carnet de route
Hope brings life  
A visit to the hospital  
With the autistic persons  
The fear of change  
Hope brings life  
Sixty-eight workers with no official documents have been on strike since October 12 2009 at the Work Exchange in Creil (50 km north of Paris. It is long strike. Their motivation has broken down. The support committee had invited me to a press conference.  
Creil sans papiers I took the train without delay to go and meet them. Some tall Malians were waiting for me at the Creil station and took me to the Labour Exchange where I was welcomed as one of them. I said hello to each one and then listened to what they had prepared.
Issa started to speak: « We work as temporary workers in buildings, public works, parks, restaurants, security, maintenance...We are fighting with the 6,000 workers with no official documents on strike in the Parisian region to be regularized. We have been working without interruption for three, five, eight years and more. We have legal work contracts and pay slips in order. We pay all our contributions to the services. We pay the rent. We pay the taxes. Some of us have a family and we send our children to school. But how to live in a country where we have no rights? We are sick to the stomach with fear to go to work? When we risk at any moment to be arrested and deported? Since we have been on strike, we have lost everything: our jobs, our lodging. We have nothing left. Except our dignity and a strong determination to be recognized by France as human beings. »  
The oldest of the Malians spoke in his turn, his eyes reddened by emotion: « we are suffering now and we have no idea when it will stop. Here we sleep on the floor, some are sick, some fathers are unable to pay the school lunches for their children or the rent... »  
sans papiers Their words are of great value because they come from within. The regional television is there. They will be on television. Photographers took lots of pictures. They are so happy that pictures are taken of them! The Malians kept on saying: « take one more! »
Then it was time to put the large bowls of rice on the tables. The Malians ate the rice in the bowls with their hands whilst standing. Finally I was able to have a seat and eat the rice on a plate with a spoon.
Every one had found hope again.
haute en page  
A visit to the hospital  
I received a call on my cellular phone: « this is Pierre-André. I am at the Bichat Hospital. It is serious. » I did not have any news from him for a long time. In the past, I had known him as an ecologist militant, an advocate of animal rights. He was vegetarian, non violent and he relied on plant treatments when he was ill. Pierre-André liked to ride his bicycle. He was a humanist that one liked to meet on his way. He respected all beliefs without believing in none.
I dropped every thing and I went to the Bichat Hospital. He had lost so much weight that I could not have recognized the man I had once known. He was dozing sitting on his bed. As he woke, he recognized me and smiled. I held his hand and kissed his forehead.
souffle Pierre-André must be in his fifties. He was not leaving his bed any more. « I am living an experience I have never had before » he told me softly while trying to find his breath. Then he really wanted to tell me ' I refused to have chemo. They give me two morphine injections a day so that I not suffer. To my female friends that you know, I never told any one that I had a tumor, please... »
« The nursing staff must appreciate your great humanity. »
« And myself I recognize that the nursing personnel is great. »
So not to tire him more, I shortened my visit. Pierre-André looked at me with tired eyes: « Come to see me again » he told me
haute en page  
With the autistic persons  
Pascal, a special needs worker, invited me to converse with autistic persons on a Wednesday morning at the Lucernaire Theatre in Paris. He was very surprised to see me accepting right away. He really wanted to warn me that I might be put off by their questions. But I was delighted to go and it was a pleasure for me to meet them.
I arrived at the theatre at the same time as every body. They were accompanied by women and male teachers. After saying hello to each one of these tall youths I climbed onto the stage slightly disturbed by the stage lights. The theatre was packed and a camera was being installed to record an event that was scheduled to last two hours.
In the middle of the audience I felt happy. I remembered a detail at that moment. As I was visiting a Centre for handicapped adults I was upset to see them distraught. The coordinator accompanying me noticed it and said: « As for me, I love them so much that to me they are beautiful! »
avec les autistes
The questions of the young autistic persons were abundant without disturbing me: « May I use a familiar form with you? May I call you Jacques? Do you have faith? Are you discouraged to meet people in difficulties? When you know that a prisoner has killed someone do you accept to say hello to him, to shake his hand? If you were not a bishop what would you have become? Do you believe in miracles? Have you been on a pilgrimage to...? »
I did not notice the time going by. There was a good communication. I felt welcomed.
haute en page  
The fear of change  
I gave an interview to a very popular daily press in Paris relative to the pedophilia drama now shaking the Catholic Church. This interview stirred the radio and television stations that came to question me.  
This crisis of the Church can be beneficial. It is an opportunity to seize. Provided that the Church questions the very operation of the institution and surmounts the obstacles that could liberate the future.
crise de l'Eglise
It appears to many and it has been so for a long time that the status of the priests is unsuitable for today's society. The discipline of celibacy has become anachronic. Women still do not have the true status of a partnership. Homosexuals are still excluded and do not have access to responsibilities. The Church maintains a vision on sexuality that does not give right to our modern knowledge. With the consequence of an awkward position towards important matters such as in vitro fertilization, contraception, abortion, homosexual couples...An authoritarian and centralized Church will no longer be able to impose what is not possible to impose any more.  
souffle d'esprit Can we let ourselves dream of a strong wind of Pentecost on the Catholic Church? A wind that would liberate it from the fear of change and would give it an impulse for creative liberty?