Paul Joseph Jean Poupard (born August 30, 1930) is a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is currently President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture and was for a time President of Interreligious Dialogue in the Roman Curia. Poupard was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985.
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|Reference style||His Eminence|
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|See||Santa Prassede (titular)|
Poupard was born in Bouzillé, Angers, and raised in a very Catholic family and culture. Heavily influenced by his pastor, to whom Poupard credits his vocation, he studied at the minor seminary in Beaupréau, University of Angers, and École Pratique des Hautes Études of the Sorbonne (from where he obtained his doctorates in theology and history). Poupard was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Stanislas Courbe on December 18, 1954, and then taught at the Mongazon School. After entering the French section of the Secretariat of State in 1959, he was raised to the rank of Chaplain of His Holiness on March 20, 1965, and later Honorary Prelate of His Holiness on November 29, 1971. Poupard was Rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris from 1972 to 1980, and also served as Vice-President of the Society of French Ecclesiastical History.
On February 2, 1979, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Paris and Titular Bishop of Usula. Poupard received his episcopal consecration on the following April 6 from François Marty, with Archbishop André Pailler and Bishop Jean Orchampt serving as co-consecrators, in the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A year and a half later, in 1980, he received a position in the Roman Curia, the Vatican's governing body, as Pro-President of Non-Believers. In 1985, Poupard was promoted to President of Nonbelievers and, at the same time, was proclaimed a Cardinal Deacon by Pope John Paul II. In addition to his other presidency, Poupard became the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture in 1988. The two positions were merged in 1993. He remained in this position until it expired with the sede vacante after Pope John Paul II's death in 2005; Benedict XVI immediately re-appointed him as President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and then on March 11, 2006 also appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Poupard has been interested in the relationships between faith and reason, Church and state, and science and religion from an early age.
Cardinal Poupard is an accomplished scholar and author. Some of his writings have been translated into languages including Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. He holds doctorates in theology and history from the Sorbonne, as well as honorary doctorates from at the Universities of Aix-en-Provence, Fu Jen, Louvain, Kyoto, Santiago de Chile, Puebla de los Angeles and the Babes-Bolyai University/Cluj-Napoca.
Poupard has been the Cardinal Deacon of Sant'Eugenio from 1985 to 1996 and Cardinal Priest of Santa Prassede since 1996 and was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.
On 3 September 2007 Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Cardinal Poupard and named as his replacement Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, who will likely be made a Cardinal in the next consistory. Ravasi had been a monsignor and the prefect of the Ambrosian Library.
- The text of a speech given by Cardinal Poupard, June 27, 2001
- Pontifical Council for CultureHomepage of the Dicastery presided over by Cardinal Poupard
|President of the Pontifical Council for Culture|
19 April 1988–3 September 2007
| Succeeded by|
|President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue|
11 March 2006–1 September 2007
| Succeeded by|