Papal tribute to Cardinal Rauber, late critic of Benedict XVI
March 29, 2023
CWN Editor's Note: In his telegram of condolence following the death of Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber at the age of 88, Pope Francis praised the veteran Vatican diplomat for his “dedication for the unity of the people of God.”
Cardinal Rauber was a “true shepherd of the Church” who shared Christ’s love “unreservedly and joyfully” with everyone, the Pontiff added.
In a 2010 interview, Archbishop Rauber criticized Pope Benedict for appointing Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard as Primate of Belgium earlier in the year. Rauber, who was apostolic nuncio in Belgium from 2003 to 2009, said that Pope Benedict had rejected his list of three candidates.
In the 2010 interview, Archbishop Rauber also criticized the future Pope Benedict for having taken a “conservative turn” during his years in Regensburg (1969-77). Rauber said that Cardinal Ratzinger, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, denounced him four times to the Secretariat of State, in part because of Rauber’s support of a change to the discipline of clerical celibacy.
Pope Francis created Archbishop Rauber a cardinal in 2015.
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