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French cardinal taken ill while concelebrating Easter Sunday Mass with Pope

April 09, 2012

A French cardinal fell ill while concelebrating Easter Sunday Mass with Pope Benedict XVI, and had to be escorted from the altar to rest.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran took a seat near the altar, and remained there through the Eucharistic celebration, after he suffered a spell of weakness—perhaps brought on by the warm sunshine in St. Peter’s Square, where a large congregation had assembled for the Mass on Easter Sunday morning.

Cardinal Tauran is the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. Although he is only 69 years old, he has been diagnosed as being in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

While Cardinal Tauran’s condition caused concern, Pope Benedict himself looked fatigued but otherwise healthy as he celebrated the morning Mass, after having presided at the Easter Vigil the previous night. The Pope, who will celebrate his 85th birthday next week, has begun using a cane because of arthritis knees, but has shown no outward signs of any more serious medical problems.


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