"In Jesus, I know that death will not be able to hold Lola in its nets": the homily of the Bishop of Arras at Lola's funeral


The funeral of Lola, killed on October 14, took place on Monday October 24 in Lillers (Pas-de Calais). In his homily in homage to the young girl, the bishop of Arras, Mgr Leborgne, exhorted to overcome the violence and the abjectness of her death and to take refuge in Jesus and in his promises. 

Several hundred people came to pay their last respects to Lola during his funeral which took place on Monday 24 October in Lilles in Pas-de-Calais. The white coffin decorated with a bouquet of flowers was carried inside the church followed by his parents, his brothers, his relatives and a crowd of anonymous people in an emotional silence.

The ceremony was celebrated by the Bishop of Arras, Olivier Leborgne, at the Saint-Omer collegiate church. In his homily, he returned to the abject death of the young girl, a figure of injustice.

“'Lord, if you existed, or if you were really good as some say, Lola would not have died…'. It could be that many of us are crossed by reflections of this kind and how not to understand them. Lola. 12 years. The age of promises beginning to take shape, sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes more painfully. It is also the age when one begins to understand the evil of the world. At that moment, Lola, carried away by the savagery of an act that leaves us speechless. Lord, if you had been there… feeling of a tragically missed date. »

So, “why this violence? Why Lola? How is it possible ? “, continues the bishop who adds that if there are “answers to be sought to certain questions in order to understand, judge, take measures, tell the truth, get up again”, many questions will not find an answer.

Bishop Leborgne then turned to the Gospels and the promise of eternal life, quoting the words of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes, even if he dies, will live; whoever lives and believes in me will never die”.

“Faith experiences a presence. It is not an answer, it reveals a presence. Even in the odious and the worst evil in the world. A presence. The Christian faith is not a vague belief in the immortality of the soul. It is the disconcerting experience of the fact that God does not stake our life in our place or dispossess us of our personal, social or political responsibilities. »

He affirmed that it is “this logic of death that Jesus comes to break. The one who claims to lock Lola in the violence of what she suffered and of her death”. Because, added the Bishop of Arras, in Jesus “death cannot hold Lola in its nets”. He also underlined the help given by Christ in the face of "what crushes us and tears us".

"Jesus plunges into death, into what crushes and tears us, so that we are no longer alone there, so that his presence preserves us from despair and that, in the grace of his resurrection, we can all together dare to future, and believe in the promises of life. That takes nothing away from the suffering, that doesn't answer many questions, yet despite the thick fog or the storm, the experience of a path, of a road that continues is there, of life stronger, of Him who invites us. »

If Mgr Leborgne then insisted on the essential side of “the search for truth and the exercise of justice”, he called on the other hand not to respond “to savagery with savagery”. "And beware of subtle forms of savagery," he continued, stressing that "Lola's memory forbids us" to do so.

In conclusion, he launched a vibrant appeal to follow Jesus, "he who is resurrection and life, he who gives life, beyond all death and all violence".

“'I am the resurrection and the life, said Jesus to Martha, asking her: do you believe this?' Dare, I suggest to you, the relationship with Jesus at the very heart of the unnameable. To live. To live as Lola would have us live. To live, and to contribute, each for his part, to the construction of a society that serves life. »

Friday, October 14 in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, the lifeless body of the 15-year-old teenager was discovered in a trunk. The following Monday, a judicial investigation was opened for the murder of a minor under the age of XNUMX in connection with a rape committed with acts of torture and barbarity. According to legal sources, the prosecution requested the provisional detention of the two suspects.

Camille Westphal Perrier (with AFP)

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