Pope St. John Paul II’s Former Spokesman Navarro-Valls Dies at 80

The Spanish journalist was suffering from terminal cancer.

(photo: Fundación Rafael Del Pino)

Pope St. John Paul II’s former spokesman, Dr. Joaquìn Navarro-Valls, has died at the age of 80.

His current successor, Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke, announced the news this evening with the following tweets:

Joaquin Navarro. RIP. Grace under pressure.

— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) July 5, 2017

Joaquin Navarro, 1936-2017.
Keep Smiling. pic.twitter.com/VCqL4GH5sS

— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) July 5, 2017

A numerary of Opus Dei and a trained doctor, the Spanish journalist had been diagnosed with terminal cancer some weeks ago.  

He passed away at 8:41 this evening at home after being discharged from the Opus Dei-run Campus Biomedico hospital in Rome.

The Vatican's chief spokesman from 1984 to 2006, Navarro-Valls had an influential role during John Paul II’s pontificate, helping the late Pontiff to communicate effectively and bringing the papacy into the modern age of social communications.

He resigned as spokesman on July 11, 2006 and was replaced by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.

See here for Opus Dei's obituary of Navarro-Valls.

An interview I made with Joaquin Navarro Valls, 26 January 2006 for The Catholic Herald: