I was extremely saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Camerlengo and President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, a leading figure in the Catholic Church and the Church in France.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who was born in 1943 in Bordeaux, held positions of substantial responsibility within the diplomatic service of the Holy See, which he led from 1990 to 2003, during the time of John Paul II’s papacy. He was made a cardinal in 2003, appointed Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, before being appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, positions he held until his death.
He was a great diplomat and ardent proponent of interreligious dialogue, notably Christian-Muslim dialogue, believing that fundamental to human dignity is the notion that all men are part of one human family; he was a tireless advocate for encounters and dialogue between men and women of all faiths, anxious to promote what unites rather than divides people, while respecting the identity and beliefs of each individual.
Despite being in in ill health for many years, Cardinal Tauran carried out his responsibilities until the end with a courage that earned the admiration of all those who met him.
Today, I would like to pay tribute to an exceptional man and a peacemaker.