March 11, 1972
I've received a letter from P.L. This is what he says:
“... You may have already learned that Cardinal Tisserant died on the 21st [of February]. As he was in reality the Vice-Pope, you can imagine the pomp of the funeral ceremony, with representatives from the French government, the French Academy, the Italian government, etc.: one full week of ceremonies. Being his secretary, I had to organize everything. I am very tired.... Msgr. R. very much suffered from this loss. I think he will be coming to you in a few weeks, or a month at most: he is determined to get out. Many things have happened since his meeting with Mother....1 While filing some papers, I came across the enclosed document which may interest you. I hope the bishopric continues to leave you in peace....”
The document is a copy of Cardinal Tisserand's letter to the Archbishop of Pondicherry:
Albano, Regina Apostolorum, 13 January 1972
To His Excellency Msgr. A.R.
Archbishop of Pondicherry
As Your Excellency knows, I have directed the Holy Congregation for the Eastern Church for nearly twenty-five years, and one of my most cherished memories is the journey I made to your beloved country in 1953. I have always held a keen interest in your great nation, but even more so after I visited it. It was thus with a very special pleasure that I accompanied His Holiness Pope Paul VI to the International Eucharistic Congress in Bombay.
On that occasion, the Holy Father expressed the wish to come in contact with representatives of your country's main religious movements, and I know, Excellency, that he was given a biography of Sri Aurobindo.
It is in fact in connection with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry that I am taking the liberty of writing Your Excellency. I am sure you are aware of the reputation it has earned beyond India's borders; I have been following its work and achievements for years. Recently, I was told of the difficulties encountered by those in charge of the Ashram in regard to the proposed creation of a university – a project expressly favored by the Indian Government; some Catholic students, in conjunction with a few priests, are displaying a strong opposition to this project.
I therefore request Your Excellency kindly to use his authority to avoid any incident that, at all events, would be highly detrimental to the harmony that His Holiness Pope Paul VI so much desires, in accord with the rules laid down by the Ecumenical Council Vatican II.
With gratitude, I remain, Venerable Lord, respectfully and faithfully yours,
Signed: Eugene Card. Tisserand
It's interesting. Who has replaced him?
I don't know, nobody has been appointed yet.
But since then, they've been quiet here.
(Mother plunges in
Champaklal comes up to Mother,
abruptly pulling her out of her state)
I was in Italy.
Stories with cardinals....
1 See conversation of January 29, 1972.