Taize

Brother Roger was the founder of Taize, the community which was an ecumenical monastic community. Since the late 1950s, many thousands of young adults from many countries have found their way to Taizé to take part in weekly meetings of prayer and reflection. In addition, Taizé brothers make visits and lead meetings, large and small, in Africa, North and South America, Asia, and in Europe, as part of a “pilgrimage of trust on earth”. The spiritual leader always kept a low profile, rarely giving interviews and refusing to permit any "cult" to grow up around himself. Prior to his death, he was due to give up his community functions because of his advanced age and ill-health which had seen him suffer from fatigue and often use a wheelchair.

From a Protestant background, Brother Roger undertook a step that was without precedent since the Reformation: entering progressively into a full communion with the faith of the Catholic Church without a “conversion” that would imply a break with his origins. In 1980, during a European Meeting in Rome, he said in the presence of Pope John Paul II: “I have found my own identity as a Christian by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.”

He took sacrament of the Eucharist every morning at the Catholic Mass in Taizé, and he received the sacrament from both the current and former Pope.

Brother Roger was stabbed to death during the evening prayer service in Taizé on August 16, 2005. In a highly unusual move, the funeral of this monk was presided over by a Catholic Cardinal, the president of the Vatican's Council for Christian Unity, who celebrated the Mass with four priest-brothers of Taizé concelebrating, said in a homily, "Yes, the springtime of ecumenism has flowered on the hill of Taizé." In reference to Brother Roger's concern for social justice, Cardinal Kasper said "Every form of injustice or neglect made him very sad".

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