Testimonials: Attacks ... Covid ...
Published on 13/11/2020 at 20:01
The federation of Muslims of the Tarn represented by its secretary general Bassirou Camara, the imam Abdel Hamid and Steeven Lallemand, faithful of the mosque of Saint-Juéry, came this Friday afternoon to the Sainte-Cécile cathedral to lay a wreath of flowers , to “show (their) solidarity with the Christian community and reject all forms of violence”. They were welcomed by Monsignor Jean Legrez, Archbishop of Albi and Father Paul de Cassagnac, parish priest of the cathedral, on the forecourt of Ste-Cécile.
“Our condolences for what happened. We are sad. Islam preaches mercy, brotherhood, tolerance. Islam forbids murder and says that whoever kills a human being is as if he were killing all of humanity. Those who commit these acts are not Muslims, they are barbarians” insisted Imam Abdel Hamid.
"It's up to us, together, to stand up"
The meeting initially planned by the prefect of the Tarn between the representatives of the different cults in the department, having been made impossible by the confinement, the brand new federation of Muslims of the Tarn took the initiative of this approach of brotherhood. An initiative hailed by the Archbishop of Albi who recalled the approach of Francis of Assisi, in the 13th century, who came to meet the Sultan of Babylon in the midst of a war between Christians and Saracens. “It is up to us, all together, to stand up. We have this commitment,” assured Bassirou Camara.
Father Franklin Parmentier pastor of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption in Nice
November 1 was to be the day of your installation mass as the new pastor of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption. It won't happen after all...
Franklin Parmentier: Yes. We will do a reparation mass instead, at 6 p.m. followed by All Saints' Day mass. It takes place when the Church is seriously injured. We will entrust this repair to the hands of God and ask forgiveness so that he can help us find what the church is made for. That it takes place on November 1 is no coincidence, I think. God gives us the opportunity to respond to an act of hatred and death with an act of communion and love, with the restoration of a place where God gives life. I see it as a very symbolic sign.
So the basilica will soon reopen?
Yes, from Monday, during the prayer for the dead.
Some frightened Christians, on the contrary, call on the Church to close its places of worship, so as not to take any risks in this explosive context. Why not close them?
Because the terrorists are waiting for that. We refuse to submit to violence, fear, barbarism. I won't let them win. We Christians have already experienced the death of Christ on the cross, like a lamb led to the slaughterhouse. “Because of you, we constantly risk death. We are treated like slaughter sheep” (Romans 8:36-39). Jesus opened the tomb, he did not close it. Christians will therefore not close the churches, which are places of resurrection. I know some find this dangerous or irresponsible. But if one thinks that living is not taking risks, then one is not living. We suffer.
Mother Teresa said in a very beautiful prayer: “life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, fight with it. Life is life, defend it. Life is happiness, deserve it”. In le Veni creator, we ask the Holy Spirit to comfort us. It's not just a pretty song; it is in these moments, more than ever, that we must ask for the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Will there remain physical traces of the attack in the church?
The police and anti-terrorism teams have sealed everything necessary for their investigation. The basilica was then cleaned several times. I went there today. Everything was clean, the place smelled good. But that does not wash away the emotion that is in us.
Did you know Vincent Loquès, the murdered sacristan of the basilica?
I knew him nineteen years ago. He was then sacristan at Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc in Nice, where I was a seminarian. He had his character. But he was above all a generous person, with a lot of talent. He made very beautiful nativity scenes; on Tuesday, he was talking to me about future installations over lunch. He welcomed people very well. He had removed part of the pews so that the faithful would have more space to pray in the basilica. When you have ideas like that, it's because you like the place you're looking after.
Will the function of sacristan continue at the basilica?
(Silence) We must live the moment when God asks us to live it. There is a time to mourn, to remember, and then to think about functioning. By dint of always being in the forecast, we no longer live in the present moment. For a moment, you have to know when to stop. For now, our thoughts are Vincent, Nadine, Simone.
Do you often go to the basilica?
Twice a day. I am pastor of three parishes, including this one. I stopped there almost every day to say hello to Vincent, pick up the mail, see the diocesan bursar. The day before the attack, I said mass there at 6 p.m. I had to do it at the same time, October 29th.
Did you say to yourself that you could have been in the basilica during the attack?
Yes. But we try not to think about it. What keeps me going are the testimonies of affection, the prayers of believers, of the community, of my family. In other words, the power of love and friendship, which is the experience of what the true God is. Yesterday I received a message from the nuns of the Carmel of Lyon. They were praying for us. It moved me. It is not negligible, the communion of prayer.
Do you believe there is any significance in the fact that this act took place a few days before your installation mass?
(He remains silent for a long time) This is a question I have been asking myself for several days. In 2015, floodshad already killed 20 people in my parish, Saint Vincent de Lérins, around Mandelieu-la-Napoule. It was very painful. Last year, it started again, with seven deaths. Two years ago, I had a terrible accident, which really slowed me down. I don't think I jinx it. But we can't help but wonder why we live these experiences.
