Cardinal Jean-Louis “profoundly marked the life of the universal Church,” wrote Pope Francis on July 6, 2018, the day after the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who, suffering from Parkinson’s, passed away in the United States.
“He was a listened to counselor and appreciated in particular thanks to the relations of trust and esteem that he knew how to cultivate with the Muslim world,” the Holy Father remembered in his telegram, in French, addressed to the sister of the French cardinal from Bordeaux, Genevieve Dubert.
Pope Francis also shared his special memory of “this man of profound faith who has courageously served the Church of Christ up until the end, despite the weight of his illness.”
Here is a working Zenit translation of the Pope’s telegram:
Mrs. Geneviève DUBERT
Hearing with sadness the passing away of your brother, His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, I wish to express my condolences and my union in prayer with the members of your family and all those affected by this mourning. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, whom I entrust to the mercy of God, has profoundly marked the life of the universal Church. He joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was able to serve as Secretary for Relations with States. Named by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, he was a listened to counselor and appreciated, in particular, thanks to the relationships of trust and esteem he was able to cultivate with the Muslim world. Because of his sense of service and his love for the Church, I had named him Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. I have fond memories of this man of profound faith who courageously served the Church of Christ to the end, despite the weight of his illness. May the Lord welcome his servant in his peace and in the joy that never ends! As a pledge of comfort, I send you, Madam, the Apostolic Blessing, as well as to all your family, to the College of Cardinals, all the relatives of the deceased Cardinal, pastors and faithful of the Archdiocese of Bordeaux, as well as to all those who will take part in the funeral celebration.
FRANCISCUS PP.[Working translation by Zenit Vatican Correspondent, Deborah Castellano Lubov]