Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

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chapel StJohn Nov2014 97 900x600Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran anoints the altar during the Solemn Mass for the Dedication of the Chapel and Altar at the Chapel of St. John on the campus of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in Meriden, on Nov. 1, 2014. The chapel was built to serve the growing community of Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in Meriden at the cardinal’s suggestion. (Photo by Bob Mullen)  (CNA/EWTN News) — After a long battle with Parkinson's Disease, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, a seasoned Vatican diplomat who announced Pope Francis' election to the world in 2013, died Thursday in Hartford.

Tauran, who until his July 5 death served as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, had traveled to Connecticut for treatment. He was staying with the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in Meriden, which lies within the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford issued a statement about the death of Tauran, which can be found here.

Despite a progressive decline in his health because of Parkinson's disease,  Cardinal Tauran made a lengthy and historic visit to Saudi Arabia in April to advance the Holy See's relationship with Saudi authorities, and to reinforce dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

Born in Bordeaux, France in 1953, Tauran turned 75 April 3 and has a long track record of diplomatic service in the Vatican.

Ordained a priest in September 1969, the late cardinal held licentiate degrees in philosophy and theology, and he also held a degree in canon law.

After serving as parochial vicar for a period of time after his ordination, Tauran in 1975 entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See when he was named the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

He was then sent as a papal envoy to Lebanon, and later represented the Holy See at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), participating in multiple conferences throughout the continent.In 1988 he was named undersecretary for the then-Council for the Public Affairs of the Church – now known as the Section for Relations with States in the Vatican's Secretariat of State – and in 1991 Pope John Paul II appointed him secretary of the dicastery and made him an archbishop.

In that role, which is equivalent to a Foreign Minister, Tauran led delegations from the Holy See to numerous international conferences.

The cardinal was appointed archivist and librarian for the Vatican in 2003, and in October of that year was given a red hat by Pope John Paul II.

In 2007, he was named by Pope Benedict XVI as president of the council for interreligious dialogue.

Benedict in 2011 named him “cardinal protodeacon,” a role usually given to a senior prelate who is then tasked with announcing the name of a new pope after his election. Tauran held this position when Francis was elected in March 2013, meaning it was his voice that carried the words “habemus papam” to the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and locals awaiting the announcement in St. Peter's Square.

After his election, Pope Francis established the Pontifical Referring Commission to the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), also called the “Vatican bank,” to study ways of reforming the institute, and named Tauran a member.

In December 2014 Francis named Tauran as Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, meaning he was the prelate tasked with keeping the Vatican running after the death of a pope.Several diplomats, priests and fellow prelates have reacted to the cardinal's death, taking to social media to praise him not only for his kindness and humor, but for his longstanding service to the Church.

In a July 6 tweet, British Ambassador to the Holy See Sally Axworthy said she was sad to hear about Taruan's death, and said he had shown the embassy “great support” at an event organized in January.

“He was both an intellectual giant and a man of great warmth and humour, who worked tirelessly to build relations with the Muslim world. We will miss him greatly,” she said.

Eduard Habsburg, Hungarian ambassador to the Holy See, also showed his sympathy by retweeting a“RIP” to Tauran saying he was “a great man of the Church.”

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican Council for Culture, also tweeted a “RIP” for Tauran accompanied by one of the late cardinal's quotes: “What is threatening us is not the clash of civilizations, but rather the clash of ignorance and radicalism. To know yourself is to recognize yourself.”

Father Manuel Dorantes, a Chicago priest and a strategic advisor to the Vatican dicastery for communications, tweeted out a prayer for the prelate, asking: “may the Lord embrace lovingly this kind and gentle man who served the Church so faithfully.”

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.