In a personally signed telegram, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his profound sorrow at the passion of Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger, Archbishop Emeritus of Paris, who he described as a man of faith and of dialogue.
The Pope sent a message to Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois, the current Archbishop of Paris, in which he expressed his “profound unity in prayer with the Archdiocese of Paris, with the members of his family and with all those affected by the disappearance of this grand figure of the Church in France.”
The Holy Father entrusted “the beloved Cardinal Lustiger, who generously consecrated his life in service to the people of God in the Diocese of Orleans and in the Archdiocese of Paris, to the mercy of God.”
“I give thanks to the Lord for his episcopal ministry, as I remember this pastor who was passionate for the search for God and for the proclamation of the Gospel in the world,” the pope said in his message. “During his ministry to students, he expressed his concern for young people. In the communities entrusted to him, he contributed to developing the missionary commitment of the faithful and he was especially devoted to renewing formation for priests and the laity.”
Benedict XVI called the late cardinal a “man of faith and of dialogue” who “generously devoted himself to promoting ever-more fraternal relations between Christians and Jews.” In addition, as an “intellectual visionary, he knew how to put his gifts at the service of the faith in order to make the Gospel present in all atmospheres of life and society.”
The Pontiff concluded his telegram imparting his apostolic blessing upon the faithful of the archdiocese and those who will participate in the funeral this Friday.