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College of Cardinals


[Updated: 11.06.2001]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


EYT Card. Pierre

© Gregorz Galazka



Cardinal Pierre Eyt, Archbishop of Bordeaux, France, was born on 4 June 1934 in Laruns, Pyrénés-Atlantiques, in the Diocese of Bayonne. His parents were Jean Eyt and Joséphine Gabastou. In Haut Ossau, Bèarn, his family name can be found in 14th century registers (1366).

He studied at the state school in Laruns, St Joseph d'Oloron Sainte-Marie's, and went on to the Michel-Montaigne secondary school in Bordeaux. He obtained his diploma in 1952. He studied law at an advanced level from 1952 to 1954, at the Istitute for legal studies and economics in Pau.

He entered Bayonne seminary in 1954, and the seminary of the Catholic Institute of Tolosa in 1955. He did his military service as sub-lieutenant of the 27th Battalion of the Chasseurs Alpins in Kabylie (east Algeria) from 1956 to February 1959. He studied philosophy and theology at the Catholic Institute in Tolosa. He was ordained priest on 29 June 1961 in Bayonne, and appointed chaplain of St Louis of the French in Rome (1963). He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in theology (1967) and was a researcher at the Vatican Library (1963-1966).

He became assistant, relator and later, professor at the faculty of theology of the Catholic Institute in Tolosa (1967-1972). He was also vice-rector (1972) then rector, of this Institute (1975-1981), as well as a member of the International Liturgical Commission (1980), rector of the Catholic Institute in Paris (1981) and president of the Union of Catholic Institutes for Higher Education in France (1982).

After being appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Bordeaux on 7 June 1986, he was ordained Bishop on the following 28 September. He was also Secretary of the Synod of Bishops in Rome (1987), and a member of the Doctrinal Office of the French Episcopate (1988).

On 31 May 1989, he succeeded to the rank of Archbishop of Bordeaux. He also became a member of the Bordeaux Académie nationale des sciences, lettres et beaux arts (1990). In 1991 he was a delegate of the French Episcopate at the First Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops and he took part in the Synod of Bishops on the 'Consecrated Life' (October 1994).  Member of the Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops (1999).

"Je crois en Dieu", a commentary on the Creed, Paris, Desclée de Brouwer, 1985; "L'Avenir de l'homme", Paris, Desclée, 1986 are among his major publications.

The honours with which he has been decorated include the Palmes académiques (1981), and the Croix du Mérite de 1ère classe of the Republic of Germany (1979) for his cooperation at university level.

Created and proclaimed cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 26 November 1994. Titular church, Most Holy Trinity on Monte Pincio.

Card. Pierre Eyt died on 11 June 2001.


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