In Orleans, the first priests of the “generation Covid” ordained this weekend

The formula, a little hasty, made them smile or frown. However, the future priests of this “generation Covid “that The Cross met at the seminary interdiocesan of Orleans, readily acknowledge that the period, as unexpected as singular, the containment will remain etched in their memories.

→ PODCAST. “My son has chosen to become a missionary priest in China “

However, the most Orleans, almost all of the seminarians have lived scattered in the parish, closer to the daily realities that they are about to live, in embracing the life of a diocesan priest. Throughout their training, rather, it is the continuing revelation of scandals of sexual abuse in the Church that has marked harshly for their generation.

An indelible imprint ?

Then, this epidemic can have a profound influence on the next ministry of those who have been ordained the year, where a large part of the world was confined ? One thing is certain, it has had concrete consequences for Thibault Riès, 27, who will be ordained a priest for the diocese of Blois on 23 August, instead of Sunday 28 June.

In Orleans, the first priests of the

Well-groomed beard, neck and roman sandals, the young man already seems perfectly comfortable in his future mission. If he has not discovered the life at the rectory during the confinement, he has proven for two consecutive months ; a first.

→ TO READ. Cardinal Ouellet wants more women in seminaries

“I felt more deeply my limits and my weaknesses “says Thibault Riès, speaking with a maturity that makes you forget his age. Sensitive to the attention exacerbated the most vulnerable and isolated during the confinement, he wishes to place this concern at the centre of his ministry.

Beliefs shattered or strengthened

Participating in the proposals of the parish of Blois with the parish priest and his vicar, he has experienced the absence of the community. “I knew that a priest could not be and act alone, but I have become more aware that it should not, provides the seminarian, joining the debate still current about the place of the laity, especially women. We can think of that alone, it gains in efficiency, but I have the conviction that the mission should be increased to several and it is not built anything lasting without the parishioners. “

In Orleans, the first priests of the

This period has been able to shake a few, or strengthen the beliefs of some other. Large stature and long hair, Franck Valadier, 34 years, will be ordained a deacon to the priesthood, Saturday, July 4, for the diocese of Evry. This former boxing champion, who is very active in social action for the containment, has matured his own vision of the priest : the less a theologian, but more on the ground.

Confrontation with the reality of parish

The ordeal of confinement and the prolonged contact with priests, often much older than them, will, without doubt, as a developer or an accelerator to the discernment of the vocation of the seminarians, especially the younger people.

Jegani Arockiasamy happens to him, at the end of a long training he has began in India and continued at the seminary of Orleans. His ordination was to take place in early July in India, before he came to serve in the diocese of Saint-Claude (Jura), but the date was postponed because of the epidemic.

“During this period, I experienced a bit like a spiritual retreat, far away from my family, my country, my culture, I have become more aware of all that I had forsaken to follow Christ and become a priest in France “says he, rejoicing in his mission.

In Orleans, the first priests of the

The confrontation with the reality of the parish was also made to reflect on Emmanuel Renault, age 31, who will be ordained on the 13th of September for the diocese of Limoges. Confined to the rectory of Saint-Junien, (Haute-Vienne) with the two parish priests of his parish home, the seminarian has appreciated the support of the lives of several.

“The question of loneliness has always been a concern as to whether I would be able to face, he says. This experience I reinforced the idea that I need a life community to regularly share meals, pray and just talk. “

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“The experience of the actual conditions of the life of a priest “

Father Laurent Tournier, rector of the interdiocesan of Orléan

“About ten months a year on training, two months of confinement in the parish, it is far from being negligible. Without making too much of it, it is certain that our seminarians have lived a very strong experience of the actual conditions of the life of a priest.

