Cardinal Tauran Bids Farewell to Vatican Diplomatic Corps

Describes Diplomacy as "Instrument of Dialogue"

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 27, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran bid farewell to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican, encouraging its members to cooperate with the Pope and his aides "in this exciting adventure of diplomacy, instrument of dialogue and meeting among peoples."



Following his installation as a cardinal last month, Archbishop Tauran left the office of Vatican secretary for relations with states, which he had held since 1990.

In his meeting last week with the diplomats, the cardinal said that diplomacy "is an instrument to make the world a place where it will always be possible to look at one another, to speak to one another, and to build and unite to journey together: Men's road is always God's road too."

The cardinal said his concept of diplomacy is inspired by John Paul II's words on Oct. 20, 1978. "I was secretary in the nunciature of the Dominican Republic and I took note of what the Pope said on that occasion to the diplomatic corps before the Holy See," he recalled.

"Diplomatic relations are stable, reciprocal relations under the sign of courtesy, discretion and loyalty that manifest a desire for dialogue and make a specific contribution to justice and peace in the international plane," the Pope said at the time.

These words were my "road map," Cardinal Tauran added.

The French cardinal thanked the men and women ambassadors "for attempting, together, to serve the values and principles without which a civilization worthy of man would not exist."

Among the values and principles he mentioned were the "primacy of the human person and his fundamental liberties, the promotion and defense of peace, the importance of democracy and solidarity, and the need for an international order based on law and justice."

"The present teaches us that the task is not finished; rather, a source has opened," he said in French, delivering his address in the presence of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

The fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation, the wars in central Africa, the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian problem, terrorism, and the military operation in Iraq are some of the international issues in which the cardinal has participated over the years, as he himself recalled.

Born in Bordeaux in 1943, Jean-Louis Tauran entered the Holy See's diplomatic service in 1975. He has held posts in the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

On Monday, John Paul II appointed Cardinal Tauran archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church and member of the Council of Cardinals and Bishops of the Section for Relations with States of the State Secretariat; of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, and of the Congregation for Bishops.