Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thousands Attend Funeral of Br. Roger

More than 10,000 people were on hand for the funeral, held at the Church of the Reconcliation at Taize. The mourners-- in a congregation that overflowed the church-- included dignitaries such as German President Horst Köhler, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux, Rev. Jean-Arnold de Clermont, the head of the French Protestant Federation, Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber, and representatives of the Russian and Romanian Orthodox patriarchates.

In his homily at the funeral-- which was a Catholic service, at Brother Roger's request-- Cardinal Kasper said that "the springtime of ecumenims flowered on the fields of Taize." He paid homage to the inspiration of Brother Roger, who brought together Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians to pray and work together. The Taize community in France now draws thousands of Christian pilgrims every year. They are attracted, Cardinal Kasper said, by the example set by Brother Roger, "a great spiritual master."

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