Discerning the Signs of the Times

Discern Annual Lecture 2002 by His Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard

    • Discern Annual Lecture 2002 by his Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard

      Cardinal Paul Poupard ia a scholar of international repute and promoter of dialogue with contemporary culture.  Born in Anjou, France, on August 30, 1930, he earned two doctorates from the Sorbonne:  one in Theology - on the links between faith and reason - and another in History - on Church-State relations.  He was ordained priest on December 18, 1954.  As a young priest, Cardinal Poupard has had several assignments including parish ministry, and chaplain to both students and the Action Catholique in Paris.  Later, he worked at the National Centre for Scientific Research (1958-9).  From 1959 to 1971, he worked at the Vatican's Secretariat of State.  In 1971 he returned to his country, as Rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris.  In 1979 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Paris.

      In 1980, he was appointed the Pro-President of the Secretariat for Non-believers.  Two years later, he became President of the Executive Committee of the newly-established Pontifical Council for Culture.  During the Consistory of May 25, 1985, Pope John Paul II made him Cardinal.  On March 25, 1993, John Paul II merged the Secretariat for Non-Believers into the Pontifical Council of Culture under the Presidency of Cardinal Poupard, a post which he still holds.

      Currently, Cardinal Poupard is also a member of the Congregations for Divine Worship, Evangelisation of Peoples and Catholic Education, as well as of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.  Besides having been awarded various civic, political and religious honours and decorations, he is a doctor Honoris Causa of several universities, including Aix-en-Provence, Fu Jen, Louvain, Quito, Santiago de Chile, Puebla de los Angeles.

      He made numerous scholarly contributions books and articles in periodicals and encyclopaedias.  He was principal editor of the Dictionnaire des Relgions.