Pope Benedict spoke at the funeral Mass of Cardinal Urbano Navarrete on Nov.24, remembering the Spanish Jesuit – who died at the age of 90 this week – as an “educator of true justice.”
After the Wednesday general audience, the Pope moved to the St. Peter’s Basilica where the funeral Mass for Cardinal Navarrete was being celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.
In his homily, Pope Benedict called Cardinal Navarrete, who was dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and rector of the school, a "master of justice.” The 90- year-old cardinal passed away on Nov. 22.
Remarking on the family life and upbringing of the cardinal, who was one of six children, Pope Benedict said that his parents “created a climate of profound Christian faith in their family.”
With three of the Navarrete children becoming Jesuits and two professing vows as nuns, the Pope noted how the family was given “the courage to bear witness to their faith, not putting anything before the love of Christ and doing everything for the greater glory of God.”
The Pope then recalled how Cardinal Navarrete was a legal expert, particularly in the realms of canon and marriage law.
“The meticulous study and impassioned teaching of canon law were the central element of his life,” he said. “Educating the young generations in true justice, the justice of Christ, the justice of the Gospel, was the ministry Cardinal Navarrete accomplished over the course of his life.”
Pope Benedict recounted how the Spanish cardinal gave “three fundamental principles” that guided him in his studies: great love for the past and for tradition, sensitivity towards the needs and challenges of the present, and “the capacity to look and open oneself to the future, not with fear but with hope, the hope that comes from faith.”
“This profoundly Christian vision guided his efforts for God, for the Church and for man in his teaching and his works,” the Pope said.
“The shining truth of faith in eternal life comforts us each time we bid our final farewell to a deceased confrere,” he concluded. “Cardinal Urbano Navarrete, spiritual son of St. Ignatius of Loyola ... loved Christ and lived in intimate union with Him.”