DETROIT — Retired Detroit Catholic Cardinal Edmund Szoka, who led the Archdiocese of Detroit in the 1980s as it closed dozens of city churches and then was budget director and administrative governor of the Vatican City State under his personal friend Pope John Paul II, died Wednesday night of natural causes at Providence Park Hospital in Novi at age 86. Szoka’s death was announced by the Archdiocese of Detroit Thursday morning.

The Michigan native, who this year celebrated his 60th anniversary as a Catholic priest, was named by Pope John Paul II to lead the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1981. Pope John Paul II named Szoka a cardinal in 1988. And in 1990, Pope John Paul II moved Szoka from Detroit to the Vatican, where Szoka oversaw economic affairs at the Vatican City State, and later served as the top administrator of the Vatican City State.

Szoka streamlined the Detroit archdiocese’s methods to make it easier for divorced Catholics to receive annulments, allowing them to remarry in the church.