Bishops of France "...recognized our institutional responsibility and decided to embark on a path of recognition and reparation opening for victims the possibility of mediation and compensation..." after Assemby
FULL TEXT Closing speech of the Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Bishops of France, Monday, November 8, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters, members of the board of directors of the Conference of Religious of France, As I present to you this morning the work of the Plenary Assembly which is coming to an end, I want to have before my eyes the photograph of the crying child that you see behind me on the screen. This photograph is now attached to the wall of the building that houses the hemicycle where we are standing. This child was crying alone, hidden under the vaults of a cathedral. Someone photographed him, someone who recognized himself in him, someone who, too, was a victim and cried thus, petrified, in a church, because of a man of the Church and because of the Church. This face lives in my heart as I speak to you. It is for this crying child, little boy, little girl, teenager or adolescent, that we have reflected, worked, decided. "Every time you've done it to one of these little brothers of mine, you've done it to me. Anytime you haven't done it to one of these smaller of my brothers you haven't done it to me ”(Mt 25, 40.45). "It is too late," we said, Saturday the day before yesterday, to console this child. It is not to remember him. The interior steps that we have taken here and the decisions that we have taken, it remains for us to share them with the priests, our brothers, with the deacons, and all the baptized and in all our Church structures. What we will do, we will do for him, this child who cries today still hidden as so many adults; what we will not do, we are aware of it, it is to him that it will be missed, it is he who will be sent back in his solitary suffering. This we do not want.
The report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church for which I would like to thank once again, in front of all of you who are listening to this speech, the president, Mr. Jean-Marc Sauvé, and each and every member and collaborator as well that their spouses - because all have experienced hard what they have updated - this report which was given to us, to Sister Véronique Margron and to myself, who represented the Conference of Religious of France and the Conference of Bishops, last October 5, revealed a reality of the Church that we did not know how to see. One of our guests reminded us on Saturday of a word from Jesus: “ They have blocked their eyes, lest their eyes see, their ears hear, their hearts understand, and be converted.. »(Mt 13:15). Because it has been put before our eyes and before the eyes of the world that the Church, our Catholic Church in France, was a place where acts of violence and sexual assault on minors were committed in frightening proportions. Besides the facts revealed once the word is released, - and the association which found and took this name has rendered, from this point of view, a great service -, which led to the decision to create the CIASE , we have again, in recent years, discovered the reality of abuse of power and acts of influence in dioceses, in so-called “new” communities or in religious institutes.
We are therefore obliged to note that our Church is a place of serious crimes, of formidable attacks on the life and integrity of children and adults. However, this cannot be. It cannot be the Church of Jesus, the Church founded in the gift of self of the Lord Jesus, the Church which grew from the stock of Israel and which the Apostles opened to all nations. Since this is so, since the child who cries under the vault of a cathedral has been multiplied hundreds of thousands of times, we must recognize it and confess it: we have allowed an ecclesiastical system to develop which, far from bringing life and opening up to spiritual freedom, abysses, crushes, violates human beings and their most elementary rights.
When we got together last Tuesday, November 2, especially after hearing the five victims who agreed to be witnesses for us, we were again shaken and shaken to the most intimate. What CIASE describes is not our Church. We did not become priests to take part, even in spite of ourselves, in murderous acts. We are not Christians to maintain an organism which is dangerous for others. Our reaction to us bishops was therefore: this evil committed, this existing evil, we must accept it. We must assume it in order to free those who have suffered it and to free the Church from it so that it can be that of Jesus of Nazareth. We can no longer protect ourselves behind positive law. We must show ourselves to be the disciples and servants of Jesus our Lord, of him " who did not jealously retain the rank which equaled him to God but who annihilated himself, obeying even death and death on the cross ”(Phil 2: 5). One of us reminded us: our justice must go beyond that of the scribes, we cannot remain hidden behind the justice of the State, and even less behind canon law, it is up to us to go beyond that in a momentum towards those who suffer.
