- Three questions
to Jacques Gaillot
On last August, Cardinal Ratzinger,
head of the congregation for the Faith, wrote about" The
collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world".
The Vatican raised the voice against feminism and homosexuality.
What do you think about the way the Church of the 21st century
acknowledges the role and the position of women ?
In regards to the doctrine, I do not
see any change. The doctrine is reaffirmed. Cardinal Ratzinger
described relatively accurately the actual situation of women
- He pointed out the dangers of willing
to ignore the differences between genders or on the contrary
of exemplifying their rivalry.
However the gap is still widening between the traditional positions
of the Church and the significant cultural changes observed in
our societies. There is a breach of culture because the modernity
is not accepted.
In a traditional family, men prevail on women, parents on children,
and heterosexuals on homosexuals.
In a democratic family, these three inequalities gradually tend
to disappear: each individual is considered as a person in himself.
The affirmation of the autonomy of the individual, written in
the Law, has radically changed the traditional landmarks of life
The Roman Catholic Church certainly
recognizes the dignity of women, but it does not recognize their
full equality inside its institution. Gender cannot be a source
of inequality. Women have still not the right to be ordained.
- What do you think about the piety
for Mary as developed by John-Paul II?
- During his pontificate, the Pope
has restored the piety for Mary: at the occasion of many pilgrimages
around the world, in his writing (I am thinking about the enlightening
mysteries added to the rosary) and in his preaching. Rarely a
Pope has shown such great piety for Mary!
This development of the cult for Mary seems too much for me.
It does not help the unity between Christians. Our Protestant
brothers do not understand our piety for Mary. At the occasion
of the visit of the Pope to Lourdes, they expressed this difference
In the Bible, Mary has her own place,
all of it, but it is said with so much discretion and simplicity!
The unity of the Christians has to be made around Christ.
- During his visit to Lourdes,
the Pope said: "Fight for your liberty" and he pleaded
for" a respect for all life". This was understood as
another opposition to abortion and euthanasia. How did you understand
- I understood it as a call for resistance.
Christians are invited to enter into resistance. In a materialist
and secular society, they have to oppose every thing that does
not respect human life. They are free men and women, able to
I am sensitive to a speech promoting
resistance and disobedience! It is so rare in the Church!
Usually the Church authorities request to obey and to be submitted
to established powers. Why not extends this call for resistance
to other domains?
(Interviewed by Olivier Robert)