Beloved bishop dead at 84 – 'The situation was complicated'
Bishop Javier EchevarrĂa RodrĂguez, the Prelate of Opus Dei, died Monday evening at the age of 84 in Rome, several days after being hospitalized with pneumonia.
According to a Dec. 12 statement from the personal prelature, Bishop EchevarrĂa was given the final sacraments this afternoon by his auxiliary, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz.
“Bishop EchevarrĂa was given the final sacraments this afternoon by his auxiliary, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz.
“Bishop EchevarrĂa was receiving an antibiotic to fight a lung infection,” the statement added. “The clinical situation was complicated in the final hours provoking respiratory insufficiency, which resulted in his death.”
The bishop was born in Madrid in 1932, where he met St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, an organization dedicated to spiritual growth and discipleship among the laity which teaches its members to use their work and their ordinary activities as a way to encounter God.
He was St. Josemaria’s secretary from 1953 to 1975, and was elected prelate in 1994. He was consecrated a bishop the following year.
Opus Dei stated that the prelature’s ordinary government now falls to Msgr. Ocariz. He is to convoke a congress of the community within three months to nominate a successor to Bishop EchevarrĂa, who must be confirmed by the Pope.