Last Tuesday we received the demanding testimony of Francis, Guy, Brigitte, Jean-Luc and Véronique. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for agreeing to come and live with us these days of assembly. We were overwhelmed by their gratitude on Friday at noon and their emotion on Saturday. We do not forget all the other victims, those who are known and those who do not speak. We humbly greet them. Some were surprised that we did not ask their forgiveness. Our friends helped us understand that we had a long way to go. A bishop told us forcefully: from God, we can always ask for forgiveness and in front of him we can count on his forgiveness; but we cannot provoke a human being whom we have offended to forgive us. Sister Véronique recalled this on Saturday morning:Genesis , said to his brothers could only come from him and it could only come at the end of a long journey of interior transformation of these, the first step of which had been that they recognize between them the evil that they had done to their younger brother.
When, on Friday morning, we recognized our institutional responsibilityand decided to embark on a path of recognition and reparation opening for victims the possibility of mediation and compensation, we did so because of what the CIASE has put in front of us and because 'she strongly indicated this path to us; we did it because very diverse faithful, plunged in shame, expected it from us and had made it known to us strongly, because society summoned us to it in many ways, but we did it above all because we have felt the gaze of God on us, because we have felt disgust and fear rise in us by realizing what so many and so many people had experienced and were living in suffering, even where they were entitled to receive light, consolation, hopeof God. We did it thinking of each and every one of them, of each of those children, little boys, little girls, teenagers, teenagers, who weep in secret in the depths of their souls and until the last day of their life. adult life. We have met some of them in our dioceses. Their image lives in us, as the formidable and terrible photograph I am speaking to you now symbolizes in front of the building of our hemicycle. It was time for us to take this step. He was expected of us for a long time and the CORREF had hired him. We took this step, realizing that, unwittingly, we were accomplices, we allowed unspeakable acts to be carried out, we spent time making inquiries, launching proceedings, trembling wondering what such priest could do or not, to fear that someone would start to speak again, to receive victims and to discover new stains on the reputation of such priest or such layman acting in the Church. It was our duty to make it clear that we couldn't stand the Church to be that. We did it because we were afraid of missing Jesus.
This decision, let me say it, is a liberation for all of us. We are free to be able to demonstrate that our Church, the one to which we belong and which we want to serve, cannot be an institution preoccupied with itself, engulfed in self-glorification. The gospel of this Sunday confirmed us in this choice. To serve the true Church of Christ, we cannot be rich souls who throw away their excess in the trunk of the Temple, we want to choose to be on the side of the poor widow who gives the two pennies of her poverty.
Last March, we described our responsibility for the past, present and future and we had fully assumed it. We understood in this assembly that we had to say it more clearly, without precaution, without worrying about the consequences of all kinds, with confidence in the Providence of God and in the faith of his people, sure of the strength of the Paschal mystery. of Christ. The measures that we voted in March with the letter we sent to Catholics in France remain valid, but we now want to move forward with more freedom.
We understood that we needed outside help. The Second Vatican Council told us in the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes , in its number 40, §4: The Church “is firmly convinced that, in order to prepare the way for the Gospel, the world can help her. precious and diverse by the qualities and activity of the individuals or companies that compose it. We are not trained to be investigators, or prosecutors, or examining magistrates. The Church of Christ is not made to face the crimes that human society is capable of condemning and against which it equips itself to fight. We have to open up to all humans, even to criminals, the hope that it is never too late to repent, to convert, to change the direction of life and to bring them the interior strength of Christ and of his Spirit.
We have everything to gain from concluding protocols with prosecutors. We have everything to gain by relying with confidence on the justice and police services of our country. When we arrive in a diocese , we receive the priests as brothers. This fraternity has everything to gain by being without compromise with the possible faults of such and such, with what, in such and such of them, could come under human justice. Because mercyconsists in accompanying the guilty if he has any on a path of repentance and conversion which begins when he realizes the evil committed and the pain caused. More generally, God's forgiveness cannot be used as a pretext for anyone who has committed a crime or an offense to escape human justice. On the contrary, this forgiveness should strengthen the culprit so that he is prepared to account for his actions and to bear the consequences. He assures her that his deep dignity will come out of this test of truth.
