Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran (born 3 April 1943) is a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Roman Curia, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.


Born in Bordeaux, Jean-Louis Tauran studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University (from where he earned licentiates in philosophy and theology, and in 1973 his Doctorate in Canon Law) and Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, and the Catholic Institute in Toulouse. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Marius Maziers on 20 September 1969, and worked as a curate in the Archdiocese of Bordeaux before entering the Vatican's diplomatic service in 1975. He was secretary of the nunciatures to the Dominican Republic (1975-1978) and to Lebanon (1979-1983). Tauran became an official of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church in 1983, and then participated in special missions in Haiti (1984), and Beirut and Damascus (1986). He was also a member of the Vatican delegation to the meetings of the Conference on European Security and Cooperation, Conference on Disarmament in Stockholm, and Cultural Forum in Budapest and later Vienna.

Styles of
Jean-Louis Tauran
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Thelepte (titular see)

Secretary for Relations with States

On 1 December 1990, Tauran was appointed Secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State and Titular Archbishop of Thelepte by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on 6 January 1991 from John Paul II himself, with Archbishops Giovanni Battista Re and Justin Francis Rigali serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. As Secretary, Tauran essentially served as the foreign minister of the Vatican. In regards to the Iraqi conflict, he once emphasized the importance of dialogue and the United Nations[1], and said that "a unilateral war of aggression would constitute a crime against peace and against the Geneva Conventions"[2].

Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church

He was created Cardinal Deacon of S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine by John Paul in the consistory of October 21, 2003. On the following November 24, he was named Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, overseeing the Vatican Secret Archives and Vatican Library. In late 2003, Tauran mourned the "second-class" treatment of non-Muslims in "many Muslim countries," especially Saudi Arabia[1].

Representing the Pope, Tauran attended the March 2005 dedication of the new Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. That same year, he was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.

President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

In spite of the Cardinal's having Parkinson's disease Pope Benedict appointed Tauran as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on 25 June 2007. This shows the disease is not getting any worse for the cardinal and thus is able to handle more responsibility. Cardinal Tauran fully assumed this position on 1 September 2007. In this post, he his also in charge of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims.

He is a friend of the Anglican Dr. John Andrew, former rector of St. Thomas Church in New York City. For Andrews' fiftieth anniversary of his ordination in late June 2007, Cardinal Tauran traveled to New York and served as a guest preacher[3].


War in Iraq

Cardinal Tauran was a fierce critic of the United States over questions of war and peace. He described the American-led invasion of Iraq as a “crime against peace” and a violation of international law if undertaken. [4] He asserted that the facts speak for themselves on Iraq and that paradoxically Christians were better protected under Saddam's dictatorship. [5]

Relations with Hindus

Each year the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends a message, signed by its President, to Hindus for the feast of Diwali, which is celebrated during the month of October. In the 2009 message, Tauran called for the promotion of integral development, protection of human life and respect for the dignity and fundamental rights of the person.[6]

The Council sends similar messages each year on the occasion of the feasts of Eid ul-Fitr (Islam) and Vesak (Buddhism).


In a breakfast meeting with journalists, Tauran did not pull his punches when speaking of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. He said Williams had been “mistaken and naive” for suggesting that some aspects of Sharia law in Britain were unavoidable. [7] He also said that he did not want an impression to grow that there are different classes of religion. [8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Whispers in the Loggia. Tauran Around the City June 25, 2007
  2. TIME Magazine. Fighting the Tide March 2, 2003
  3. Ibid.
  4. Card. Tauran a Fierce Critic of the US over Questions of War and Peace
  5. Christians safer under Saddam, Vatican official says
  6. Vatican: Cardinal sends message for Hindu holiday
  7. Ex-diplomat Cardinal Tauran pulls no punches now
  8. What the Cardinals believe

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Undersecretary for Relations with States
1989–1 December 1990
Succeeded by
Claudio Maria Celli
Preceded by
Angelo Sodano
Secretary for Relations with States
Succeeded by
Giovanni Lajolo
Preceded by
Jorge María Mejía
Librarian of the Holy Roman Church
Succeeded by
Raffaele Farina
Preceded by
Jorge María Mejía
Archivist of the Holy Roman Church
Succeeded by
Raffaele Farina
Preceded by
Paul Poupard
President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
Succeeded by
la:Ioannes Ludovicus Petrus Tauranno:Jean-Louis Tauranpt:Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran

ru:Торан, Жан-Луи sv:Jean-Louis Tauran

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