Log-book: January 2006
In Naples At the Magistrate's Court In Vienna
With the publishing in Italian of the book "A catechism with a taste of liberty", I was delighted to travel to Naples and meet with friendly faces.
As we were celebrating the 40 years of the Council of Vatican II, a speech with three speakers had been organized to celebrate this anniversary. One of the effects of the Council seemed to me the maturity shown by Christians. They want to live in their Church what they live as laymen.
Adult and responsible citizens who have a great love for liberty and are used to functioning in a democracy, do not accept to be considered as second-rate citizens. As disciples of Jesus and carriers of his message, they like to be considered equal, without titles and precedence. This re-discovery is filled with promises.
A question is asked of me: " The liberties given by Paul VI to the Franciscans of Assisi have been taken away ". Until then, they were taking initiatives to organize great gatherings for peace and justice, which were a light for many. Now, they have to join the ranks. What do you think of this ban from Rome? ".
What is important to me is not the ban but the Franciscans. What will become of them? Will they continue to grow in humanity, in the faith of Christ? Will they be more evangelical, peacemakers, as was Saint Francis? The Roman ban can be inspirational.
In the gathering, some Christians seemed to relate to that.
At the Magistrate's Court
- In the Northern suburbs of Paris, Assane was summoned to appear before the Magistrate's Court for " using insulting behaviour towards a police officer ". He is a French citizen, he has a family and a job. For many years he has been defending the people with no official documents.
An African woman had a companion with no official documents who had just been put under police custody. She asked Assane to accompany her at the police headquarters and seek information. No information was given to them. Assane is hancuffed and beaten up. He passed two days under police custody at the police headquarters. As soon as he was released, he went to the emergency to show his injuries.
I hold Assane in great esteem. He is a non-violent militant, valued by everyone. I sent the juge a certificate of moral standards.
The audience was at 1 pm. A great number of people had come to support our friend.
On the table of the judge, there were 21 files. A stream of young people pass in front of the bar. During 4 hours, I see people in a very bad state whose world is totally different than the world we live in.
The presiding judge interrogated a young man that was standing before her: " Why do you not work? ". He answered: " I lost my girl friend. I do not feel like working ". The judge seemed stunned!
It was 5 o'clock when Assane was called to the bar. He said nothing. His word would not have weighed very much in front of the word of the police. The Prosecutor of the Republic asked 4 months of prison with a suspended sentence. The woman lawyer found the right words to defend her client. She evoked that those who accused Assane of insulting behaviour were not present and that a prison sentence against him would have serious consequences for his future. The sentence was adjourned.
It was cold in the Austrian capital. It was snowing. Hundreds of Iranian resistant were in front of big building where an international delegation had gathered on the nuclear issue in Iran.
There was no doubt that the Mullahs' regime and the new President have been trying to obtain the atomic bomb to guarantee the survival of the regime and also that the Islamic regime become an unquestionable regional power.
The most dangerous weapon in the world would then be in the hands of the most dangerous regime in the world! The European Union has displayed a policy of accommodation and not one of firmness, loosing time in trying to negotiate with a terrorist regime. This question had not yet been submitted to the Security Council.
The Iranian people do not have a say. The nuclear question is not a national issue. The main concerns are having bread and liberty.
Sent by the Iranian resistance in France, I joined the delegates of other countries. In the icy wind and snow, we spoke one after the other before being received by an official.