Our decision of Friday morning and those which we adopted on this Monday at the end of our seven days of assembly mark a decisive step. From the primary consideration of the victims, we were given the freedom to open the work on our ecclesiastical or ecclesial operations in a broad way, stimulated by the many guests who kindly joined us on Friday. It must also be said that we had received a great impulse from the Holy Father during our ad limina visits, an impulse reinforced by our celebrations at the tomb of the Apostles who put us back at the center of our mission.
Already, Wednesday and Thursday morning, during our meetings with people in precariousness under the theme "Clamor of the poor, clamor of the earth", we have experienced the Church that we love, the Church which makes us grow and gives us hope, despite our poverty and our frailties, the Church which makes us happy and proud. We were moved by the concrete fraternity between us, our diocesan guests, people in precariousness and the members of the associations who accompanied them. Here I thank Laurent van Ditzhuizen and Marion Cremona, from the University of Us, who have helped us to truly connect to each other. They encouraged us to let ourselves be carried away by the pride and joy of our hosts, by their expectations too, and it was good to be all together. I would also like to thank Pascal Balmand and all the associations that have been partners on this day and a half. We were amazed by the preparatory work that had been experienced in so many groups to allow two representatives to come and join us by bringing the word of the whole group. We have heard the fruitfulness of the word of God, listened to together with people in precariousness when we want to take the time and the means. We have been impressed by the creativity of the associations that meditation on the Word of God has evoked over the years. For my part, I realized that I could progress in my availability to people in precariousness and in my attention to wisdom and not just to the clamor they convey. All together, with these people, with our diocesan guests, with the members of associations,mercy , which is rich only in mercy .
It was good for us to feel that it was undoubtedly worth the trouble to be humiliated, impoverished, diminished, if that can help us to better meet the poor, the excluded, the despised, those and those who have difficulty in speak or rather that it is difficult to listen, since the Lord whom we want to follow has come first for them. We recognized that there was a way there to be pruned, according to the image that Jesus uses, as his vineyard, in order to bear fruit, joyous fruit. The beautiful meeting on Sunday morning with Ms. Véronique Devise, new president of Secours Catholique, and Ms. Francine Guilbert, encouraged us to continue on this path.
So, without really being aware of it, we had prepared ourselves inwardly to receive our Friday afternoon and Saturday guests, lay people.above all, but with a few priests, deacons, men and women religious, leaders of movements and associations but also young committed, scouts, founders of the endowment fund, initiators of evangelization projects, quite simply friends. We had unwittingly prepared ourselves to receive the energy, the will, the anger sometimes, the demand with which they arrived, having left the night before or early in the morning, having decided in a few days to sacrifice a day of work and a Saturday or two vacation days with family or friends to come and discuss with us bishops the future of the Church. We received the shock of their questions, their challenges, their proposals, their impatience, and even more, much more, that of their faith in God and in his Christ and that of their disappointed love, wounded, in his Church. We are aware of this: a certain native confidence in the Church because of theThe Eucharist which gives birth to her and from which she nourishes has been tarnished; a certain spontaneous admiration for priests because they imitate as closely as possible the beloved Son of the Father in giving their life, is now achieved. And yet, we have received the balm of hope and the wine of love ready to be given again with new lucidity. We have experienced in these two half-days how sweet it is to talk to each other from the bottom of your heart, how good it is to recognize your faults and faults with a friend, how strengthening it is to let yourself be picked up by a sister or a brother who turn out to be even closer, even more encouraging than one might have imagined.
The exchanges were dense, they were short. The common working hours have been constrained by time, crushed by the mass of subjects to be taken into account: the 45 recommendations of the CIASE which can easily be multiplied into five or six subjects. Yet while many frustrations and disappointments remain, these times have been fruitful. They have been stimulating. The voice of the Seeking Church was heard under the delicate leadership of Matthieu Daum, Nancy Bragard and Étienne Gueydon, our Nexus facilitators, and she was, this voice, soft and strong at the same time. It allowed us to extend our first stage and to dare another or a few others. We bishops realize that we can move forward, because we are not alone, we do not have to pull a whole flock that would resist, we are accompanied by sisters and brothers who burn as much or more than us with the love of the Lord and the desire to live from him and to offer others to try it. We can do so all the more since we feel in each assembly the strength of our collegiality which encourages us to move forward together, waiting for each other but also helping each other to progress.