They perceived that give themselves to Christ was not words, it’s no longer belongs : it is necessary to manage the funeral, the calls for help, the animation of the parish, but also make the races… They have experienced material poverty and human of the Church, without that this is a scoop, and at the same time its creativity and vitality. “

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The Scouts and Guides of France are launching their centenary

Organize a great scavenger hunt in his neighborhood, or a small concert between neighbours, bake a cake in the shape of a cross scout, camp in his garden, hanging his scarf on a window under a sign for ” 100 years “, and help his parents in the day to day tasks, designing an e-postcard for non-scout his surroundings, improvising a photo exhibition of a camp in the lobby of a building…

→ TO READ. Containment : millions of young people gathered around a “Jamboree” scout virtual

Pandemic is forcing, the movement of Scouts and Guides of France (SGDF) has had to compete with ingenuity to be able to mark the kick-off, Saturday, June 27, the centenary of its foundation. Failing to be able to in fact organize this weekend the open days and gatherings which would have originally to take place a little everywhere in France, it invites its members to share, on social networks, a challenge reflecting their joy of being a scout.

A large mosaic

The principle is simple. Until Friday 26 June, the young, members, or alumni of the association can share ideas and challenges on the Page Facebook of the event. The next day, then they are asked to take a photo or a video of their performance, and then to share it on the social networks (1), with different hashtags : #100ansSGdF #Partagetonbonheur #CentenaireSGdF. The association then planned to do so, from these posts, a great “mosaic [virtuelle]reflecting the happiness to be a scout and guide.”

→ TO READ. Coronavirus : remain scout without gather

This first stage of the centenary launch three years of festivities focused on the history and future of the movement, founded in 1920 (2) by father Jacques Sevin on the model of The Boy Scouts created in the uk in 1907 by Lord Robert Baden Pawell. “The Doors open and the rallies that we wanted to do this at the end of June have been deferred to much later, on the occasion of the feasts of groups that will take place in September 2022 “, Agnes says Cerbelaud, responsible for the communication of the SGDF.

“Approach the pilgrim”

“They will be largely open, to make it easy to discover the movement “, she says. While the youth directorate of the ministry of national education, published, Tuesday, June 16, the reference document for adapting the organization of scout camps this summer to the health situation related to the Covid-19, and that the various youth groups to reflect actively in its implementation, Agnès Cerbelaud further emphasizes that “the approach pilgrim who will host, for three years, this centenary year will already be a thread for the duration of summer camps “.

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In Gabon, the catholic Church is critical of the decriminalisation of homosexuality

The catholic Church of gabon is opposed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality. She expressed, Thursday, June 24, in a message signed by Bishop Jean-Iba Iba, archbishop of Libreville. ” In the name of the wisdom of our ancestors contained in our various cultures that celebrate the Life, Love, Family, we say no to the decriminalisation of homosexuality “, protested the archbishop.

→ TO READ. In Gabon, a nun murdered, the alleged murderer went

Until July 2019, no law gabonese not ruled on homosexuality. Since this date, a law passed almost unnoticed was the relationship between people of the same sex became punishable by 6 months imprisonment and a fine of 5 million CFA francs (7 600 €). It is this act which has been cancelled on Tuesday 23 June by the national Assembly of gabon thanks to the votes of 48 mps from 25 abstained.

“It is not to demonize “

The archbishop of Libreville, who is standing as the defender of the traditional family, however, specifies that” this is not to demonize or throw stones “but rather’ s” open to the truth “. ” It is to be regretted that some international organizations tend to condition their aid to the acceptance of modes of behaviour foreign to our customs “, he added, urging leaders to” railing against these methods unhealthy opting for the fight of freedom “.

In the eyes of the archbishop, this vote” is a danger to [nos] children and for the homosexuals themselves “risk of “hostile reactions, and discrimination “. It also calls on all religious denominations to organize a time of prayer for” implore the help of the Lord of the universe in these difficult times “.

→ TO READ. Austria : the blessing of same-sex couples in reflection

In the wake of the message of Archbishop Iba Iba, the apostolic vicariate of Makokou (north east) has begun a novena of prayer against the decriminalization of homosexuality and other sexual deviance. Similarly, some of the priests of gabon have released a video denouncing this new while on social networks, was circulating false information – quickly denied by the diocese of Libreville, according to which pope Francis would have” called to order “the archbishop of Libreville.

