Launch of a collective on the abuse of power in the Church


A collective wishing to "collect testimonies on the abuse of power in the Church" and provide "solutions" was launched on Wednesday by the relatives of Father François de Foucauld, priest of the diocese of Versailles who recently committed suicide.

"We want to collect testimonies on all types of abuse of power" and "find positive solutions and ways of improvement", so "that the Church may be grown", said Nicolas Jourdier, friend of the deceased priest, at a public meeting in Paris attended by around a hundred people, many of them by videoconference.

For example, it will be a question of seeing "how to help a bishopric to fight against the harassment of one of its priests", he added, wishing that the situation of his friend "will not happen again".

François de Foucauld, 50, former parish priest of Bois-d'Arcy (Yvelines), ended his life on the night of June 30 to July 1. No document has been found that would refer to his suicide, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Father de Foucauld had, in December, published a column in the newspaper La Croix criticizing the abuse of power in the Church and the mechanisms in place, considering that "the constraint of silence in the Church no longer works" and calling for “free speech”.

The objective of Mr. Jourdier is to set up "a collective", "why not an association law 1901", he specified to the press, stressing that he wanted to draw inspiration, among other things, from the work carried out by the of the association the Word released in Lyon on predocriminality in the Church.

He intends to bring together future volunteers, set up working groups, a website... A Facebook page has already brought together 1.300 people since the beginning of the month. New meetings will take place in the fall.

Mr. Jourdier mentioned the idea, in the medium term, of presenting "four or five major proposals" to the Conference of Bishops of France.

Seek help "outside the Church" to diagnose abuses of power or to find listening professionals, set up places of listening, create a "national body to carry out audits" in dioceses and religious congregations, creating “a union of clerics”, finding “places of” regulation were all proposals launched by the participants in the meeting.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

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Summary of news from March 24, 2023

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