France Bids Adieu to Archbishop

Notre-Dame holds Catholic-Jewish funeral ceremony for former church leader
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 10, 2007 4:34 PM CDT
Paris Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois, center, celebrates a mass under a portrait of late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, one of the most influential Roman Catholic figures in France who died last Sunday at...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Catholic and Jewish prayers rang out at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris today during the funeral of the former archbishop of Paris, Jean-Marie Lustiger, who died Sunday at 80. A convert from Judaism whose mother died at Auschwitz, he was known for his tireless work to bridge his two faiths, and thousands of mourners gathered to pay their respects.

Nicolas Sarkozy interrupted his vacation in New Hampshire to attend; the new president praised Lustiger as "a man of peace, unity and reconciliation." The mediagenic Lustiger was known for his opposition to discrimination, but the fact that he never renounced his Jewish heritage made some uncomfortable. "It's not possible to be Jewish and Catholic," said one rabbi.