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The community of Bose wants to ” ask forgiveness for the scandal “

“We are not the best” : this is the title of a book in 2002 of its founder brother Enzo Bianchi and the community of Bose has chosen to explain to the relatives of the monastery of the recent vicissitudes that it has just been through.

“We want to ask you for forgiveness for the scandal that we have raised and the counter-witness we gave,” say the brothers and sisters of Bose in a text published on 19 June on the website of the community where they emphasize the quality of the sound of the three apostolic visitors appointed by the Holy see ” on the basis of a series of communications about the deep suffering in the fraternal life Bose “.

→ TO READ. Enzo Bianchi was invited by the Vatican to leave the monastery of Bose

Decisions personally approved by pope Francis at the end of this apostolic visit ” to identify the root causes of a severe discomfort relating to “the exercise of authority, the management of the government and the brotherly atmosphere” at Bose “, the community pointed out two key points.

“A unit seriously compromised “

First, the appointment of one of the three visitors, the religious clarétain Amedeo Cencini, an expert in human relations, such as ” pontifical delegate with full powers “.

“And not as “commissioner,” “, this specifies the community that stresses ” that it was not deemed necessary to revoke the prior, brother Luciano legitimately elected in 2017 – and confirmed by the Community two years later, as provided for in the statute – but to support him in his ministry of presidency of the unity of the community “.

“A unit in which the visitors had found that she was seriously compromised, seeing the deep suffering daily, discouragement and lack of motivation caused among many brothers and sisters “, insist the brothers and sisters of Bose.

Then, and this is the decision that has had the most impact on public opinion, the community of Bose is explained on the setting aside of the brother Enzo Bianchi, who, with two other brothers and a sister, he has been asked ” to take a distance with the community and the fraternities, while remaining brothers and sisters of Bose, to live for a certain period of time, each in a different place, not necessarily monastic “.

“No eviction, no foreclosure “

“No eviction no eviction, but a temporary removal of some members of the community who continue to belong to it “, insists strongly Bose, who adds that ” these provisions are not concerned with issues of doctrinal orthodoxy “.

Apart from the request to move a time the community Enzo Bianchi and the three members are not subject to any prohibition ” to exercise the ministry monastic listening, coaching, preaching, study, teaching, publication, research, biblical, theological, patristic, spiritual “.

These provisions indicate, therefore, before any interpersonal difficulties between the members of the community.

“We believe that the answer can not be found in the attribution of guilt and responsibility to one or the other, but rather in the finding lucid that “we are not the best” and as the Divisor, we have not been spared, and that we did not manage to face him with enough faith, hope and charity “, conclude the brothers and sisters of Bose, who invite their friends to the prayer that ” we can resume the path of conversion and implementation to the suite of the Lord “.

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“The authority of Scripture,” in debates on the Appointment of Protestant Thinking

The Cross : Why have you created the Appointment of Protestant Thinking (RVPP) ?

Pastor Samuel Amédro : Starting from the intuition that it is necessary to help raise a young generation of thinkers, this idea was born out of a frustration vis-à-vis a kind of fragility, of weakness, of what can come at this time in terms of protestant theology. Theologians often think only, it is now rare to see them confront their own thinking of others, even at conferences where the words are juxtaposed, opening finally little to the debate.

→ REPORT. A “new impetus” to the gospel of the protestant Federation of France

We wanted to show that something new can come from the reflection on the gap, as theorized by the philosopher François Jullien believed that when one is asked what one believes or what one thinks, it is good to compare it to something very different, and to measure the path travelled. It is this journey, even from one thought to another which is productive.

