LIMA, Peru, FEB. 25, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Church leaders are mourning the death of 43-year-old Germán Doig Klinge, renowned Latin American thinker, vicar general of the Sodality of Christian Life, and coordinator of the Christian Life Movement.
Doig died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep the night of Feb. 13.
Mexican Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera described Doig as an “apostle of the new evangelization, gifted with great Christian wisdom.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, remembered Doig as “a man of profound faith, enormous charity, and qualities that are very difficult to replace.”
Luis Germán José Doig Klinge was born in Lima on May 22, 1957. He studied philosophy at the pontifical and state University of Lima, as well as law at St. Martin de Porres University.
Doig wished to serve God in the Sodality of Christian Life, a society of apostolic life, with founder Luis Fernando Figari. Doig was the second member to profess perpetual vows, after Figari.
In 1984 Doig founded the Christian Life Movement, which is present today in many countries of America and Europe. His intellectual thirst led him to found and direct the Life and Spirituality Institute and the review VE.
An indefatigable collaborator of the Peruvian bishops´ Commission of the Laity, Doig worked coordinating different ecclesial movements and promoting the laity, in keeping with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.
He was the author of many books, including “John Paul II and Culture in Latin America,” “Human Rights and the Social Teaching of the Church” and “The Challenge of Technology: Beyond Icarus and Daedalus.” This latter work, published last year, has been an important contribution to reflection on the place of technology in culture and its relation to the human person.
Doig participated in the 4th General Conference of the Latin American bishops, held in the Dominican Republic in 1992, as special guest of John Paul II. In April 1996, he was appointed by the Holy Father as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. He also participated as auditor in the Special Assembly of the Synod for America, held in Rome in late 1997.
There, Doig in an address noted that “the great perspective given to us, to assume the prophetic intuition of the Vicar of Christ and look with realism toward the challenges to evangelization in the third millennium, must be an ecclesiology of communion. An imperative is discovered within it: reconciliation. There can be no real communion unless it is preceded by genuine reconciliation.”
Bishop Fernando Antonio de Figueiredo of Santo Amaro, Brazil, a one-time president of the Cultural Commission of the Latin American bishops´ council, recalled his first meeting with Doig. He said was impressed by Doig´s “jovial appearance, and his profound look of a man of God and man of the Church.”
In recent years, Doig´s reflections on the Christian meaning of death were increasingly rich and profound.
On one occasion he wrote: “Our awareness of death will not be either the paralyzing fear generated by the uncertainty of ´when it will come,´ or the illusion that it will never come to us. Our attitude of watching is also an attitude of prayer, of reverent listening to the Word; it is the silence that welcomes the divine plan in order to implement it. This is nothing other than living permanently in the Lord´s presence.”