We could also see it during our finance sequence. It has enabled us to see once again that the generosity of the faithful is equal to their attachment to the Church of Christ. In our country, it lives only on donations. However, in the context of the restrictions imposed on worship by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the marked decline in parish resources was partially offset by an unprecedented increase in the denarius. Yes, the faithful materially support the Church and all our dioceses must be managed with rigor and dynamism to serve the mission and evangelization. We feel all around us the expectation of the faithful who become missionary disciples. Their will that the Church can fulfill her mission strengthens us: we owe them that the Church be luminous with the light of the Savior.
We have become priests to serve the work of Christ's grace and to be active witnesses of God's mercy before our contemporaries and not to exercise exclusive power. We have accepted to be appointed bishops to work so that all humans benefit directly or indirectly from the power of Christ who died for our sin.and resurrected for our life, not to increase our power and train regiments, but. We have become priests to humbly bring something of the consolation of Christ, to ensure much closeness to God, and certainly not for men or women to cry because of our parish operations. We all, with our brother priests, have to remember the first impulse of our vocation and to adjust to the initial wonder the cautions and precautions to which the experience of life has led us. We inherit a long history made up of given time, generous initiatives, sharing, various works, song and praise to God, the life of comforted families, radiant and soothing communities. Our time allows us to see with more lucidity that there have also been in this history abuses, abuses of power, unhealthy domination and even violence and sexual assault. We are heading towards an impoverishment of our Church. In more than one sense, we desire it, we expect it. We receive the strength of the long establishment of our Church in our country, because it was in many places, in many souls, in many times, source of goodness and beauty; we also willingly take on the weight of this past; Above all, we want to be able to go and bring the good news of salvation and be able to rejoice in seeing it welcomed by human freedom. We are heading towards an impoverishment of our Church. In more than one sense, we desire it, we expect it. We receive the strength of the long establishment of our Church in our country, because it was in many places, in many souls, in many times, source of goodness and beauty; we also willingly take on the weight of this past; Above all, we want to be able to go and bring the good news of salvation and be able to rejoice in seeing it welcomed by human freedom. We are heading towards an impoverishment of our Church. In more than one sense, we desire it, we expect it. We receive the strength of the long establishment of our Church in our country, because it was in many places, in many souls, in many times, source of goodness and beauty; we also willingly take on the weight of this past; Above all, we want to be able to go and bring the good news of salvation and be able to rejoice in seeing it welcomed by human freedom.
There is evil at work in humanity and not just in thoughts, in clear and distinct ideas, but rather in the obscure, in the archaic, in the indeterminate that lurks in each and every one. from U.S. We must face this ever-present evil in the face. The grace of baptism does not annihilate it; associated with that of confirmation , it makes it possible to make of one's life a spiritual combat, a growth in charity , with the hope that any movement of true love counts forever, through the grace of Christ the Lord. The grace of ordinationdoes not ensure a stable character, perfect honesty, a remarkable delicacy of heart, it does not even preserve destructive and domineering demons who can inhabit a soul; it should accentuate the awareness of his weakness, the fear of hurting the slightest child of God, the dread at the idea of betraying God. One cannot help but wonder: why so much abuse and sexual violence in the Catholic Church? Maybe because we try to live dense relationships there. We do not just keep our distance from one another, we aspire to live in fraternal relationships with one another. Thanks to the CIASE, we see and it is a constant frightening, that the strong relations, the structuring relations of humanity can always be perverted and are so in a proportion that no one can say negligible. Evil is always closer to our souls than it seems. We must therefore redouble our vigilance, be clear-sighted, not let ourselves be deceived by the words we use. It seems to me in particular that the metaphor of fatherhood should be scrutinized from all angles, because there is an incestuous fatherhood, even symbolically, that must be rejected with horror. The challenge of the times to come is precisely this: how to continue to live strong, dense relationships, how not to give up on them while being careful with oneself and others, while being without compromise with any violation of the integrity and rights of each individual. Spiritual fatherhood is a huge thing,
All the resolutions that we have voted constitute a vast program for the renewal of our governance practices at the level of the dioceses and at the level of the Church in France. We will transmit to the Holy Father, after having reworked them a little, the recommendations of the CIASE which concern the universal Church. We decided together to ask the Pope, since we are appointed by him, to come to our aid, by sending someone he trusts to examine with us the way in which we have treated and treat the victims and their aggressors. We have decided to set up a series of working groups responsible for reflecting on different aspects of our diocesan or national governance and for making proposals to us. These groups will be led by a lay person, composed of members of God's people from different states of life. Under the stimulation of a coordinator, they will establish their agenda and report on their work upstream of the plenary assemblies.
