It’s a very brief announcement by way of Associated Press news:
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 the age of 89.
Vatican Radio says Cardinal Virgilio Noe died on Sunday in Rome.
Actually, Cardinal Noe had an important role in helping to preserve our Anglican Patrimony, through his service as chairman of the 1983 meetings in Rome, during which the Book of Divine Worship was compiled. And not only did he serve as chairman, but he had pity for a young American priest involved in those deliberations – a newly-ordained priest who was completely inexperienced in the workings of the curia, and who was in danger of being plowed under by those on the committee who were far more experienced. I was that young priest, and it was then-Archbishop Noe who took me under his wing and helped me make several points which eventually had an effect on the resulting Anglican Use liturgy.
In fact, he was especially helpful in giving me the opportunity to argue for the inclusion of our traditional translation of the Roman Canon. No one else on the committee wanted it to be included. My lone voice was very weak, and there was pressure to call for a vote – which would have ended the discussion. Archbishop Noe saw the disappointed look on my face, and in his heavily-accented English he said to me, “This is very important to you, no?” He didn’t need to wait for my answer. He simply made the decision that the vote would be put off until the next day, and then he told me to prepare a locution, to be delivered to the assembled body, in which I should put forward all my reasoning for including the Roman Canon in traditional English, and he warned the others that they would be expected to listen carefully, and to pray before voting. I worked on my notes into the early hours of the morning, and was up before dawn, ready to head to the office where we were meeting.
I presented the locution. Cardinal Noe made sure everyone saw him nodding his head throughout. The vote was taken. We had our translation of the Canon.
In your charity, pray for the repose of the soul of Virgilio Cardinal Noe. He was a friend when we needed one.