Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, died yesterday Hartford, United States, where he was undergoing treatment for Parkinson's disease. He was 74 years old.
In a condolence message to the Cardinal's sister Geneviève Dubert, Pope Francis recalled the fidelity and love of the late cardinal in the service of the Universal Church. "Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, whom I entrust to God's mercy, has profoundly marked the life of the universal Church," Pope Francis wrote.
The Holy Father noted that the Cardinal "entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See, and exercised with competence, among others, the post of Secretary for Relations with States."
"Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, he was an advisor who was listened to and appreciated, particularly because of the relationships of trust and esteem he was able to establish with the Muslim world."
"Because of his spirit of service and his love for the Church, I had named him Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church."
A Camerlengo is a cardinal who takes charge of the affairs of the Catholic Church during the sede vacante or the period between two papacies.
Pope Francis said he vividly recalled Cardinal Tauran as a "man of profound faith who courageously served the Church of Christ to the end despite the burden of illness."
The Holy Father commended the Cardinal to the peace and joy in the Lord, and as a sign of consolation bestowed his blessing to Dubert, her family and all those mourning him.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols said in a statement today: "With sadness I receive the announcement of the death of HE Cardinal Tauran. This morning I celebrated Mass for the repose of his soul.
With many others all over the world, I have always appreciated his dedication to the cause of inter-religious dialogue which is a vital task today. He brought to his ministry a sharp intellect, wide-ranging knowledge and consistent graciousness. These qualities brought him admirers everywhere.
I remain grateful to him for facilitating the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Islamic leaders from Great Britain on 5 April 2017, an event appreciated wherever Christians and Muslims seek to live together in mutual understanding.
May the Lord receive His faithful servant into the peace and joy of His presence.
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