We are delighted to be able to move forward in this great work in a synodal way, trusting in the sense of faith, the famous sensus fidei , of the lay faithful., priests and deacons, consecrated men and women. It is not a question of advancing ideas, of carrying out a program, but of discerning together, after having listened together to what God is telling us, after having listened to each other patiently and accepting that all expressions count. We will have to ensure, in the working groups that we are calling to form, that the voice of the poor, of the young, of working people, even of children, we have been reminded, can be heard. These working groups are responsible for preparing the decisions that will be adopted, each according to its nature, according to different short, medium or long term deadlines, perhaps after experiments that will have to be evaluated.
We bishops have a lot to gain from being helped in our way of accompanying the priests of our dioceses and the deacons too. We do this too often with the precious help of our Vicar General, and a few other priests. Crossing different perspectives, receiving the contribution of a feminine perspective, seeking the means to consult the people of God, all this seems to us full of promise to progress in mutual benevolence, to grow in attention to each one in all areas. dimensions of his being. The goal is that every priestbe surrounded by the demanding but real friendship of the faithful to whom he is sent. There is no question of cultivating a culture of suspicion, but it is urgent to root in all of us the ability to clearly tell ourselves what we have to say and to help each other to respond to the call received. Catholic teaching has shown us that the culture of evaluation on which our Western societies now live could undoubtedly generate exhausting procedures, but that it also offered great opportunities to get to know each other better and to progress. The gradual entry into force, as the books become available, of the new translation of the missal offers us all, priests, deacons and laity, a great opportunity to rediscover the meaning of what we celebrate and to adjust to it not only in the rites but in our life, our thoughts and our actions. The bishops warmly thank those who carried out this great work.
Many of our guests have told us that they have discovered the load that weighs on our shoulders, part of which we carry alone or quite alone. We have received offers of help from them. The time we have lived together has convinced us that we can learn to share in the construction of decisions for a better service of the people of God. There will always be to decide, but there is also to delegate and more still to let oneself be advised in truth, to fear even the decisions which one takes alone to go faster or because one feels pressured by it. 'emergency.
The whole Catholic Church is engaged in a synodal process. It starts slowly and unevenly according to the interest and energy of a particular faithful or of that priest or deacon . That it starts when our Church in France receives the shock of the CIASE report and is obliged to look at its dark side seems providential to us. the mercyGod lays bare what is our shame but to allow us to be freed and healed, perhaps one day healed, and she shows us a path of recovery. The working groups that we are going to constitute want to be an experience of synodality. We want to widen the seat. We also invite the synodal teams that have been set up or that will still be set up to take up the subjects for which we are setting up working groups and to share their reflections with them. The back-and-forth between local groups and national working groups should generate vitality and creativity. The synodal process will be punctuated by the plenary assemblyof March and by the extraordinary session of June which will allow us to exercise our discernment as bishops in order to send our national contribution to the council of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe by August 15th. But the work will continue for us until the spring of 2023 when a synodal event will be organized to assess what has been acquired, transform what must be into decisions, decide on a discernment to pursue. Each diocese will also move forward at its own pace and will be able to launch the renovations and experiments of which it feels capable.
All of us are continuing our pastoral transformation. Our particular Churches are learning to live with fewer priests, priests with whom we have to discover how better to accomplish the work for which the living God has called us. We help each other, in the Province and during our assemblies, to imagine other pastoral arrangements than those from which we live, so that the immense grace of the ministerial priesthood , the immense gift that God gives to his people in each priest and each deacon , may bear the most fruits of grace and hopethat it is possible. We say with all our hearts our fraternal friendship to the priests of our dioceses. The new phase in the history of our Church that we are entering should be a great adventure. We follow together the path of the Lord, he who, of divine condition, did not jealously retain the rank which equaled him to God ”(Phil 2: 6) and we know that this path leads from death to life. , from dispersal to unity in communion.
