Log-book: September 2005
Hiroshima Summer requests The bus driver
60 years after the horror of the first atomic bomb launched on August 6th on Hiroshima, a group of militants for nuclear disarmament, coming from different regions of France, gathered in front of the Commemorative Monument for Peace facing the Paris Military Academy. It is a pleasure for me to join them in the early morning.
On this monument the word " Peace " is engraved in different languages. In the past, Theodore Monod never missed this August 6th gathering to show his opposition to nuclear armament. " The preparation of a crime is a crime " he liked to repeat.
6O years after, it is impossible to forget this unprecedented catastrophe, nor the tremendous sufferings of dozens of thousands of people exposed to radiation! The launching on August 6th, 1945 of the first atomic bomb pushed mankind in the nuclear era. An important milestone had been overstepped. From then on, there is a time before and a time after Hiroshima.
Since then, we have been powerless against nuclear proliferation, with bombs far more devastating and diversified than the ones dropped on Japan. We have today hundreds of thousands of tons of very dangerous nuclear waste that we do not know what to do with it.
Is it possible to rid our planet of all nuclear arms? Do we have the courage to get out of the nuclear age before it is too late? What kind of heritage are we passing to those who come after us?
I was quite surprised by the mail I have received in one week. It all came in at the same time. A Swiss couple asked me to bless their wedding next year; a religious man insisted very much that he be ordained by me; a single woman wished that I baptise a young African child she was able to adopt; a Belgium priest asked me to confirm the children of his parish; an old man insisted that I accept, when the time comes, to celebrate his funeral mass
Without any complex, all consider themselves being part of the diocese of Partenia. For them, frontiers are disappearing.
But always, a strong desire is expressed: they wished that their request, loaded with human and spiritual experience, be respected and taken in account.
Some of them were no more in contact on a habitual basis with the Church. Standing on the threshold, they were aware of living an important event that was engaging and filled with meaning for them.
I found they were available to take contact locally with the Church authorities they did not know that. Where there is a will, there is a road. A road that brings new ways.
The bus driver
This month of August, the streets of Paris are not crowded. I take pleasure to take a walk in the morning at a time when the sun is not yet unbearable. Whilst going to the bus stop, I am surprised to see the bus arriving. Will I make it on time? I started to run without much hope of success.
But the bus waited at the stop, as if I was expected. All out of breath, I thanked the young driver. "
I am the one that is glad that you are there " he told me smiling.
" I recognize myself in your combats. What is important is the human being.
Me, I am fighting to prevent that the transport be privatized. It is a public service and it must remain a public service. If transport, health and education are privatized, we will all become merchandise; it will create disparities".
Standing next to him, I approved.
Then the driver told me: " I am not a believer. "
" Recently, I learned that a woman had been ordained as priest. I think it is a good thing. Why should we not be tolerant and open? "
" Thank you for being tolerant and open " I told him. " I have to get off here. This meeting will enlighten my day".
" Me too. See you soon "