VATICAN CITY, JAN. 14, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II remembered Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte as a “man of peace” and “tireless architect of communion.”
The Holy Father delivered the homily at the funeral Mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Belgian cardinal.
Cardinal Schotte, former secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, died after a brief illness Jan. 10 at the age of 76.
“He was a man of peace!” said the Holy Father, who participated in the Mass without hiding his grief. “He made of the value of peace one of the characteristic points of his long service to the universal Church and, in particular, to the Holy See.”
After holding important posts in the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Scheut Missionaries) in Belgium, the United States, and Rome, the deceased cardinal “placed generously and tirelessly at the disposition of the Roman Curia his many gifts of intelligence, humanity, and spirituality,” said the Pope.
First he worked in the Secretariat of State (carrying out an important role in the Holy See’s relations with international organizations), then in the Pontifical Commission “Iustitia ed Pax,” and finally as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
“Tireless architect of communion, he contributed actively to the universal pastoral solicitude of the Successor of Peter,” acknowledged the Pope.
According to John Paul II, Cardinal Schotte was a “witness of love that comes from God and that is the foundation of the unity of the Church.”
The College of Cardinals is now composed of 120 electors and 64 non-electors (those older than 80).