By Anne Kurian-Montabone

On October 24, 2020, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin celebrated a Mass in memory of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran (1943-2018), in Rome’s church of Sant’Apollinare, where the former President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue is buried.

In his homily, reported by “Vatican News,” the Vatican Secretary of State hailed “his personal stature and diplomatic finesse, seasoned by a fine spirit.” He admitted “nostalgia” for him who was his immediate superior for more than a decade, “exemplary teacher of whom I am in debt professionally and humanly.”

Paying tribute to his courage in the sickness he lived “without being undeterred, without ever departing from his irony about himself and always abandoning himself confidently to the Will of God,” Cardinal Parolin also expressed his “hope to have a friend in Heaven who looks at us with wise affection infusing confidence in us.”

Finally, he hoped that the legacy of Cardinal Tauran,” who made of dialogue a motive of his life, founding his hope on Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life (. . . ), will motivate us to be, in the difficult challenges we face on earth, witnesses of the hope that awaits us in Heaven.”

The Vatican Secretary of State had already celebrated a Mass in memory of the deceased Cardinal in Rome’s church of Saint Luis of the French, on December 5, 2018.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran died at 75 on July 5, 2018, in the United States, after a long illness. He “marked profoundly the life of the universal Church,” wrote Pope Francis on July 6, 2018, the day after his death. “He was a listened to and appreciated adviser, in particular, thanks to the relations of trust and esteem he was able to establish with the Muslim world.” “I keep moving souvenir of this man of profound faith who served the Church of Christ courageously to the end despite the weight of his illness.”

Cardinal Tauran was born on April 5, 1943, in Bordeaux, France. Ordained priest in 1969, he entered the Holy See’s Diplomatic Service in 1975. In 1990, he was appointed Archbishop and became Secretary of the Church’s Public Affairs Council, which later became the Section for Relation with States of the Secretariat of State. John Paul II consecrated him Bishop in January 1991. He remained 13 years in the post of “Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

Pope John Paul II created him Cardinal in 2003 and appointed him Librarian and Archivist of the Holy Roman Church. In 2007, Pope Benedict entrusted to him the presidency of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

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