All of the trends – lutheran-reformed, evangelical… – thinking protestant are represented at this occasion. This methodology establishes a sort of brotherhood : no one feels on top of the other. Finally, there is also a discussion on the spot, in interaction with the audience, and moments of prayer and conviviality. It is important that people also accept to play something of the spiritual order, and not only intellectual.

What is it that has chaired, this year, at the choice of the theme “The authority of the Scriptures for today : issues and perspectives “ ?

P. S. A : Within French protestantism, a serious crisis has publicly exploded at the time of the synod of the Protestant Church United to France (EPUdF) in Sète (Hérault), who paved the way [en 2015, NDLR] to the blessing of same-sex couples.

It was already a sticking point, but disagreements on the reading and interpretation of the Bible are then crystallized : “This is a decision contrary to the Scriptures, “” he must not be reading too much literal texts “, ” do I have to first question the text, or leave me question for him ? “… This is a sore subject, and it is for this reason that we wanted to work on it.

→ TO READ. “The report in the Bible is dusted among the protestants “

Is it that we still listen to today, the Bible in the world ? Is that interpret is to betray ? Until where to listen to the text, and where the master ? Through all the Churches, the subject, cleaving, opens many questions that we will address in the RVPP. If there are points of blockage – and it is necessary that there is ! – this will mean that there is a real discussion, not hiding, not what everyone thinks.

How to bounce back, at the end of this new session of debates ?

P. S. A : In view of the quality of the texts [accessibles sur le site des RVPP] we have received from the hand of pairs, we can see that there are really things to dig. Likely, so we will keep this theme in the next year, in order to explore finesse this issue.

→ TO READ. Those protestants who are rediscovering the Bible

While the two faculties of theology of Geneva, Lausanne – have joined us this year and that other – Brussels, Kinshasa – have expressed their interest to do so next year, we would like to a priori give us one more year, with new pairs that would occur and would “the no more” to deepen the topic.

At the end of the RVPP, we do no obligation as to the result : we allow ourselves the freedom to publish what we find to be good, but if it is not ripe yet, we will leave the time.

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In Mali, the discrete mediation of the catholic Church

Since the beginning of the protest movement in Mali, there has been very little heard from the catholic Church, which, however, is hard at work to bring about peace. ” In the midst of this particularly difficult situation, we, the religious, remains only the choice between two behaviours : be vigilant and act as mediators to facilitate the dialogue and the calm to return “said the 24 June to the missionary agency Fides, the cardinal Jean Zerbo, archbishop of Bamako.

→ PORTRAIT. Imam Mahmoud Dicko shuddered at the presidential palace in Mali

The day before, the 23 June presidential majority and the protest movement had made a great step forward by accepting to dialogue, for the first time since the beginning of the crisis. It began on Friday 5 June when, at the end of the muslim prayer, thousands of people marched to the call of the imam Dicko, the godfather of the Coordination of movements, associations and supporters (Cmas), a movement politico-religious. Their goal ? The resignation of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita found “ incompetent “. Imam Dicko, subsequently joined opposition parties and civil associations to form the M5.

Sentinels and mediators

In his interview to the agency Fides, the cardinal Zerbo says that the religious denominations have joined forces to push the various actors to the dialogue. ” We have established a group of religious leaders – muslim, catholic and protestant – in order to exert pressure on the government and create the conditions for dialogue, he stressed. We meet regularly and seek to speak directly with the protagonists “. For the archbishop of Bamako, the socio-political situation of the country hardens the heart of many people hence the need to redouble our prayers “ so that God converts the heart “. ” Now, it is possible to say that the heart of a lot of stone. It is up to us to make it flesh “, he added.

Presidential party and M5

If the meeting between the presidential party and the M5 on Tuesday, June 23, has not resulted in any pattern of exit from the crisis, it is, according to observers, a glimmer of hope, especially, that on Sunday, June 21, imam Dicko had shown good will by accepting to meet with the presidential majority. In addition to the religious, the economic Community of African States West (Ecowas) had sent emissaries to help re-establish the dialogue between the two parties.

