Kaddish was recited at the funeral of the Jewish-born Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger.
Lustiger, who converted to Catholicism as a teenager and rose to become Archbishop of Paris, was laid to rest Friday in the city’s Notre Dame Cathedral.
The service began with the recitation of Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer, for Lustiger, who despite his conversion always considered himself a Jew. A relative also sprinkled dirt from Israel on his coffin.
Kaddish was recited by Arno Lustiger, the cardinal’s 83-year-old cousin and a survivor of Auschwitz.
“This was his wish, to share the remembrance this way,” Arno Lustiger told the Associated Press.
Leaders of the French Jewish community attneded the ceremony outside the cathedral and then entered for a funeral mass led by current archbishop, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois. Richard Prasquier, the president of the French Jewish community, was present, but leading religious leaders did not attend.
“No one from the religious hierarchy was present,” said a spokesman for CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewry. “Many rabbis are in Israel, and it is a sensitive issue, paying tribute to a Jew who converted to Catholicism and became a cardinal.”