|Birth: ||Nov. 23, 1909|
|Death: ||Jan. 21, 2009|
The Cleric who shaped the U.S. 'Pastoral Church' post-Vatican II, drewing fire from conservative clergymen for pushing liberal reforms in the American Church, Monsignor Jean Jadot was born in Brussels, Belgium on November 23, 1909, from a wealthy family. His father, Lambert, was a Master Engineer who built railroads, electrical systems and mines around the world. His business dealings stretched throughout Belgium, as well as into China and the Belgian Congo. Jean earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium at age 21.
He rebuffed his father's pleas to lead a secular life and was ordained to the Priesthood at 24 years of age on February 11, 1934, by Cardinal Josef-Ernest Van Roey in Malines. He became a Pastor in suburban Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium, including Chaplaincy for Youth. From 1952 till 1960, he served as Chaplain to Troops in what was then the Belgian Congo. He then worked as an Official in the Church's Missionary Programs.
Appointed as Apostolic Delegate for the Holy See in Laos, Singapore and Malaysia, Jadot received his Episcopal Consecration with the Titular Archbishopric See of Zuri at 58 years of age on May 1, 1968, from Cardinal Leo - Jozef Suenens, assisted by Archbishop Silvio Oddi and Bishop André Marie Charue.
Named as Apostolic Pro - Nuncio to Thailand on August 28, 1969, Jadot was furthermore assigned as Apostolic Delegate to Equatorial Guinea and Pro - Nuncio to Gabon and Cameroon on May 15, 1971, until being named Apostolic Delegate to United States of America on May 23, 1973, by Pope Paul VI.
Pope Paul asked Archbishop Jadot "not to be the Pope's eyes and ears, but his heart," Archbishop Jadot said in an interview with The London Tablet in 2002. He said the Pope wanted him, as Envoy, to show the pope's concern "for the poor, the forgotten, and the ignored."
Archbishop Jadot turned what had been a largely ceremonial position into a bully pulpit for the seven years ending in 1980.
He helped lead a largely successful effort to push the American Church to welcome minorities, widen the role of women, increase participation by the laity and relax some rules, like the automatic excommunication of divorced people.
Bishops and other Church Leaders railed at what was seen as rabble rousing by Archbishop Jadot, and he received a stream of anonymous hate mail. A close friend in Rome told him "they" were "out to get him".
Archbishop Jadot submitted lists of three nominees for each opening as a Bishop, as was customary. In almost all instances, according to Jadot's biographer, Dr. John A. Dick, Pope Paul VI chose the one nominee whom Archbishop Jadot indicated he preferred.
The result was that he was responsible for the appointments of more than 100 new Bishops, Dr. Dick said.
At one time, Dr. Dick said, more than a third of all American Bishops were Archbishop Jadot's choices. They were called "Jadot's Boys."
As a Washington Post article said in 1983: "Whatever their background, the new breed of Bishops was less concerned with the ring kissing and watered silk vestments that went with the Office, and more with getting to know their people. They moved out of Episcopal Mansions and into a couple of rooms in a Rectory or Seminary."
With time, conservative Bishops appointed under the Papacy of John Paul II largely replaced "Jadot's boys." But some critics still say that the church's sex scandals are linked to appointments made by Archbishop Jadot, saying they were ill advised.
Dr. Dick, who discussed the subject with Archbishop Jadot, responded in the interview that the scandals surprised and saddened the Archbishop but that he accepted no blame for them. During his term in Office, he drew fire from Conservative Clergymen for pushing Liberal Reforms in the American Church.
Although Archbishop Jadot strongly adhered to most of the Church's Teachings, including its opposition to abortion, his willingness to leave some questions, like artificial contraception, to individual consciences rankled some Church Leaders. But the Pope refused an offer he made to resign, saying he was "doing just what I want you to do," Dr. Dick wrote.
In 1980, he was called back to the Vatican to help lead Ecumenical initiatives. When he left, Robert L. Robinson, a Member of the National Black Lay Catholic Caucus, said in an interview with The Washington Post: "Isn't that a damn shame? The black people have lost a friend. He let us know that Rome was very much concerned about the black question." At 70, Jadot was therefore assigned as Pro - President of the Secretariat of Non - Christians, a form of the Title reserved for those not yet Cardinals, succeeding Cardinal Sergio Pignedoli who had passed unexpectedly away shortly before.
Despite widespread speculation that he would be named a Cardinal, it never happened. Then his successor, Archbishop Pio Laghi, who had appointed Conservative Bishops, was named a Cardinal on May 29, 1991. That day, after lunch, Archbishop Jadot said to Dr. Dick, "It is a slap in my face."
In April 1984, Jadot was replaced, at the normal retiring age for such Offices, by Msgr. Francis Arinze, who quickly became a Cardinal and was in Office when the Secretariat was elevated to be the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, before moving on to a higher post. Jadot returned to his native Belgium for an initially active retirement, where he died in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at the most venerable age of 99, a few days after the demise of Cardinal Pio Laghi. With family and friends near him, Jadot had received Communion and last rites a couple of days before his death. Archbishop Karl-Josef Rauber, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, had come to his bedside with a special papal blessing from Pope Benedict XVI.
Jadot's death was announced by his named friend and biographer, John A. Dick. Dr. Dick, retired from the University of Louvain in Belgium, completed a book about Jadot titled "Paul's Man in Washington", following the Archbishop's death. The book focuses primarily on the seven years that Jadot was in Washington and is based on more than 1,000 pages of primary-source notes, tape-recorded interviews, articles and Jadot archival materials.
Funeral Mass for Archbishop Jadot was celebrated at the Chant d'Oiseau Parish, where he received his Episcopal Consecration back in 1968, on January 31, at 11 am.
Body donated to medical science
Specifically: According To His Wishes, The Archbishop's Body Was Donated For Scientific Research.
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Jan 23, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33164392
It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Archbishop Jadot, A Successor Of The Apostles By Raising Him To The Episcopal Order. May He Also Be Associated With Them Forever. We Ask This Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.|
Added: Jul. 20, 2011