An estimated 12,000 Christians from many denominations attended the funeral of Brother Roger, the Protestant founder of the Taizé community in the picturesque Burgundy region of France. Presiding over the funeral Eucharist was Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s top ecumenical officer. The hymns and chants of Taizé, well known around the Christian world, were sung throughout the liturgy August 23 at the Church of Reconciliation.
At an emotional moment, the new community leader, Brother Alois Leser, asked in many languages for God’s forgiveness for the woman who mortally stabbed the 90-year-old spiritual leader August 16 as he celebrated evening prayers with young pilgrims. The 36-year-old Romanian woman was said by police to be mentally ill.