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from issue no. 06 - 2005

Profile of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Long-distance diplomat, a great admirer of Bach and Tosca

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran was born in Bordeaux, France, on 5 April i943. After Classics at the Michel Montaigne high school in Bordeaux, and two years spent in the upper diocesan seminary, he was sent to Rome as a student at the French Pontifical Seminary. Ordained priest on 20 September 1969, in 1973 he was called to Rome where he attended the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and the Pontifical Gregorian University, obtaining a degree in Canon Law. He entered the Vatican diplomatic service in March 1975, and was attached to the Apostolic Nunciature in the Dominican Republic, where he worked up to 1979, when he was transferred to the Apostolic Nunciature in Lebanon. He remained in Beirut until July 1983, when he was called to work at the Council of Public Affairs of the Church, chiefly concerned with international bodies. In 1988 he was nominated “vice Foreign Minister” of the Holy See. And two years later, on 1 December 1990, he was elected titular archbishop of Telepte and appointed to head the “Vatican Foreign Office”. He held the post for thirteen years, till 2003 when John Paul II created him cardinal and appointed him Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church.
Currently the cardinal is a member of many Vatican ministries. He is on the Council of the II Bureau of the Secretariat of State; of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Eastern Churches, for the Bishops; of the Pontifical Commission for the State of the City of the Vatican; and of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signet. He recently became a member also of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
Apart from playing piano and organ, Cardinal Tauran is a great admirer of the musical works of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is also fond of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and that of Fryderyk Chopin. A great reader, he is especially interested in the biographies of great historical characters. The last one read was written by Jean-Paul Desprat (Perrin, Paris 2000), a life of Cardinal François-Joachim de Pierres de Bernis, who in the 18th century was ambassador of the kings of France Louis XV and Louis XVI, and celebrated the solemn funeral of the latter in Rome, in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, after his guillotining by the Revolutionaries.

Gia. Ca.

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