Log-book: December 2001

  With some journalists  Witness of the Beauty 
  The Court of Assizes  An every day Ecumenism 
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 





Special Edition

With some journalists

A dozen of television journalists coming from different parts of France were following some training in Paris. Young, witty, clever in dialogue, they spent a whole morning with me to speak about my contacts with some important politicians. How somebody like me, down to earth, helping the excluded persons was received, listened by them? On this subject there was a lot to say! We had an interesting exchange.

Eglise et médias  But as often happened, we spoke about the Church. These journalists were considering themselves as not religious and they were astonished that I still belong to it! 

They were mostly interested to know how my reaction was to the role that the Church had towards me. " Don't you think that the strategic interest of the Church is to let you in the situation you are now? Don't you think that the Church uses you, that it takes advantage of you and that you give it a good conscience?
"Why not? Yes I have some times the feeling that I am used in some actions to defend the illegal immigrants or the homeless people. One uses my presence or my words. It is normal. I am aware of it. It is a way to serve. If the Church utilizes me, isn't it a way to tell me that I am useful for it?






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Evangelisation 2000  Witness of the Beauty 
An original retreat was hold in Quebec in a hotel reserved for that. The organizer of the retreat was "Evangelization 2000", which had called more than two hundred people.
Manoir des sables  In the tourist guide it is mentioned "point-of-view" or "panoramic site" It is the case of this hotel, its name is "Manor of the Sands" More than ever I was feeling like the "bishop of the sands"  
Every morning I enjoyed the sightseeing of the lake and the forest offering their magic Autumn colors.
From Friday night till Sunday lunch the retreat took place in a studious atmosphere with a close friendship between us. The theme was very appealing: " If you knew the gift of God" I appreciated the liturgy and the unforgettable songs, they let foresee the Beauty coming from Heaven with the love of God diffusing into our hearts. We were becoming the witnesses of the Beauty that saves.



The Court of Assizes  Justicia 

I had to testify at the Court of Assizes in Angers. Two activists acting against exclusion and unemployment were condemned to ten and five years of imprisonment. This condemnation followed the death, in not yet known circumstances, of a young activist for Human Rights.

In the crowded Courtroom, I saw for the first time these two young ones who entered the court wearing handcuffs.  menottes 

They wrote me touching letters full of anguish. Their lawyers insisted that I should come. It is not easy to testify without knowing them. Reading the press and meeting their lawyers it is not the same thing as talking to them.

With solemnity in a profound silence, the President of the Court drew the names of the jurors who then gathered around him. Some came up when hearing their name but having already declined they came back to their seat without a word. Then came the list of about twenty witnesses! In regards to this important number and to allow enough time to take acquaintance of the new facts recently brought to the case, the Court decided, after having deliberated, to postpone the trial.

The journalists asked me my reaction:" I wish for a balanced justice after the excessive sentences given to these two activists. To respect the memory of the victim, we don't want this trial to bring another drama by ruining the future of these two young ones who have already had a precarious existence.



An every day Ecumenism
In a rectory in Bale there was a meal in memory of a priest who never stopped to defend immigrants. The Vicar and the Christians of that parish received and gave a lodging to foreigners without documents and they willingly accepted to have this meal at their premises as a souvenir and recognition for the deceased priest.

Sans-papiers en Suisse  Some persons without legal permit came from Berne and Fribourg. Priests, sisters and laymen were among them. Asked to speak I let myself to say what was in my heart.  
This priest, a friend of mine, who left us, could not stand injustice. During his life he has always been with the poor.

The next day, on Sunday, I went to Berne in the Temple of the Reformed Church where immigrants without documents were also helped.
The Pastor, a man of deep attention, had asked me to give the sermon by commenting this part of the Gospel of John: "Truth will make you free".  protestation 
This Sunday was the feast of the Reformation. From the high chair I was talking to the community with immigrants among them. The Pastor invited me to give the communion along with him. I did it with a profound emotion. After a friendly coffee we went to the premises of a catholic parish. I was asked to speak about my experience of the illegal immigrants in Paris. I did it at length in front of a carefully listening audience.
I could not refrain to mention my admiration for their testimony of Protestants and Catholics together, caring for foreigners. Thanks to them, they were living a new Pentecost, understanding that faith cannot be alive without accepting what the others are bringing to us.