Rome: Holy Father’s Spokesperson, Matteo Bruni from the Vatican Press Office, confirmed the demise of His Lordship Cardinal Roger Etchegaray on the morning of 5th September, Thursday. The Cardinal is said to have passed away on 4th September. Pope Francis learned about the sad annihilation and quoted the Cardinal as ‘a man of dialogue and peace’, during the Holy Mass at the Nunciature of Maputo, Mozambique, where the Pope is on an apostolic visit from September 4 to 6.
At the said moment, the Pope also remembered, Colombian Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez, who was granted eternal rest on 3rd September.
The birth of Cardinal Roger Etchegaray is recorded to have happened on 25 September 1922 in Espelette, which belongs to the Diocese of Bayonne in France. Following his studies at the Minor and Major Seminary, the Cardinal had obtained a licentiate in sacred theology and a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Following his Holy ordination on 13 July 1947, he served his priestly orders in the Diocese of Bayonne until 1961. Further, he worked at the Bishops’ Conference of France, until 1970.
On 29 March 1969, the Cardinal was appointed the Auxillary Bishop of Paris by Pope St. Paul VI and on 22 December 1970 he was annointed Archbishop of Marseille and in 1975 was elected the President of the Bishops’ Conference of France for the second time.
In 1971, Cardinal Etchegaray became the first President of the newly institutionalized Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe.
In 1979, Pope St. John Paul II elevated him to the Staus of a Cardinal.
On 8 April 1984, he was annointed President of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, as well as of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. In all the years of his service, Cardinal Etchegaray has industriously worked to propagate the message of love and peace. He has been an integral part of the Papal Council, in spreading the message and theories promulgated by the Council, in many countries. In the wake of serious tension and need for peace, it was the efforts of Cardinal Etchegaray, that resulted in the assembly of the iconic Assisi Peace Meet in 1986, which saw the coming together of representatives of major religions around the globe.
Moreover, the Cardinal has carried out visits to many wartorn countries like Baghdad, Jerusalem, Middle East and so on, carrying the Pope’s message for the Universal Church.
On 30 April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI authorized the election of Cardinal Etchegaray for the status of Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals. In 2017, he stepped down from the position at the age of 94, citing his propelling age. Pope Francis himself visited the Cardinal, as he bid farewell to his native land.
The funeral of Cardinal Etchhegaray is bound to happen at the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Bayonne on 9th September.
With the demise of Cardinal Etchegaray, the Papal Council is left with a total of 213 Cardinals fro the whole Catholic Church.
(Source: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-09/cardinal-etchegaray-dead-france.html )