Javier Lozano Barragán, Mexican Cardinal who died in Rome

Javier Lozano Barragan served for more than two decades as president of the Pontifical Council for Health. This is his life's work.

Javier Lozano Barragán, Mexican Cardinal who died in Rome
Javier Lozano Barragán, Mexican Cardinal who has passed away in Rome. Photo: Agencies

On the morning of Wednesday, April 20, the death of Javier Lozano Barragan, a Mexican Cardinal, was registered in Rome. The Archbishop Emeritus of Zacatecas was, for more than two decades, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, between 1985 and 2009, until he became president emeritus.

With the death of Cardinal Barragan, the College of Cardinals is made up of 210 cardinals, of which 117 are electors and 93 are non-electors. Lozano Barragan was a friend of Pope Francis, who even visited him during his illness shortly before his death.

Who was Javier Lozano Barragan?

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán was born on January 26, 1933 in Toluca, State of Mexico. He was ordained a priest in 1955, at the age of 22. He received his basic priestly formation at the diocesan seminary of Zamora, Michoacán. Between 1954 and 1958, he obtained his licentiate and doctorate in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

After his priestly ordination, he taught Dogmatic Theology, History of Philosophy at the diocesan seminary, and Pedagogy at the Normal School. From 1973 to 1975 he was president of the Mexican Theological Society. From 1977 to 1979 he was called to serve the Church in Latin America as Director of the Pastoral Theological Institute of CELAM.

On June 5, 1979, he was elected titular of the Church of Tinisa de Numidia and appointed auxiliary of Mexico. He was ordained bishop the following August 15. From 1979 to 1984 he exercised his episcopate in the Archdiocese of Mexico, in the third episcopal vicariate. He was the founder of the Pontifical University of Mexico, an academic official of the Holy See, and a member of the Superior Council of the same University from 1982 to 1985.

On October 28, 1984, he was named bishop of the diocese of Zacatecas, a position he held until 1997. From that position, he was characterized by his conservative stance and for belonging to the group of bishops allied to the political power in Mexico, known as the "Club of Rome". On August 20, 1996, John Paul II appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.