Louis Massignon the “Muslim Catholic”

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Published on : 05/21/2020 – 19:15Modified : 05/21/2020 – 19:18

World Religions – Sunday May 24, 2020 – 11:10 am-12pm (Paris time)

On the occasion of Eid el Fitr, review of this Ramadan 2020 at home and without a mosque with Youssouf Sangaré, lecturer in Islamology at Clermont-Auvergne University; Abdelali Mamoun, imam in Île-de-France and on Beur FM, and Mohamed Loueslati, prison chaplain for the Grand-Ouest.

And with Manoël Penicaud, we revisit the major figure of Islamic-Christian dialogue, Louis Massignon (1883-1962) nicknamed by Pope Pius XI the “Muslim Catholic”, title of this impressive biography published by Bayard. Manoël Penicaud, anthropologist, specialist in interreligious relations, is a research fellow at the CNRS in Aix-en-Provence. He is one of the curators of the “Shared Holy Places” exhibition presented in 2005 at the Mucem in Marseille and which has continued to travel ever since (Tunis, Paris, New York, Istanbul, etc.). Over 400 pages, enriched with photographic illustrations, this book retraces the “thousand and one lives” of the orientalist, the explorer, the islamologist, the military, the historian, the atheist returned to the faith of his childhood by Hallâj, the mystic Sufi who died crucified in Bagdag in 922. A very detailed portrait which does not erase the complex and tormented personality of this “interreligious smuggler”.

On the occasion of this biography of Louis Massignon, we evoke with Mgr Claude Rault, white father bishop emeritus of the Algerian Sahara, the memory of father Michel Lelong who died Friday April 10, Good Friday, in Paris at the age of 94 from the aftermath of the Covid-19. White father ordained in 1948 in Carthage, he will fully live his call to be a priest in the land of Islam. Returning to France in 1975 after many years in Tunisia, he became the head of SRI, the Department of Relations with Islam. His commitment in favor of Muslims and more broadly in the Middle East will lead him to espouse the Palestinian cause with the sulphurous Roger Garaudy prosecuted in 1996 for Holocaust denial which Father Lelong will support in the name of freedom of expression. This affair, his friendships with controversial personalities and his close proximity to the traditionalists of the Saint Pius X Fraternity will isolate within the Church this man of dialogue who wanted to be open to all.

Children at the end of deconfinement: how do they live this rediscovered freedom, how do they apprehend the outside world, what consequences for their education? Response with Cécile Robilliard, engineer from the École Polytechnique who has worked in community life and is now director of the Saint Vincent de Paul Youth Center in the 10e district of Paris. A Christian place of education inherited from the patronage structure of the 19the century. Open to all children in the neighborhood, the Maison des jeunes de Saint Vincent de Paul offers a wide range of activities from sport to tutoring, including vacation stays, artistic awakening and openness to spirituality.



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