A New World is coming
Millau, a medium-size administrative town in the French Aveyron
is ready to received 50,000 people for the trial of ten farmers
from Lazarc including Jose Bove. On a wonderful evening, I am
greeted by the Partenia community, about fifty people, in a marvelous
garden belonging to my hosts. During this visit, I learned with
admiration, like I did many other times that Christians and non-Christians
got together and demonstrated in front of the Bishop's palace
at Rodez in January 1995. Jose Bove was there. Later in the evening
I wanted to walk down town. Several people joined me; streets
and squares were full of light and life, animated by the arrival
of young ones on this humid summer night.
I am invited next morning to a press conference in an open field
on a sunny hill. Jose Bove informed me that a seat has been reserved
for me at the court. The seats were effectively limited and carefully
guarded by the police. Having been through all controls, with
difficulties, I entered the court to attend a trial full of danger.
I had the pleasure to meet the parents of Jose. I imagine their
secret pride for their son. I said: "You have probably learned
a lot from him" and his father said " he often livened
up our ideas, it was not always easy for us"
The trial began; it seemed to me that the things are getting
too much for the judge. He did not listen, he spoke a lot. Facing
him, the ten farmers spoke calmly and with humor. I have the
feeling that there are two worlds that cannot understand each
Two hours later, I left the trial to meet the people. They were
discussion groups every where. The young, who invaded Millau,
were refusing the liberal globalization, the future will not
be made without the people, without the approval of all the poor
of the planet.
Larzac country has a long tradition of struggle. Today there
is a convergence of interests, a sign of resistance to globalization
is given, and I am convinced that a New World is coming.
I had not been to the eternal City since 1995. Catholic organizers
of Gay Pride invited me to speak at an ecumenical meeting about
"religion and homosexuality". Aware that they will
not be received at the Vatican and that the Town Hall of Rome
were creating obstacles, I have accepted to participate to deliver
a message of hope to those who feel dropped by society as well
by the churches. Jesus, in the Gospel, always offered hope to
people he was meeting.
When I arrived in Rome, the Archbishop of Lyon, President of
the French Conference of the Bishops gave me a call to tell me
that the Pope personally contacted Cardinal Sodano, Secretary
of State, that I should not intervene to this ecumenical meeting.
The Cardinal contacted the Apostolic Nonce in Paris and he called
the Archbishop of Lyon. I replied " If the Pope asks me
not to intervene, I will not. I will obey".
I immediately informed the organizers. They were stricken with
dismay. I heartened them by saying that the Pope helped us by
creating the event. His intervention which means an interdiction,
will interest the media, they will all come. It is what has happened.
After a day of interviews I came back to Paris.
Any way if a small group of Gay Pride would have been received
at the Vatican, a sign of greeting and listening would have been
given. An opportunity has been missed.