color litho print portrait (signed on the reverse).


Gantin served as Metropolitan Archbishop of Cotonou and then at the Vatican in the service of the Holy See as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace . Went on to serve as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops. Ultimately, Gantin served as Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, a post his French consecrator as a bishop once held and the same position Joseph Ratzinger had after Gantin and before his election as Pope Benedict XVI. He enjoyed a close relationship with Pope John XXIII, Popes Paul VI and John Paul I, and most especially, with Pope John Paul II and his fellow curial cardinal and future Pope, Joseph Ratzinger.


Like many senior African prelates of his era, Gantin was relatively conservative yet esteemed by both his native land and in Vatican circles. His tomb in Ouidah, which is frequently visited, was visited personally by Pope Benedict during the Papal Visit to Benin. In May 2013, Vatican officials inaugurated a Chair about “Socializing Policy in Africa” bearing his name at the Pontifical Lateran University.

GANTIN, Cardinal Bernard (1922-2008)

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