Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican interfaith leader, dies at age 75

In a decade in the post, he built relationships of respect with leaders of many religious groups.
July 27, 2018

Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter­religious Dialogue, died July 5 at age 75 in Hartford, Connecti­cut, where he was be­ing treated for Parkin­son’s disease, the Vati­can wrote.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to head the interfaith relations council in 2007.

The French cardinal entered the role with some initial tensions because of comments Benedict made about Islam, as well as ones Tauran made himself—telling a French newspaper that Muslim belief in the Qur’an as the literal word of God makes theological dialogue between Muslims and Chris­tians “difficult.”

Yet he went on to establish relationships with leaders of many faiths. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, said Tauran “made every effort to boost solidarity among followers of all divine faiths and promote dialogue among religions without any religious bias, nescience, and extremism.”