I was sorry to hear the other day of the death in the Paris airport of Father George Tavard. I understand that he was returning to the United States after a family visit in France.
I first met George at a meeting of the North American Academy of Ecumenists. He was long-time ecumenists, having begun his work in the ’50s. He worked at Vatican II as an expert–and would sometimes recount his experiences of the Council. His most recent book of essays recalls some of his early experiences.
George was easy to talk to–and both spoke and listened attentively.
The Consortium honored Father Tavard [and his friends John Reumann and Joseph Fitzmyer] in 2006 for his work on the Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue in the United States. This dialogue helped to lay some of the groundwork for the Joint Declaration on Justification approved by the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican in 1999.
I am happy that we were able to honor George a year and a half ago.
May he rest in Peace.