France: the new cardinals

Source: FSSPX News


Bishop Jean-Louis Tauran was born in Bordeaux on April 5 1943. After his ordination in September 1969, he was assigned to parish work in his native city, then was admitted to the Ecclesiastical Pontifical Academy in Rome, the school for apostolic nuncios. He was then sent to the Dominican Republic, then Lebanon from 1979 to 1983. He was subsequently assigned to the Secretariat of State. At 47 years old, he is Secretary for Relations with States, that is chief of diplomacy for the Holy See. He has the reputation for having a boundless courtesy. His next position is not yet known. Certain observers think that his worrisome state of health would make him decline any offer of an official post in the Curia.

Bishop Bernard Panafieu, age 72, originally from Aveyron in South-Central France, has been Archbishop of Marseille since 1995. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialog and President of the Episcopal Committee for Interreligious Relations, being a specialist in the dialog with Islam. He was behind the document of the French bishops on the dialog with Islam that appeared in 2000. With the mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, he started the association called Marseille espérance (Hope-Marseille), which gathers representatives of all the religions for a better stewardship of this multi-religious city. In January 2002, he declared: “There is an urgent need to develop an authentic interreligious dialog to avoid the devaluing of identity of the ‘religions of revelation’ whose pretensions to universality and to truth are seriously called into question by the intolerance they seem to inspire” (sic).

Bishop Philippe Barbarin, age 52, has been Archbishop of Lyon for 15 months. On hearing of his elevation to the cardinalate he declared: “It surprised me. In a way, it was expected when one becomes bishop of Lyon, but usually one to four years after arriving”. He is an innovator in his episcopal style, his desire to be close to his flock: informal, active (he participates in marathons) and direct. His capacity to sum-up an idea quickly makes him popular with journalists. He appears regularly at his cathedral, on Friday evenings. He is well-versed in the theological thought of Fr. de Lubac and of Hans Urs von Balthasar.