Statement upon the death of Brother Roger Schutz-Marsauche, founder of the Taizé Community
Following the violent death of Brother Roger Schutz-Marsauche on 16 August 2005, the Secretary General of COMECE, Mgr Noël Treanor offers the following statement:
“In founding the Taizé Community in 1940, Brother Roger embarked upon a vocation to reconcile God’s people on the European continent; a vocation which was callously brought to an end yesterday evening. I am saddened and shocked at his untimely death. On behalf of the president and bishop members of COMECE, I offer our sincere prayers and condolences to the brother members of the Taizé Community. I assure them of our prayers for the eternal repose of Brother Roger’s soul.
Brother Roger’s work was exemplary in its content and outreach. First assisting Jewish people to escape from occupied France, Brother Roger worked tirelessly for over 60 years to foster understanding, forgiveness and unity between the Christian churches in Europe. His efforts to reconcile Germany and France after the Second World War, and to engender a rapprochement between Eastern and Western Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain bear witness to this remarkable man’s vision.
This vision touched the hearts and minds of many in Europe and across the world, and resonated particularly with the youth. Brother Roger’s affinity with the youth of Europe saw thousands flock to his ecumenical community in Taizé and to the gatherings which were organised annually each New Years’ Eve. As thousands of young people gather in Cologne for World Youth Day, Brother Roger will no doubt be remembered and revered for his example and ministry.
For his part, Brother Roger helped to bring down barriers between peoples in Europe. His achievement was extraordinary, yet there still remains much to be accomplished before Europeans are united in both hearts and minds. Continuing the work that he began would constitute a living testimony to Brother Roger’s exceptional and grace-filled life.”