August 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Pope Francis offers condolences on Cardinal Szoka's death

Detroit — Pope Francis says he offers his “heartfelt condolences” to the Detroit archdiocese over the death of Cardinal Edmund Szoka.

The pope sent a note to Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron on Thursday, a day after Szoka’s death. The archdiocese released the note Friday.

In it, he says he recalls “with gratitude the late cardinal’s tireless episcopal ministry.”

Szoka died of natural causes at Providence Park Hospital in Novi. He was 86.

In addition to leading Detroit’s Catholics, Szoka later served as the governor of Vatican City.

Since his retirement from active ministry in 2006, Szoka had been living in Northville.

Szoka’s funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 9844 Woodward, with Vigneron presiding.

Visitation will be at the cathedral from 2-9 p.m. Sunday, with a prayer service, the Office of the Dead, at 7 p.m. Visitation also is scheduled from 2-9 p.m. Monday at the cathedral, with a Rosary service at 3 p.m. and a vigil service at 7 p.m.

Cardinal Edmund Szoka (Paul Sancya / AP)