France : riots in the suburbs alarm bishops

Source: FSSPX News


On November 7, Mgr. Olivier de Berranger bishop of Saint-Denis, responded to questions put to him by La Croix concerning the riots in the French suburbs. According to him, “whether they be organized or spontaneous”, these demonstrations of violence raise questions about social exclusion and reflect “ordinary life, with amongst other things, persistent youth unemployment”. We must therefore, “join forces to cope with this together”, and “to rebuild a more humane society”. The bishop also evoked the crisis of authority, a moral and spiritual crisis ; “What authority is actually recognized in the family, in schools, in the State?”

 Mgr. de Beranger explained that “suppression is not the only possible response. “It is perhaps inevitable, but it is no good without measures to prevent these evils”. It is “not easy” to say what the Church can do, he added. “There is a dramatic aspect and a threat to democracy. We must not be afraid of plain words: the extremists are merely biding their time. We must do everything to promote dialogue”.

 Among the 140 bishops gathered at Lourdes for a plenary assembly which ended on November 9, many of them, like Mgr. André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, talked of “spontaneous combustion” of the phenomenon generated by the televised images. He felt that we should not fall into the trap of a simplistic interpretation” reduced to a “culture shock”.

 Mgr. Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyons, stressed “the massive religious ignorance among young people”. He recalled the necessary work of “the memory” in the teaching of the catechism. “It needs a solid framework”, he declared.