STA, 11 April 2020 - Alojz Uran, who served as the Archbishop of Ljubljana between 2004 and 2009, has died at the age of 75, the Slovenian Bishops' Conference announced on Saturday.
Uran was named the Archbishop of Ljubljana in October 2004, succeeding Archbishop Franc Rode, who became the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
He resigned in November 2009, officially due to health problems, to be succeeded by the coadjutor archbishop of Maribor, Anton Stres.
It became public only later that Uran was instructed by the Holy See to withdraw from public life. Under a decree from the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, he left Slovenia to live and work in Trieste.
He was allowed to return to Slovenia in 2015, where he performed pastoral activities and participated in other activities of the local church. His health deteriorated in recent years and his activities were very limited.
Born in Ljubljana, Uran was ordained to the priesthood in June 1970, at the age of 25. Before being appointed the Archbishop of Ljubljana, he served as Auxiliary Bishop of Ljubljana since 1992.
The Slovenian Bishops' Conference said that due to the coronavirus epidemic, Uran's funeral will be held in family circle in Ljubljana Cathedral. A memorial service will be held at a later date, when the end of the epidemic is declared.
Condolences have already been expressed by Prime Minister Janez Janša and President Borut Pahor.
Janša told Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore over the phone that with his openness and tireless will, Uran had been an important building element in the Slovenian Catholic Church.
"The Catholic public has lost a dedicated shepherd who acted for the benefit of the Slovenian nation," the prime minister was quoted by the Government Communication Office.
Pahor also expressed his sincere condolences over Uran's death to Archbishop Zore and the Slovenian Bishops' Conference.
Zore said in a video statement published on the website of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference said that Uran had a good and joyful heart, adding that he was thankful for the "gift of Uran's life, spirituality and bishophood."
The Ljubljana archbishop noted that Uran had been very ill and had undergone several surgeries in the last three months, and that he had spent his last days in solitude. "He accepted this as part of his offerings," he added.