France: Plenary meeting of the Bishops in Lourdes

Source: FSSPX News


From November 4 to 9, the plenary meeting of the French Bishops took place in Lourdes. Mgr Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux and president of the French Bishops’ Conference, opened the proceedings of this 40th plenary meeting in the presence of 142 bishops.

The archbishop of Bordeaux affirmed the "duty to fight tenaciously against all forces of marginalization; and of economic, social and political injustice". "We shall not solve migration issues by building up wall around the European Union", he went on, "only engagement for an interdependent development of all the peoples and a necessary conversion of our ways of life will help to find just and human solutions". The Catholic Church must “form people to ’the globalization of solidarity’ ”.

Mgr Ricard also recalled the vital importance of "the Eucharist for the baptized" and the "importance of the inestimable gift of priestly celibacy", adding that evangelization "calls very specially for this form of freedom and total consecration" which "thousands of priests accept today serenely and out of love". The archbishop of Bordeaux presented the acts of the meeting: the success of the workshop on catechesis, the implementations of the structural reform of the French Bishops’ Conference for a more effective collegiality.

Concerning the outburst of violence in the suburbs, a communiqué dated November 5 declared: "We must ask ourselves what can have generated such tornadoes of violence in our new towns. Recent urbanization, the difficulties for the young to find employment, unstable familial life are often mentioned". It added "the pictures that the media give of these events find a strong echo in public opinion and engender defiance between the different elements making up the population". The bishops supported "all the work daily accomplished by numerous associations and institutions in order to create bonds of interdependence for a fraternal life together", putting forward the proposal of offering "a future of freedom, liberty, dignity and respect of neighbor" to these young people "often lacking hope". No allusion was made to the dechristianization of France before the growing Islamization of the suburbs.