Similarly, the embassies foreign representation in Bamako have been continuously taking initiatives to encourage the dialogue. According to observers, it is not excluded that the offer of government of national unity made by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita interested in a part of the opposition, thus dividing the M5. Similarly, the satisfaction of certain demands of teachers and care personnel away from the latter the protest movement’s lose to the M5 its social base.

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“It is necessary to reopen the question of the ministries “

The Cross : That reveals, to your eyes, the echo met by the news of Anne Soupa announcing his nomination to the archbishopric of Lyon ?

Anne-Marie Pelletier :

This nomination has raised some objections. First because she wants to ignore the fact that the tradition of the church is to be called/e and not to apply to a position of responsibility. What happens to the men of the Church to forget precisely. Then because he is not sure the best way to renew the institutional Church is to claim to invest according to the existing roles.

Women must occupy seats of institutional, certainly, but not necessarily by the conquest of the forms of power existing. Moreover, the extremism of this announcement is a good excuse not to hear it. The fact remains that the media success that it has met the demonstration of a blocked situation. As if was still only available to the provocation.

Is it so extravagant that women claim to be clerics as the other ? How to they take more than their place in the decision ? Priesthood and governance are they inseparable ?

A.-M. P. : For women to be clerics, like the others, is it really that interesting ? If they had to access a day to the ministerial priesthood – lapse today, it would need to be to live it and exercise it a little differently. Otherwise, it is all a matter of power and competition.

There are many places where women must be active today to exercise authority and to inspire a new governance. Since the instances of the parish, until the tips of the episcopal office, and until the council of the pope, why not ? Similarly, why not a college of cardinals with women ?

→ EXPLANATION. What is the place of women in the Church ?

The truth hear is that the ministerial priesthood cannot be the only one who allows to decide of the life and governance of the Church. If already the women have been taught ecclesiology in the seminaries, the Church could have a different face.

The ordination of women deacons would allow women to find a better place in the Church ?

A.-M. P. : This would undoubtedly have a strong symbolic value. But the question is more complex than it seems. It all depends on the profile of the diaconate, its powers, its method of institution. An under-dimensioned the diaconate male would only confirm the inequality between men and women. A risk that is not illusory so great is the fear of some that the women come too close to the sacrament of order.

In addition, too much focus on this issue, there is a risk of obscuring the true scale of the problem. It is the question of all ministries in the Church that must be reopened, as it affects both sexes and different states of life. Women write to me besides to tell me their waiting for a real conversion of the views and mindsets, prior to the esteem and equality. They pose the question of their legitimacy to hear the Word of God, demand that there should be a credit to their experience, that we include their voice in the word of the magisterium.

Where is the question of the diaconate precisely ?

A.-M. P. : In fact, it has not ceased to be asked, since Vatican II and the restoration of the permanent diaconate. By women, but also of bishops. The historical works are numerous. In 1997, the international theological Commission has been asked to formulate an opinion. The general trend has been to vote in favour of the diaconate for women, but this conclusion has been sidestepped.

In 2016, the superiors general of religious communities (UISG) have challenged pope Francis, who has set up a commission to examine the history of the tradition. It is given on the existence of deaconesses, but is separate on the manner in which they were instituted, by ordination or not.

Today the pope started a new commission, of which I am a part of. His work, to me, it seems, will have to start by asking the question of faithfulness to Tradition. Is it a reality still, as such a setting, we might not be able to repeat ? Or do we seek it not for a work of creativity, actualization, as taught to father Congar ?

Similarly, we will certainly do right in this Church, starting with the needs of the christian communities, take account of realities. Don’t forget that this commission extends the Synod on the Amazon, which has highlighted the reality of communities deprived of their priests, having survived that thanks to a christian dedicated to faith and the exercise of charity. We can hope that they are receiving an enabling institutional and sacramental. And that others are called to such a ministry is confirmed by ordination.

Would this not be the cléricaliser ?

