Past events (December 96)

This month:
Jacques Gaillot: ce que je crois


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Jacques Gaillot: ce que je crois

Grasset-Desclée de Brouwer, Paris 1996, 150 p

Jacques Gaillot has just published a new book. The approach is quite different from his preceeding ones. This is how one of his friends sees it.
Often well known authors are invited to speak for themselves in the famous series "what I believe". They generally tell us about their lives, how their outlook evolved and why they hold such convictions. As for Jacques Gaillot, he has willingly chosen another way of speaking of himself. He has told us fifteen stories in which he got involved and then reflects on their meaning, making such stories real parables. Without a doctrinal creed, he introduces us to his stand as a believer confronted with the problems of our time.

These stories are not all on the same level: it can be a mere encounter with some North African younsters, in the chill of a night, or with a taxi driver who all of a sudden tells of his life and is thrilled with the thought of his son's first communion on the following day. The happy father of a little girl who seeing Jacques Gaillot seated at a café asked him to come and bless his new born babe. But there are also dramas: a mother whose daughter has been killed in a bomb attack and she would like to believe that life is life is still worth living. A young girl who wants to get an abortion because her boy friend, a North

African, has been murdered. An AIDS patient who just before dying, wants to tell his mother what he has always kept for himself, his homosexuality. The tragedy of Ali, excluded from society and killed by other drop outs. There are other stories which deal with society as a whole and are question marks regarding our views of the world and of politics: the refugees of St Bernard's church, the removing of the "palaver tree" and the rehousing of people in match boxes. There is also the question of the atomic bomb, with the great figure of Theodore Monod at the center, or the murder of the monks from Tibhirine and the concrete relationship with an Imam who is also a personal friend. The account of the mass said rue du Dragon, of the funeral of a drop out whose ashes were quietly scattered in the St Germain-des-prés churchyard. This is a meditation on the Church which has to root herself more and more in humankind to weather the storm. Through all that, Jacques Gaillot tells us of his faith, opens the doors of hope, speaks of love. Nothing to do with an Encyclical letter but a living creed, an act of faith.

Jean-Pierre Bagot

Bishop Gaillot receives hundreds of mails every months and can't answer them immediately. He thanks you for understanding.