Homily at the Funeral Mass for Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran
Card. Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals
St Peter’s Basilica
12 July 2018
Dear Concelebrants, Distinguished Authorities and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Family and Friends of Our Dear Deceased!
With deep emotion we are gathered around the altar of the Lord, to bid farewell to our unforgettable Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and to entrust him into the merciful hands of the Father who is in heaven.
We are numerous here today because of the different bonds that unite us to this late Pastor, whose name will always live as a blessing among us. At the end of this Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father will impart the final Blessing on the body of the Cardinal, who was already remembered by him in moving words in the telegram sent to his sister on his death.
Personally, I also keep a grateful memory of this Brother of deep faith, who courageously served the Holy Church of Christ up to the end, despite the heavy weight of his illness. May the Lord welcome this faithful servant into the glory of Paradise!
Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, the readings of this funeral Mass have reminded us of some characteristic messages of the Word of God, which can comfort us in this hour of trial.
In the first reading, it is the Apostle St. John who enlightens us saying: “Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Yes – says the Spirit – they will rest from their labors, because their works follow them (Ap 14,13).
Then in the Responsorial Psalm the Church proposes we repeat the famous prayer of the “De profundis“:
“Out of the depths I cry to You O Lord,
Lord, listen to my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication … ”
In the second reading, St. Paul then invites us not to be discouraged by the trials of life, because the Lord is always beside us. “ Therefore, we are not discouraged,” St. Paul tells us, “rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. ” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus reminds us of the true Beatitudes of the Christian. It is always moving to hear them proclaimed in our churches: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, – blessed are the meek, – blessed are the merciful, – blessed are the pure in heart, – blessed are the peacemakers!”
These Beatitudes always illuminated the life of our dear deceased Brother, like bright stars in his path.
It was therefore right for us to be many here today, to thank the Lord for giving him to us, repeating the well-known prayer: “Lord, we do not complain because you took him away, rather we thank you for having given him to us!”
I personally witnessed his great apostolic spirit in the long years of common service to the Holy See and I will always have a grateful memory of him.
It is the memory of a great figure of a priest, Bishop and Cardinal, who dedicated his life to the service of the Church and to dialogue with all men of good will.
In this way, the late Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran followed the line drawn by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which in the Constitution “Gaudium et Spes” on the Church in the contemporary world, told us: “Since God the Father is the origin and purpose of all men, we are all called to be brothers. Therefore, if we have been summoned to the same destiny, human and divine, we can and we should work together without violence and deceit in order to build up the world in genuine peace. “(Constitution” Gaudium et Spes“, No. 92). It was in this very manner that our dear, late Cardinal worked.
May the Lord now grant him his eternal reward!