carnet de route
Tribute to a young Malian  
The future of Partenia  
To die with dignity  
Our friend Renald  
Tribute to a young Malian  
Around 400 people had gathered on the spot where a young Malian of 29 years old had leaped into the icy waters of the Marne to escape a police check. The end was tragic. He died.  
In front of me, I listened to his sister who was saying: «My brother had come to France to save my life by giving me one of his kidney. Sadly, he is the one who died. He sacrificed himself for me.»
The professor, head of the kidney transplant department, had asked him to come to Paris for the transplant which was done last June.
The residence permit of this young Malian had not been renewed. He was under the obligation of leaving the territory and was constantly living in the fear of a police check.
chasse aux sans-papiers With emotion and anger, we condemn this climate of terror that exists among the people with no official documents. He who died by leaping in the Marne is not unfortunately the first victim of the hunt for people with no official documents !
The rain was falling but we were not in a hurry to leave. In silence, each person, man and woman threw a flower in the water carried away by the current.
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The future of Partenia  
I was delighted with the annual meeting of the Partenia Association in Paris. I always find there is a will to find life and its outbursts, and to stay away from red tape and administrative structures. The future is not decided.
The important things are done over time.
archives de Partenia The time has come to collect all the documents of Partenia in a single location, to keep memory of the past. If we refuse the past, we deny building the future.
The new generation does not know what happened in January 1995. Is not it normal? Today, interest is shown for the way of life and the commitment of those who claim to be part of Partenia.
I recall the four landmarks recalled recently by Pedro Casaldaliga, the prophetic bishop of Brazil, for the future of humanity: the basic human rights, the ecology, the intercultural and interreligious dialogue and living together.
We are not made for the survival of Partenia. Maybe, should we accept its disappearance for a possible rebirth? Is not a disappearance necessary for the transmission to be made?
As of today, we are called to rebirth.
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To die with dignity  
A woman suffering from an incurable and fatal disease and who was enduring unbearable sufferings had asked for an active assistance to die. Her request was rejected.
There was a major reaction in the public opinion. The debate on euthanasia was once again revived. Is there a right of the sick people to have the possibility of dying with dignity? Is it possible to permit that life remains human until the end?
A woman journalist asks me for an interview on the refusal of assistance to this woman who had declared that she was « being eaten » by her sufferings. Like many, I am sensitive to the tragedy of this woman and her family.
mourir dans la dignité We know that death is part of life since it terminates it. If life must be defended and protected, it is true of death that is part of it. We know that no one can take our place in life or death. How not to desire to have the means to love life to the end and to die with dignity?
But in fact, the responsibility for the end of life is not much taken collectively. There is much to be done to fight against sufferings and intensive care and to not die in is a question of humanity, compassion and solidarity.
There is the respect of the law that forbids killing. It is a basic principle. But the law cannot do everything.
There is the respect for the sick that can find themselves in exceptional situations. Exceptional situations that do not come within the framework of the law.
By humanity and compassion, do such situations not invite to break the law? The law should take into consideration such exceptions.
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Our friend Renald  
He lived in a Parisian hostel for the homeless. During the last months, he had been coming to the Committee for the homeless, an association for young immigrants, of which I am a patron. Renald felt welcome : « Here, no one asks me questions ».
He loved life, meeting people and sharing. He could not withstand injustice, and attended the meetings of alterglobalism members.
depart But Renald was on drugs and alcohol. Rushed to the hospital, he died quickly at 34 years of age.
It was a shock for those of us who loved him. His family took no part. For many years, his family had refused all contact with him. The young immigrants of the association said: « We are now Renald's family. We will take all the necessary steps for his funeral. He must have a good funeral ».  
The ceremony at the Church was very moving. « For once, I was not bored » said one of them. Renald's coffin was carried slowly in the middle of the assembly. A beautiful photo of him was placed on the coffin, surrounded by small candles. I slowly read the words of the Beatitudes. At the end, everybody gathered like a throng around the coffin to listen to Bob Marley's: « Redemption Song », Renald's favourite song.
Then, everybody left for the cemetery of Paris, in the suburbs, in the section for the poor. The lowering of the coffin into the ground was difficult. A girl friend of Renald placed on the coffin a kit of various objects for his last journey including a vial of Ricard (a common aniseed and alcoholic beverage, note from the translator)... We threw flowers on the coffin. Then, some of the young people took shovels to cover his coffin with earth. A last prayer. A last moment of silence before leaving the one we loved. We went back to the meeting hall of the association to share some bread and friendship. We celebrated being together like Renald would have liked.