However, “when we look for the answer to why, we are looking for a person responsible, a culprit. When you look for the answer to the how, you find allies”. This remark by the writer Anne-Dauphine Julliand made a deep impression on me. I've been wearing it for years. You have to live with allies, not enemies. Saint Paul said: “God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength”. If God wants me to be there at that time, maybe it's because he's asking me to be a witness. Our faith compels us to take seriously what the Resurrection is, violence, the question of evil, the power of the Holy Spirit. These are not just recited texts. I believe in a God who has overcome evil. He who wants to be all-powerful by violence is the devil, the magic omnipotence, who orders Jesus to throw himself out of the temple. God does not want to do anything out of sadism. The love of God is greater than all powers.
Did you still feel anger?
Yes, I had a lot of anger. But there are two kinds of anger. The one we feel when the world is not as we would like it to be. And the one experienced when the reality of the world is beyond us.
The first anger is pride. We want the world to be like us. But the world is in the image of God. The second anger is the one I felt, against something that is infinitely beyond us. It is a revolt against evil. But do not respond to evil with evil. That would mean letting Satan win. Our anger should not make us look like Satan, but like God. God is sometimes angry in the Bible. But it is an anger of love: he wants us to live in love. Our anger must arouse in us a force of love and not of destruction, revenge, hatred.
How to achieve this, in this world that is currently suffering so much?
It is precisely now that our faith begins. Reality makes us put our finger on what we profess. Faith is not just a belief, a doctrine, a system, but a relationship to God. The Word of God is not made only for men who lived 2000 years ago, but for today. See the text of the daily liturgy on the day of the attack: “Put on the armor of God to be able to stand against the maneuvers of the devil. (…) Yes, stand firm, having around your loins the belt of truth, wearing the breastplate of justice, your feet shod with the ardor to announce the Gospel of peace, and never leaving the shield of faith (Ephesians 6, 10-20).
Are you afraid ?
It's not a question of fear, rather of taking stock of what happened. When you face such an abyss of violence… (Pauses, wipes his eyes) You know, time has stopped this that day. I arrived at 9:39 am at the basilica, surrounded by sirens, policemen, politicians. Many have been admirable. We are not alone ; on the outside there are wonderful people, and on the inside there is heart to heart with God.
Wounded, the terrorist is currently being treated. Have you thought of him?
When Pope John Paul II was attacked on May 13, 1981, his assailant was not dead. Many wanted it. But something turned this man into a prison. Benedict XVI said that we had to “hope against all hope”. I hope that man who attacked the basilica finds a place to convert to life. Where he will renounce death, violence, his false gods, for the God who loves. I have this hope. It does not belong to me, nor to John Paul II when he met his attacker. It is not utopian. It is because the Church believes that a man can still accomplish something greater than his deeds that she is against the death penalty.
Laurent PERCEROU Bishop of Nantes
" Have the joy of hope, stand firm in the trial " (Romans 12, 12)
Our country, like many European countries, is entering a new confinement due to the deterioration of the health situation. Also, as last spring and as of November 3, we will no longer be able to gather physically to celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments. I know that expressed here and there - and I understand it - the weariness of having to relive a trying experience, misunderstanding and even anger (which is never a good adviser !)
Also, I believe we need to consent. What is consent ? It is to welcome a reality that we did not choose and which upsets the balance of our life, for a greater good… We can agree to small things, but also to bigger ones. For example, a father or a mother who consents to his spouse going to work, for a time, away from the family home because it is necessary for the family to have the necessities to live. And we could multiply the examples.
What must we consent to? The confinement imposed by the political authorities asks us to consent to give up our usual life in the Church and to welcome Christ into our lives through sacramental practice, tout particulièrement celle de l'Eucharistie. Pour quel bien ? Permettre à notre pays, et more broadly to our world, to stem a pandemic that threatens human life. This is the primacy of charity.
« Consentir » ne signifie pas « se résigner »._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ It is true that we cannot help but welcome the reality of confinement for at least a month. But to resign oneself is to lack hope. But we have to believe that in all the efforts made by caregivers, researchers, by all those involved in services to the population, in all the gestures of fraternity experienced daily in simplicity and closeness, what is expressed is what there is something more beautiful in man who is for us this divine spark, this spark of resurrection. We have to believe that the sacrifice made not only makes us stand in solidarity with all our suffering brothers and sisters throughout the world, with all our Christian brothers and sisters who live without being able to commune with the body of their Lord, but that it participates in the fight against this pandemic which threatens the balance of our world.
Yes, it is painful to consent not to take communion. But it would be even more painful if the Eucharist were no longer celebrated. come to the Father so that he “ sanctifies them by his Spirit, so that they may become the body and blood of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who told us to celebrate this mystery_cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_». There resounds an invitation to rediscover what we too often forget: the Eucharist is celebrated for the “multitude”, which is not only the assembly physically present or the multitude of Christians alone, but indeed all of humanity.
