Earlier today, Pax Christi International learned that Bishop Jan Van Cauwelaert has died at the age of 102.
"Bishop Jan Van Cauwelaert was an active member of Pax Christi Flanders. For many years, he served as the Vice President of the Flemish section," stated Fr. Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor of Pax Christi International. "Between 1980 and 1990, he traveled around the world and lead different fact-finding delegations to countries such as Haiti and Nicaragua. In December 1991, he participated in the delegation of Pax Christi International during the Special Synod of Bishops on Europe in Rome."
"Bishop Jan participated in several International Councils and meetings of Pax Christi International. He was a humble person and very committed to justice and peace. May he rest in the God’s peace: Pax Christi," Lansu concluded.
An article on Kerknet announced Bishop Cauwelaert's passing:
"Msgr. Jan Van Cauwelaert , emeritus bishop of Inongo (DRC) and the second oldest bishop in the world, died this morning, Thursday, August 18th, peacefully in his sleep at the University Hospital in Jette. The 102-year-old Scheutist spent the last several months in the house of Scheutist Zuun because of his weakened state, but during his last days, he was the same affable and brave man who inspired so many people in Flanders and far beyond. ..."
"Jan van Cauwelaert was born on April 12, 1914 in Antwerp, the son of a former congressman and later mayor of Antwerp, Minister and Chamber President Frans Van Cauwelaert. In 1940 he went to be a missionary to Congo. In 1954, he became bishop of Inongo, the first new diocese from Leopoldville - today's Kinshasa. Van Cauwelaert immediately initiated all kinds of new ideas to which he later, as a council father during Vatican II, would promote: inculturation, liturgy in the vernacular, interfaith contacts, valuing the contributions of laity in the church..."