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Virgilio Noe, 89; was cardinal and MC for the popes

Virgilio Noe stood next to Pope John Paul II as he celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in 1979. Virgilio Noe stood next to Pope John Paul II as he celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in 1979. (Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 27, 2011

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VATICAN CITY - An Italian cardinal who once was in charge of the physical upkeep of St. Peter’s Basilica and was a former master of pontifical ceremonies has died at age 89.

Vatican Radio said Cardinal Virgilio Noe died Sunday in Rome.

Cardinal Noe was a retired prelate in charge of the basilica and formerly ran the office that cares for the Vatican’s artistic and monumental treasures in addition to St. Peter’s.

He was elevated to cardinal’s rank in 1991 by the late Pope John Paul II.

In 1970, during Paul VI’s papacy, he was named master of pontifical ceremonies.