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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
France mourns former archbishop
Funeral of Cardinal Lustiger at Notre Dame, Paris
President Sarkozy flew home especially for the funeral
A funeral service including Jewish prayers has been held at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger.

The former Archbishop of Paris, who died on Sunday aged 80, was born Aaron Lustiger to Polish Jews who had settled in France before World War I.

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, interrupted his summer holiday in the United States to attend the funeral.

Cardinal Lustiger became a Catholic at the start of World War II.

The ceremonies at Notre Dame began with a reading of a Jewish psalm, followed by the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead.

Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger
Cardinal Lustiger worked to improve Catholic-Jewish relations

Arno Lustiger, a cousin and 83-year-old Auschwitz death camp survivor, read the Kaddish before a crowd of some 5,000 mourners.

President Sarkozy described Cardinal Lustiger as "a great man, a man who was important to the French, believers and non-believers alike, a man of peace, unity and reconciliation".

Cardinal Lustiger was an outspoken opponent of racism and anti-Semitism, who appeared frequently on television as a commentator on current issues.

He was buried in the cathedral's crypt, like most former archbishops of Paris since the 17th Century.

His successor, Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois, praised the late cardinal's role in "the development of relations between Jews and Christians, with the encouragement and support of [former Pope] John Paul II".

Cardinal Lustiger died on Sunday in a clinic in Paris, where he was admitted in April.

The cleric was archbishop of Paris for 24 years before stepping down in 2005 at the age of 78. He was made a cardinal in 1983.

His mother Gisele was deported and killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz during the war.


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