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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 15.01.2014]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


TAURAN Card. Jean-Louis

© Arturo Mari/L'Osservatore Romano



Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, was born on 5 April 1943 in Bordeaux, France. He was ordained a priest on 20 September 1969. He holds licentiates in philosophy and theology and a degree in canon law. Following ordination, he served as parochial vicar in Bordeaux. 

In March 1975 he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was assigned to the Apostolic Nunciature of the Dominican Republic, and was later transferred to the Apostolic Nunciature in Lebanon. He represented the Holy See at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and participated in various European conferences.

In 1988 he was appointed Undersecretary of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church. 

On 6 January 1991 he was consecrated as titular Archbishop of Thelepte and appointed as Secretary of the Council (now known as the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State). He has led the Holy See Delegation at numerous international conferences.

On 24 November 2003 he was nominated Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church.

On 25 June 2007 he was nominated President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

On 26 June 2013 he was nominated a member of the Pontifical Referring Commission to the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by the Bl. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Deaconry of S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine (St. Apollonius at the Neronian-Alexandrian Baths). Proto-deacon as of 21 February 2011.

Member of:

  • Secretariat of State (second section);
  • Congregations: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for the Oriental Churches; for Bishops;
  • Pontifical Councils: for Promoting Christian Unity; for Culture;
  • Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature;
  • Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;
  • Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State;
  • Cardinal Commission for the Supervision of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR);
  • Special Council for the Middle East of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.



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