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20180712T0855 18327 CNS TAURAN FUNERAL VATICAN 800Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, celebrates the funeral Mass for French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican July 12. Cardinal Tauran, who announced the election of Pope Francis, had a long career as a Vatican diplomat and later worked on interreligious dialogue. He died July 5 at the age of 75 in Hartford, Conn. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) Pope Francis attended the funeral Mass and presided over the final commendation of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the French cardinal who led the Vatican's outreach to other religions and who had announced to the world his election as pope five years ago. He died July 5 at age 75 in Hartford, Conn..

Pope Francis attended the funeral Mass and presided over the final commendation of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the French cardinal who led the Vatican's outreach to other religions and who had announced to the world his election as pope five years ago. He died July 5 at age 75 in Hartford, Conn..At the time of his death, he had been staying with the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in Meriden. He had traveled to Connecticut for treatment. of his Parkinson's disease.

Seated to the right of the closed casket with his head bowed in solemn prayer, the pope attended the entire ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica July 12. Typically, the pope arrives at the end of a cardinal's funeral Mass to officiate over the rites of final commendation.

Pope Francis gave the final blessing, sprinkling with holy water and incensing Cardinal Tauran's casket, upon which was laid an open book of the Gospels.

Members of the College of Cardinals, the diplomatic corps, Vatican officials, dignitaries and guests, including those of other faiths, gathered for the funeral of the late cardinal, who had spent more than 10 years as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and decades in the Vatican's diplomatic service.

Members of the Sikh and Muslim communities, along with other mourners, paid their respects before the cardinal's casket at the end of the service.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals and former Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated the funeral Mass. In his homily, he said he personally witnessed Cardinal Tauran's "great apostolic spirit" after working with him for so many years.

The French cardinal courageously served the church, particularly through his illness, Cardinal Sodano said, and he was a living example of the beatitudes.

The poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, "they are the beatitudes that will always shine on the life of our dear deceased brother like bright stars along his journey," he said.

He said Cardinal Tauran also followed the path laid out by the Second Vatican Council in "Guadium et Spes," which says that with God as the father of all of humanity, everyone is called to be brothers and sisters; therefore, "we can and we should work together withou violence and deceit in order to build up the world in genuine peace."

Cardinal Tauran, who had been living with Parkinson's disease, died July 5 at the age of 75 in Hartford, Connecticut, where he had been receiving medical treatment.

In a telegram to the cardinal's sister, who also attended the funeral Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis had praised the cardinal's "sense of service and his love for the church."

Cardinal Tauran left a deep and lasting mark on the church, the pope said in the telegram July 5, noting the great trust and esteem in which he was held, particularly by Muslims.

"I have fond memories of this man of profound faith who courageously served the church of Christ to the end, despite the weight of disease," he wrote.

An experienced diplomat and esteemed leader of the Vatican's interreligious efforts, the cardinal had grabbed the world spotlight for his other role as the top-ranking cardinal deacon in 2013, appearing at the basilica balcony to announce to the world, "Habemus papam," "We have a pope."

His death left the College of Cardinals with 225 members, 124 of whom are under 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave.

He was to be buried in his titular church in Rome, the Basilica of St. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine.

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.