The information company stated the cardinal had been hospitalized for pneumonia earlier within the month, after testing optimistic for Covid-19. He had been ill for a while.In a telegram despatched to the cardinal’s sister on Saturday, Pope Francis expressed his condolences.”I recall his diligent work alongside so a lot of my predecessors, who entrusted him with vital tasks within the Vatican diplomacy, as much as the fragile workplace of secretary of state,” Francis stated.Sodano was a long-time Vatican presence, having served two popes as secretary of state and as dean of the School of Cardinals. He remained influential even in retirement.However he confronted extreme criticism through the church sexual abuse disaster. In 2005, throughout a gathering with then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he reportedly requested her to intervene in a sexual abuse lawsuit within the state of Kentucky, which named the Vatican as a defendant. However she declined, the Nationwide Catholic Reporter stated on the time.He repeatedly got here underneath strain through the years that adopted for downplaying sexual abuse or blocking investigations into the scandal.