Also, in this trying time, I would like to endorse what Father François RENAUD wrote to you during the previous confinement :
“ In the trial, let us be persevering in praising the Lord and encouraging the faithful to remain in this disposition. This is perhaps our major conversion point.
This invitation to conversion also concerns our witness to charity. In the eyes of the world, the risk would be to situate itself as an identity group which would only have the concern "of the group". We know the letter to Diognetus. Our response to the pandemic must be charity, doing the maximum, according to our own possibilities, spiritually and materially, for the dying, the sick, the old, the poor, the isolated. When the time comes, we will know how to return to the Eucharist, not as a due or a routine, but as an incredible gift.
Dear diocesans, in these times of trial, the Holy Spirit is not confined and he is already guiding your way.
« Be united to one another in brotherly affection, compete in respect for one another. Do not slow down your momentum, remain in the fervor of the Spirit, serve the Lord, have the joy of hope, hold firm in the trial, be diligent in prayer. » (St Paul to the Romans, 12, 10-12)
+ Laurent PERCEROU
Bishop of Nantes
Louis Antoine Leloup, Anne his wife, Claire Renée and Marie Perrine his daughters, were beheaded on January 17, 1794, in the name of the republic and secularism, because they had "images" of the Sacred Heart in their homes.
How can images (not even caricatures) be the occasion for crimes? In the name of what ? Of the Republic ? Of reason? Of the ideology which must erase any image where the man is represented with a heart?
Need we remind you that the secular and republican state was founded with great blows from the guillotine? And not so long ago in the streets of Paris, weren't some demonstrators walking around the President's head (in picture) on pikes?
France is the people who can boast, not without arrogance, of having decapitated a multitude of human beings of all ages and backgrounds, their king and queen, and of having made a grand spectacle of them, more cruel and absurd. than all tweeters today.
Whether beheading in the name of religion or secularism, for pious images or for caricatures, it is always beautiful human faces, innocent heads that fall...
It is not only against the barbarism of the Islamists or that of the secular and revolutionary republicans that we must fight but against the fanaticism and the violence which are inscribed in the heart of man, or more exactly in his heartlessness. It is against “brains on legs” full of their reasoning or their ideologies that we must confront.
The obscurantism of enlightenment is undoubtedly equal to the obscurantism of religions. Both, in the name of light, whether that of reason or that of faith, can be assassins of the day (Dies) and it is night on the world.
Should we dare to say it, do not be afraid of being called retarded or naive: "lights" without love are steel blades that freeze and kill.
The heartless man, whether secular or religious, whatever his ideology, is capable of all crimes. who always wants to be right?
The man who has a heart is a true God, an incarnate God, a conscience who has his feet on the ground and who keeps the head on his shoulders.
“During these five days of assembly, we have been awakened by the testimony of indigenous peoples and motivated by our struggles and our dreams. ”
A day like no other! Coming from the parish of Sainte Émilie de Villeneuve and the parish of Saint Vincent de Paul. There were many of them: children from catechism, catechists and parents who followed in Emile's footsteps to meet him. Sisters Jeanne Hermine, Cinthia and Eliane-Claire actively participated.
(Sr. Eliane Claire Kenguele)
CIMI: Missionary Indegenist Council.
Organization linked to CNBB, National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.
It was created for the defense of indigenous peoples and their territories.
This assembly, the XXIII, took place at the Center of Fractions Vicente Cañas de Luziânia, in the State of Goiais.
The theme: In defense of the Constitution, against the theft and devastation of indigenous territories.
Motto: "Stop !!! this land has owners! In this dark time that threatens the lives of "indigenous peoples", the CIMI wants to be a response of Hope. The harder times are, the greater the Hope must be!" (Pedro Casaldaliga)
The laity of Gabon gather in Lambaréné for their second National Day of the Blue Family.
They are 38 from Mekambo, Port-Gentil, Libreville, Fougamou and Lambaréné.
The laity encountering the charism and the spirituality of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres is the theme of this day.
During the entrance chant of the opening mass, each group placed the name of their group at the feet of Saint Joseph, with a lighted lantern.
Arrived from the 4 corners of Gabon, for this great meeting, the feast of the Visitation made us taste the joy of Mary meeting Elisabeth. Thank you for your prayers that accompany us.
(Sister Louise Marie)
SYNOD FOR AMAZONIA
News from the Mother House
From these mountains of Judea, in the middle of the desert, I was able to say again with the psalmist: '' I raise my eyes to the mountains, where will my help come from?''
And the Lord kept me going and coming...
From Castres I share with you all the special blessings of this stay in Israel that we will, in many ways, have the opportunity to share. I prayed for us. Thanks again to everyone.
(Marie Philomene Diouf)
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