Log-book: March 2001

  The Diary of Father Congar  The orchard of Spain 
  A secular spirituality  In the Court 
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 
  History of Partenia, Biography of Bishop Jacques Gaillot 





Special Edition

The Diary of Father Congar

A priest, friend of mine, read the theological diary of Father Congar when it was just coming from the press. He wrote to me: " It is distressing, can this come back?"
I started to read these horrendous passages written during the dark hours of the Roman Church (1946-1956). The Curia and their devoted servants were humiliating the Dominican priest without letting him know what exactly his fault was. Father Congar was reduced to silence. He had to experience exile, solitude, and disarray. The letter that he wrote to his mother for her 80 birthday is distressing: "They practically destroyed me as much as they could. All That I worked for has been removed from me: ecumenism, teaching, lecturing, preaching the priests and collaboration with the newspaper Temoignage Chretien. They did not get my body and in principle neither my soul, I was never asked anything. But the personality of a man is not limited to his own skin and to his soul, more so when this man is an apostle of the doctrine, that is his action, his friends, his relationships, his normal way to communicate. They removed all that from me, they had no respect for all that and they profoundly wounded me. They reduced me to nothing and then they destroyed me".
How much this man has suffered from the Church, this Church to what he had devoted his life! A short while after his death in 1995, a Dominican friar said to me: " Father Congar wrote to you when you were dismissed by Rome.
I believe he would have appreciated to have an answer from you" Unfortunately this letter never reached me, I will never know its content!   






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quel avenir?  The orchard of Spain 

I went to Murcia, capital of the region and the orchard of Spain. I was still remembering the drama that recently happened there: the tragic death of twelve people from Equator crammed together in a delivery van.
After a lecture during the Cultural Week on Immigration, I met immigrants without a legal permit, a majority from Equator, they had occupied a church. They were appreciating very much my visit; probably they could see that I considered them like brothers not like problems. Although without a legal permit they keep their dignity. They asked me to bless their food that was generously offered to them.
In Molina, twenty kilometers away, about fifty immigrants were also occupying a church. They knew that the new Spanish law on immigration was condemning them to become illegal persons or to be expulsed. They were becoming illegal.
With the help of the population, and in relationships with other foreigners taking a refuge in the churches of Barcelona, they decided to resist.  à Barcelone 
I said" It is not you who are dangerous, it is the law that is dangerous!" They well received my message!
Sunday morning, in the sunshine, there is a demonstration in front of the Saint Dominique church in Murcia. One can read on the banners: "Papeles, para todos" (a legal permit for all).
Before leaving, I left a message: "when we struggle together we often win"



A secular spirituality  L'homme a-t-il besoin la religion? 

I met in Cannes the masons from different lodges of the Cote d'Azur. To accommodate the number of people, the room in the basement was installed with audio-visual presentations. I was given the theme of my speech: "Does Man needs a religion? As often the questions are much more informative. Not believing in God does not mean necessarily that you are not having some spirituality. Not belonging to a Church does not mean that you have no belief. One can reject dogmas and so-called revealed religions without given up some transcendence; a transcendence without God. It is a secular spirituality, it is a wisdom built on values that respect the dignity of the other man.
After the meeting we had a friendly and happy meal together. It is late when the "Worshipful master" lead me to his home in the countryside. The Bay of Cannes offered its magnificent landscape to feast our yes, the mimosas were in full bloom….




In the Court

On the train to Montpellier, there was sitting in front of me a wonderful comedian.

révolte légitime  Both of us were going to the trial of Jose Bove (speaker of a Farmers Union: Confederation Paysanne) and his followers. 

This comedian will play the part of Punch in a Punch and Judy show, where Judy is accused of devastating a field of popcorn. They will play for the public on the esplanade in front of the Corum. They will make a mockery of the trial, a joke against the powerful ones!
I went rapidly to the law courts closely surrounded by the police. A liturgy was going to start with the hearing of the witnesses. What a free speech! Every body could recognize the amount of experience, of struggles and of suffering of these people. For instance a women from Mauritania spoke about distressed peasants deprived of their possessions, who struggle to live without the possibility to organize themselves and to fight: the revolt of the Farmers Union give them some hope she said.
A great moment will be the speeches for the defense by the six lawyers. They will recall that Justice is to respect the right and it is also giving the right to those who are deprived of it.  José Bove et Jacques Gaillot 
The right is some thing that needs to be built, even transformed. History tells that struggles, revolts have allowed the evolution of the right towards a new right. Yesterday it was the right to have a home, now it is the right to eat healthy food, the right of the people to be able to feed themselves.
In the given circumstances, the accused persons conducted a legitimate action. Jean-Jacques Rousseau had said: "If the people make the promise to abide by, they destroy themselves and they lose the quality to be people"
Outside, the Carnival against the global economy is ready, with a joyful crowd. Of course Mister Punch is sure to have a great success….