A.-M. P. : In itself, this is not to be clericalized as receive a mandate from the bishop to the service of the ecclesial body. It all depends on the manner of carrying out the mission. And it is true that all mission in the Church is likely to be affected by this vice, that we call ” clericalism “. The antidote to this, it is the service, such as taught by the Christ, at the back of the human way of exercising power. Nothing that we or spontaneously natural. Yet I believe the women’s well arranged, and well endowed, for a disinterestedness truly evangelical.

What do you imagine to make alive this tradition ?

A.-M. P. : It should certainly not stick to what we can know about the past. The female diaconate was essentially dedicated to the service of women, especially in the celebration of baptism by immersion.

Today, we are in a configuration quite different, and indeed varies from country to country. This diversity must be taken into account, as are the new conditions of church life in a country like ours. The diaconate should allow them to baptize, celebrate marriages, as it would make their preaching accessible.

The same could revaluate the actions that are carriers of grace. So, when a woman – but also a man of religious non-priest receives a confession, even without being able to give absolution. The sacramental grace is not assignable to our only seven sacraments.

The context (the abuse crisis, in particular) is conducive to such changes ?

A.-M. P. : It must be a stimulant for a reflection of substantive and institutional revisions that must result from this. But the work to be carried out must also be done in the clear awareness that we live in a world where the anthropological question occupies the whole of the world.

The relationship between men and women is being questioned everywhere, and a way in which we should welcome. It must of course also refer to the Church. This is a chance for her to engage in a true work of gospel conversion. The chance of finding true inner balance, by having the courage to imagine the Church otherwise. The cause of women is also simply that of the Church. Can the one and the other not to be lost causes.

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Reopening of places of worship in Great Britain

It took a long time to come, but the resumption of religious services in England has finally been set to July 4. The british prime minister, Boris Johnson, has confirmed on Tuesday 23 June his plan déconfinement providing for the next reopening of places of worship, as well as other places of the public space such as bars, restaurants, or theatres.

→ PORTRAIT. In the United Kingdom, Patrick Vallance and herd immunity

Closed since march 23, to deal with the epidemic of Covid-19, the places of worship of the United Kingdom had been allowed to reopen partially in mid-June, for the funeral ceremonies and prayers of the individual. While England plans to fully resume its religious activities on 4 July, Northern Ireland has advanced the date to June 29. Scotland and wales have not yet ruled.

Weddings allowed

The british prime minister explained that the places of worship, English would again be allowed to hold offices, but also weddings, limited to 30 persons, in compliance with the social distancing. The singing will be temporarily prohibited, in order not to spread the virus.

These severe restrictions, however, have not started the enthusiasm of the religious representatives in the country. ” It is great that we can soon bring us together again to worship in our churches “, welcomed the primate of the anglican Church and archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in a press release.

The most reverend Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster and president of the bishops ‘Conference of England and Wales, also applauded the government’s decision, thanking” all those who have worked hard to get here, my fellow religious not least “. Last may, following the announcement of the plan of déconfinement british, the cardinal English was concerned on the BBC of the belated recovery of the offices in July :” We would like the government to show a little more sensitivity “he said.

A re-opening in stages

In an effort of appeasement, a working group was then established between the secretariat of State for Communities, the representatives of the six cults (Church of england, catholic Church, judaism, islam, hinduism, sikh) and the Faith Action network faith-based organizations and the community. On 15 June, the churches of the English had obtained the possibility of a partial reopening for prayers private. This decision was welcomed by cardinal Nichols as” a big step forward for the company “in the face of coronavirus.

If the christian clergy now appreciates the full recovery of the worship services on July 4, the religious leaders of jews and muslims show themselves to be more circumspect. The chief rabbi of the Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis,” warmly welcomes the new “but states that it will be” as cautious as necessary to protect our communities “after having already stated that the synagogues could reopen later than expected. The muslim Council of Britain has also announced that all the mosques could not receive the faithful from the July 4, due to the difficulties to apply the health rules during the prayer.

