Log-book: July 2001

  In the market place  Acts of solidarity 
  On the black list  A helpful experience 
  A pilgrimage to Saint Jacques of Compostelle  
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 
  History of Partenia, Biography of Bishop Jacques Gaillot 





Special Edition

à Karlsruhe - Allemagne 

In the market place 

Protestant, Catholic and Anglican Churches were celebrating at Karlsruhe, Germany, the 40th anniversary of Amnesty International. This famous organization is known to fight for Justice without boundaries. It succeeded in liberating numerous political prisoners and made known every where people, men and women, who otherwise had no chance to get through.

sur la place du marché  The place was crowded, with people praying, their umbrella ready, but the sky stayed lenient.
From the stage, I could see the flower market where people were passing by.

The choir was a pleasure for every one to hear, making the celebration more beautiful.

It came to my mind the words of the psalmist:
"Keep the rights of the weak and the orphans
Give Justice to the needy and the poor".

When I was speaking, a dove descended close to us, as if it wanted to show its interest in ecumenism!  chercher la proximité 






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Acts of solidarity
Like every year I was taking the train to the monastery of La Pierre-qui-Vire to spend a few days in silence and prayer.  Monastère 
Sitting by me in the train, a woman was engrossed with a huge file. Facing her, a young man, full of life, was entertaining me by his remarks. He had also some files. Probably he was still a student; maybe he was preparing an exam?
demander de l'eau  Suddenly a young North African came to me for water. I had not any, but I understood that it was not for him but for some one else. I get up to follow him. In a luggage compartment, another North African was lying down, moaning and choking. 

I quickly came back to my place to find water. Without having to ask, the woman with the huge file handed me her bottle of water.
We made our sick man drink, removing his thick leather jacket to help him to breathe better.

At this moment the young man who I thought to be a student, arrives, in fact he is a doctor. We decided to bring the sick person to the bathroom because he was feeling vomiting. Then we brought him back with difficulties to the bar to drink some sweetened water.
In this entire going on, I couldn't help but admire the young North African: his humanity, his thoughtfulness, and his personality. He wanted to thank every body. In going to pick up the luggage of the sick man, he stopped by the woman with the huge file and said: " Thank you for the bottle of water, I am going to get you another one"



Fichage  On the black list 

Reading a newspaper, I learn that I am on the list of the French Intelligence Service, I could even see my photo. 155 persons are considered dangerous and associated with extreme leftists.

It is enough to interest the media. Quickly a TV reporter asks me: " Are you shocked to find that you are with criminals and terrorists?"

à coté des autres  "No, it is where a Bishop has to be. Who is going to complain? But I am shocked by this habit to file people. They are put in one category, they are prevented to evolve, and their future is closed. Their credit is ruined, it is a breach in the freedom of the citizens". 

I am also on a list at the Vatican! And it is not a good list! Definitely in the society like in the Church, if you are different, you become "menacing"



A helpful experience
About fifty German Swiss students came to meet me in my office in Paris in an abandoned building falling to decay that also shelters some 200 Africans without legal permit.
They arrived just when these men were going to leave to demonstrate on the Chatelet Square in Paris. It is a colorful departure with tam-tam and whistles.

Maison des Ensembles 
La maison des Ensembles
à Paris 
The students started to visit the building and to talk with the few Africans left to protect the place.

When they saw the state of decay of the building, the conditions of living in which these men have to stand, it was a shock. A helpful shock that will likely continue to have an impact on them.
These students felt concerned for these Africans, they recognized that they are human being like themselves. How could they be citizens of the world? How could they make the right decisions and at the same time staying apart of those who struggle to survive?  les africains 
It is a difficult case, they had the intuition that one cannot work with people without legal permit and live with Very Important Persons, neither work with the poor but in the same time living with more fortunate people.




Saint Jacques de Compostelle 
A pilgrimage
Saint Jacques of Compostelle 

Arrived at the retirement age, Jean made a pilgrimage to St Jacques. Every evening he was carefully taking notes about his meetings, his thinking and his difficulties. This diary has been considered worthy enough to be published by an Editor. A preface was missing, then the pilgrim quickly thought about me.

I read the manuscript with interest and I was surprised because Jean did not read the Bible, did not pray and when he arrived at St Jacques he even did not enter the famous cathedral!

il est parti...  He left home to find himself, to construct his personal liberty and to give a meaning to the last part of his life. We would say today that he was experiencing a secular spirituality, with no reference to God. 

When the book was published, I was invited to attend the book signing in Dijon. Arriving at the railway station, Jean was waiting for me, wearing around his neck a large shell of St. Jacques. "I am a free mason," he said. In going to the House for the Youth and for the Culture of Dijon I did not know that I was going to see the free masons from the entire district. All were interested by the pilgrimage. Like him, they were practicing a secular spirituality, without dogma, without revelation. A spirituality without God!