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Joaquin Navarro-Valls, longtime Vatican spokesman, dead at 80

July 05, 2017

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the chief public spokesman during the pontificate of St. John Paul II, has died at the age of 80.

A Spaniard who was trained in medicine before becoming a journalist, Navarro-Valls was appointed as director of the Vatican press office by Pope John Paul II in 1984. The first journalist to serve in that role, became a key adviser and close friend of the Polish Pontiff. He remained in place as Vatican spokesman when Pope Benedict XVI was elected, retiring in 2006.

The death of Navarro-Valls was announced on July 5 by Greg Burke, who now occupies his former post as director of the Vatican press office.

 
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