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In Egypt, places of worship will re-open on the 27th of June

In Egypt, the places of worship will re-open from Saturday, June 27, announced the prime minister Moustafa Madbouli. This decision is part of a series of new measures taken Tuesday, June 23, by the authorities who, for the past few weeks, pushing for a gradual return to normal life in the context of the pandemic of the sars coronavirus.

In this country of over 100 million inhabitants, the government had, since the 25th of march, ordered the closure of schools and universities, places of worship, museums, and archaeological sites through April 15. A night-time curfew had also been imposed for two weeks, in order to contain the epidemic. But over the weeks, the curfew from 20 hours to 5 hours in the local level has been gradually reduced. As of 27 June, it will no longer be in force from midnight to 4 hours announced Moustafa Mabdouli, during a press conference on television.

Partial opening and under conditions

In addition to places of worship allowed to reopen Saturday, June 27, there are also cafes, restaurants, cinemas and cultural centers. For the time being, these establishments will reopen but only to 25 % of their capacity and will close at 22 hours, announced by the prime minister of egypt. The shops will stay open until 21 hours.

The mosques and the churches, including the re-opening had already been raised in may, will be able to open their doors in a week but “the prayers the principal will remain suspended “ the weekend, in order to avoid gatherings too large of a population for the masses of Sunday and the congregational prayers of Friday.

“We all have to live with the pandemic,”

Egypt has officially registered 58 141 persons infected with the virus of the Covid-19 to 23 June. Since the end of may, the authorities state of 700 to 1 700 new infections per day. However, the authorities have since taken measures gradual easing of restrictive measures taken to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

“We all have to live with the pandemic (…) We tried to find a balance between the opening up of the country and the maintenance of necessary sanitary “, assured, Tuesday 23 June, the prime minister, alluding to the easing of restrictions. “We have the ability to overcome this pandemic with the best possible result and a minimum of losses “, he added.

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“Popular piety has allowed us to take during confinement “

The Cross, Novenas, pilgrimages, either virtual or chapels of domestic… These symbols of popular piety as they have served of spiritual support to catholics during the confinement ?

Father Maximilian de la Martinière : He actually had to wait for the health crisis of the Covid-19 to live with other religious practices as the Eucharist. Popular piety has allowed us to take during confinement. In the proofs, we turn instinctively towards that which reassures us, and religious symbols have fallen into disuse, such as rosaries or crucifixes, are back in our hands.

→ TO READ. The renewal of popular piety

This period was also very confusing because it has shaken our habits of life, and prayers very upbeat as the novenas have helped to revive the faith of many faithful. It is always easier to have a support, a conductor wire for prayer, when the religious services are stopped.

The catholic Church has it encouraged these practices ?

P. M M. : Since the 1970s, the popular piety was a bit looked down upon by the Church. It focused more faith on the sacraments – marriage, baptism, etc. – than on the sacramentals, these sacred signs as the rosary or the crucifix. But some of the faithful catholics are beginning to turn away from the sacraments, and pope Francis shook up the report in the popular piety. A native of Argentina, it is sensitive to these demonstrations of faith are very present in the south american culture, and he regularly stresses their importance in his texts. During the confinement, after having publicized his daily mass, he invited the faithful to prayers of the rosary, and novenas in the community to support the victims of the coronavirus.

Past the health crisis, the popular piety may play a role in the Church in the future ?

P. M. : I think we should rejoice in the genius of the christians, who have developed their own form of piety during this confinement. The Church has also understood that, in order to touch all the world, he had to have several entrance doors, to marry several forms of faith, related to the different cultures. The novenas of the pope are precisely allowed to keep a link with the faithful, it would be a shame not to continue !

→ TO READ. The church in the house

It is still too early to know if these marks of piety will remain in the habits, past the containment and the anxieties related to the health crisis. But popular piety has a role increasingly important part to play in evangelization, and I’m curious to see the result.

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