carnet de route
The death of a prophet  
Republican patronage system  
Inauguration of Place Général de Bollardière  
Colonna on trial  
The death of a prophet  
I had the chance to meet Jacques Valléry in Belgium. It was more than 20 years ago. He was a multitalented young priest opening up new avenues of the freedom that comes from the Gospel.
A mystique and dedicated theologian, he felt the urgent need to announce another Christianity where God is free from the necessity to believe in Him. Because of him, many believers have with joy discovered a practice of the Gospel that transformed their lives.
Jacques was passionate for justice and equal rights for all humans. He could not tolerate injustice. Being so respectful of the autonomy of each person, always the others passed in front of him.
But very soon, this free man became suspicious in the eyes of the authorities of the Church who did not trust him anymore. How could it be otherwise? The officials cannot support very long those who disturb and question their way of life and their thinking in the Church. It was forbidden for him to teach, he was humiliated, rejected and then he became sick. Jacques understood that he had no place anymore in his country.
The religious authority demolished this man.

perdu en désert The man we loved then left for the Burkina-Faso in Africa with some friends and with two vans filled with materials. They never arrived at their destination. They lost themselves in the middle of the desert after a sandstorm. They died from thirst and exhaustion under a scorching sun.
Jacques was unable to reach this land of hope to start to sow again to receptive hearts.
In Mons, Belgium, we were a great number to gather to celebrate his memory. People expressed their friendship and told of the discoveries made by those who have been touched by Jacques. The injustice done to him did not prevent his word from being always heard and received.  
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Republican patronage system.  
parrainage In a community hall of the suburbs of Valence (France), a great number of young people gathered with immigrants with no official documents who came to find a patron. Children were feeling free and were running all over the place. Women wearing masks were making a sketch on the stage. Everywhere there was a festive atmosphere. I was delighted to be with them.
As I was expected to preside over the ceremony, I addressed the audience. We are bound to the people with no documents who are human being like us. If something affects them, then we are also affected. If their rights are attacked, tomorrow our rights will also be attacked. .
During two hours, elected representatives with their municipal sash called one after the other the people with no documents and their patrons. For each, the same phrase is recited with the accompanying applause:

« Our rights are also yours. We greet you today so that the future has a sense for you. And that your life be respected with dignity».
Each signed his or her name on a personalized document.
This commitment was a symbolic gesture and not a legal document: it binds each person with his patron. They felt solidarity and nearness. Phone numbers were exchanged. They will make inquiries about each other. People with no documents were not isolated anymore.
During this time, at the other end of the hall, the buffet was very well appreciated. The families had put together the food they had brought. Everyone can choose what he wants without having to pay anything, it seemed like a never-ending buffet.
fêter ensemble
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Inauguration of Place Général de Bollardière  
In Paris, near the Military Academy, the inauguration of this "Place" is a nice symbol. General de Bollardière, commander of the Liberation Order dared, in the middle of the Algerian war, to publicly denounce the tortures used by the French army. Breaking this taboo was intolerable. The most decorated general in the army spoke out of conscience for the honour of France and Algeria to protect the dignity of man. This firm Christian believer was convinced he should not keep silence.
He immediately went to jail for sixty days. He came back to France with the reputation of being a traitor, he thus ended his military carreer and lost his friends.
I had the occasion to meeting him when I went with him to Court in Nîmes to defend an officer objecting to nuclear armament.
Jacques de Bollardière Jacques de Bollardière had become a non-violent protestor, participating in front of various audiences all over France.
On the site of the inauguration, some two hundred people had gathered under a big white tent. The mayor of Paris talked with warmth anmd conviction. The wife of Jacques de Bollardière, also an untiring non-violent protestor, was glad to see the honours made to the memory of her husband. After almost sixty years in oblivion, this inauguration was welcomed.
Algerians and also veterans from the Algerian war were present. It is a symbolic link of the brotherhood that is always desired between these banks of the Mediterranian Sea.  
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Colonna on trial  
On the fourth week of the trial, witnesses followed one another to the bar. I spent four hours in the grand hall where the special proceedings were held for the members of the commando who had participated in the assassination of the Prefect of Corsica.  
procès de Colonna The hall was jam-packed. Many people were standing. Others were waiting outside to enter. The medias were there to cover the event. I had the chance to be seated.
At the bar, Yvan Colonna was following very closely the declarations of the members of the commando.
The President showed respect for the accused and the witnesses. He put them at ease, let them speak, and had good questions for them and sometime with a bit of humour. I admired the way he presided this trial.
The defence lawyers and those for the prosecution spoke each in turn. It is good that justice takes the means to shed light over a tragedy that happened almost ten years ago. One of the main points for me was the statement of a member of the commando:
« I know well Yvan Colonna. I am and stay convinced that if he had participated, he would have recognized his participation in the event.»
This was not enough for Yvan Colonna who immediately took the microphone: 
« I want to talk to you frankly. I have been wrongly accused; you know that. Now, I am asking you to tell the truth, that I was not there. You have to explain why you have not said anything and why you have waited so long… »
«I know you are a man of honour. If you had participated in this action, you would have claimed your responsibility for it. In consequence, I confirm that you were not part of and did not participate with the group.  »

Yvan Colonna sat down; His face showed that he was not satisfied. He would have wanted more explanations. However he will not get further statements.