Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Tisserant


Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Tisserant

infobox cardinalstyles
cardinal name=Eugène Tisserant
dipstyle=His Eminence
offstyle=Your Eminence
relstyle= Cardinal
deathstyle=
See=Porto e Santa Rufina (suburbicarian), Ostia (suburbicarian)

Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Tisserant (March 24, 1884—February 21, 1972) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Elevated to the cardinalate in 1936, Tisserant was a prominent and long-time member of the Roman Curia.

Biography

Eugène Tisserant was born in Nancy to Hippolyte and Octavée (née Connard) Tisserant. From 1900 to 1904, he studied theology, Sacred Scripture, Hebrew, Syriac, Old Testament, and Oriental Patrology at the seminary in Nancy. He then studied in Jerusalem under Marie-Joseph Lagrange, OP, but returned to France in 1905 for military service. On August 4, 1907, Tisserant was ordained a priest by Bishop Charles-François Turinaz. He served as a professor at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum "S. Apollinare" and curator at the Vatican Library from 1908 to 1914, at which time he became an intelligence officer in the French Army during World War I. Named assistant librarian of the Vatican in 1919 and Monsignor in 1921, Tisserant became Pro-Prefect of the Vatican Library on November 15, 1930 and then protonotary apostolic on January 13, 1936. On June 25, 1937, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of "Iconium" by Pope Pius XI. Tisserant received his episcopal consecration on the following July 25 from Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, with Archbishop Giuseppe Migone and Bishop Charles-Joseph-Eugène Ruch serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica.

One year earlier, Tisserant was created Cardinal Deacon of "Ss. Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia" by Pius XI in the consistory of June 15, 1936. He was elevated to Cardinal Priest soon afterwards, retaining the same title, which was changed to "S. Maria sopra Minerva" in 1939. The title of Cardinal Bishop was twice granted to Tisserant by Pope Pius XII, that of "Porto e Santa Rufina" in 1946 and that of "Ostia" in 1951, when Tisserant became Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

Tisserant held a number of offices in the Roman Curia, among them: Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (1936-1959), President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1938-1946), Prefect of the Congregation of Ceremonies (1951-1967, when it was divided into Causes of Saints and Divine Worship), and Librarian of the Vatican Library and Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives (1957-1971). After the outbreak of World War II, Pius XII refused to release Tisserant as the head of the Vatican Library, so that Tisserant could return to France to serve in the army. [Murphy, p. 195.]

In the postwar years, according to recently declassified documents, Tisserant worked with Vatican officials, notably the Argentine cardinal Antonio Caggiano, to rescue beleaguered Nazis and collaborators from post-war Europe. [ Caroll and Goñi.]

On January 13, 1951, Tisserant was appointed Dean of the College of Cardinals, after three years service as Vice-Dean.

During the pontificate of Pius XII, Tisserant headed a tribunal to investigate alleged abuses of Knights Hospitaller appointments, which concluded that there was no wrongdoing. [Murphy, p. 261-262.] The French prelate also urged Pius to promulgate an encyclical in 1939 "on the duty of Catholics to resist the unjust orders of an authoritarian state", and later said, "I am afraid history will reproach the Holy See for having followed a policy which was convenient to itself, and for not having done much else. This is extremely sad." [TIME Magazine. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,939466,00.html?iid=chix-sphere Open City, Silent City] April 3, 1964] .

He was elected a member of the Académie française in 1961. From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council and sat on its Board of Presidency. Tisserant, in his capacity as a cardinal, was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of 1939, 1958 and 1963. During the 1958 conclave, he was widely seen as "papabile" by most Vatican-watchers, and it is generally believed that he received at least five votes in the early balloting.

As Dean of the Sacred College, he celebrated the funeral Masses of Popes Pius XII and John XXIII, presided over the conclaves of 1958 and 1963, and was the first person after Pope Paul VI to sign each of the acts of the Second Vatican Council.

In 1969 Tisserant demanded a retraction from Leo Cardinal Suenens for the "defamatory and slanderous" statements the Archbishop of Brussels-Mechelen made against the bureaucracy of the Roman Curia [Time Magazine. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,901186,00.html The Cardinal as Critic] August 1, 1969] .

Tisserant died from a heart attack in Albano Laziale [Time Magazine. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,910243,00.html Recent Deaths] March 6, 1972] , at age 87. He is buried in the Cathedral of Porto e Santa Rufina in Rome.

Tisserant was fluent in thirteen languages: Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Persian, Russian, Syriac. [Murphy, p. 194.]

Trivia

*Before his priestly ordination, he was invited to teach Assyrian at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

References

Online

Literature

*Murphy, Paul I. and Arlington, R. Rene. .1983. "La Popessa". New York: Warner Books Inc. ISBN 0-446-51258-3.
*Carroll, Rory and Goñi, Uki. 2008. "The Hunt for Doctor Death". "The Guardian" (London) January 8.

ee also

*Cardinal electors in Papal conclave, 1939
*Cardinal electors in Papal conclave, 1958
*Cardinal electors in Papal conclave, 1963

External links

* [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/btiss.html Catholic-Hierarchy]
* [http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios-t.htm#Tisserant Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/secondworldwar/story/0,,2237056,00.html Rory Carroll and Uki Goni on the hunt in Argentina for Aribert Heim, the last of the Nazis]


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