The L'Osservatore Romano (LOR) published an article this week noting that the unexpected passing of Bishop Wilhelm Emil Egger of Bolzano-Bressanone, where Pope Benedict XVI recently spent his vacation, is “a loss for the Synod on the Bible” which will be held on October. An expert in Sacred Scripture, Bishop Egger had been named special secretary for the event.
Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, called the death of Bishop Egger “a great loss, and his contribution and guidance will be missed. He was a friendly person who was sensitive to the problems of today’s world, which he always read in light of the Bible. He was in love with the Word of God. It is comforting to know that from Heaven he will be participating in the Synod. He had been actively involved in drafting the Instrumentum laboris, and death took him by surprise while he was preparing for the Synod,” the archbishop said.
Archbishop Eterovic also noted how the late bishop had humbly and thankfully accepted the nomination to be the Synod’s special secretary. His task was to “coordinate the work of experts and look after the drafting of proposals and other documents that the synod fathers would vote on.”
“In order to have such complete work it is necessary to have someone who is a specialist in matters of the synod, and Bishop Egger was certainly such a person,” he added.
Several months ago, Bishop Egger told LOR that he hoped the Synod on the Word of God would help the Church “to become an increasingly larger Bible group made up of men and women who, under the guidance of the Magisterium, participate in the prayerful reading of Scripture in order to be evangelized and to become evangelizers.”