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At the Agir pour notre Eglise gathering, the observation that “nothing has really changed”

“At least they work! ». On the Pont au Double in the 4e arrondissement of Paris, Bernard shows the workers busy rebuilding Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. “While our bishops… No”. This retiree is taking part in the gathering initiated by the collective Agir pour notre Eglise, organized following the revelations concerning the former bishop of Créteil, Mgr Michel Santier, to “interpellate” the bishops, a few days before the Plenary Assembly of the CEF in Lourdes.

Sexual abuse: a sanction targeting a priest of Versailles revealed a few days after his death

The Santier affair, revealed a fortnight ago by Christian Family et Goliathput Béatrice in “full bubbling”. Parishioner in Créteil, she rubbed shoulders with the former bishop accused of “voyeurism”. The person in charge of the catechumenate of her parish says to herself “outraged” of the “watered down press releases” read before masses by the priests of the diocese. She who found “a little overdone” the Ciase report in October 2021, saw its confidence broken by this affair.

“Nothing has really changed”

A year after the publication of the Sauvé report, Sabine regrets the “lack of real action” from the bishops. “A year ago, we were expecting change”she lets go. “And we realize that the silence is still there: nothing has really changed”. Next to her, Arnold recounts having attended two Parisian parishes during the post-Ciase year. Moon “very aware of the situation, with a space in the church reserved for prayer for the victims”. And the other ? “Nothing, not a word”.

The « silence » and the ” trust ” and the ” truth “ return to the signs of the thirty participants gathered near Notre-Dame. Among them, we also share the finding of a problem of “governance and stratum” within the Church of France, summarizes Bernard. “We are ready to rebuild it”supports Emmanuelle, leaning on her bike. “The Church belongs to us, it is our duty”.

Few people on the bridge

no way for her “to give up”, in view of the extent of the revelations of sexual abuse. And no question either, “to demand the resignation of all the bishops of France”believes Laure, a parishioner in the Yvelines, even if she says she is “painful” to see so few people at this gathering, hastily organized on social networks.

“Bishops must recognize the need for a profound change in the governance of the Church”

Laure, like many other participants, intends to write to her bishop, “so that he has problems in mind before going to Lourdes”. A model letter has also been developed on the Agir pour notre Eglise website. And she will go this Sunday at 3 p.m. to the bishopric of her diocese, as the organization also invites her. In addition, for the moment, five other similar gatherings have declared themselves over the weekend.

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