This assembly also allowed us to reap the benefits of the workshops that the bishops held in several provinces in September and October to take stock of the organization of our Conference and to imagine means of renewal. The Nexus facilitators helped us in this work, they gave us feedback. A few avenues emerge: strengthening the role of the Provinces, working at all levels more synodically, simplifying our structures. Progress seems possible and necessary in the articulation between the permanent council and all the bishops and in the fluidity between the permanent council., advice and commissions and services. We are not at the end of the path, but a path is possible and it has been marked. It remains for us to go through it step by step. The synodal process initiated will help us in this.
We have to seek the truth of the Church, of the Church of Jesus, in a renewed listening to the poor and the little ones, to those who are the victims or left behind in our collective life. For us today, we have to listen attentively to the victims in our Church and in our Church. Our guests made it clear to us on Saturday morning that we did not have to rejoice if our listening cells no longer received calls but rather to seek to improve our attention skills. Then, we will be able to listen to people in precariousness and the poor in their diversity. We will know how to do it with the infinite attention due to the word of each and every one to whose heart God speaks, with the infinite respect due to all conscience. Then, our Church in France will be able to devote itself more to proclaiming the Word of God, to meditating on this Word, to putting into practice what this meditation will arouse in us. Because God speaks, he promises, he calls, he gives himself to be known, he invites each and every one to let themselves be loved as they are, not to live themselves as assigned to their fate but to discover themselves capable of making them. - herself or herself a gift for others.
Our assembly was held at the same time as COP 26 was taking place in Glasgow. Some observers will no doubt find that our time "Clamor of the earth, clamor of the poor" has not shed much light on the ecological crisis and the necessary transformation. In reality, we draw from this a redoubled conviction: any decision should start from listening to the poorest and their needs, and also from their wisdom. Pope Francis says it and repeats it. We still have to live from it ourselves. Our societies of abundance and glut do not cease to exacerbate desires as it is urgent that we all learn to marvel at the much that is given to us in a little bit. Once again, the widow of the Temple enlightens us. We think of so many people suffering from eco-anxiety,
The tragedy of migrants who find themselves in our country without finding a way to settle there keeps repeating itself. In Briançon as in Calais, Christians were worried, the bishops expressed their concerns and their indignation. Our country continues to grapple with this massive historical fact. May we Catholics be among those who do not react with fear, but seek the paths of fraternity. It is about the history of humanity.
I would like again, excuse me, to mention two countries because they are close to ours and to our Church and because their population to both for the past few months has been losing hope. These are Lebanon and Haiti. Together with the Vice Presidents, we plan to visit Lebanon after Easter. Several dioceses have close links with Lebanese dioceses, L'Oeuvre d'Orient and other works provide much appreciated help. The Lebanese Ambassador to France thanked us for this. It is painful to note that this people, so lively, so enterprising, no longer believe in their future. What we do to keep schools and universities there and for caregivers to stay there will be useful for the future. As for Haiti, its links with our country are full of pain. The memory of slavery deserves our examination of conscience. It is the cross and it will be the glory of our time to look without illusion on the relations between humans. But this morning, in your name, I would like to address a fraternal greeting to the bishops of Haiti and assure them of our prayers so that they may be the pastors that this country needs. We know the presence of many Haitian faithful and priests in metropolitan France, in Guyana and in the West Indies. Both Lebanon and Haiti are strong signals of the real situation of our humanity. I would like to address a fraternal greeting to the bishops of Haiti and assure them of our prayers so that they may be the pastors that this country needs. We know the presence of many Haitian faithful and priests in metropolitan France, in Guyana and in the West Indies. Both Lebanon and Haiti are intense signals of the real situation of our humanity. I would like to address a fraternal greeting to the bishops of Haiti and assure them of our prayers so that they may be the pastors that this country needs. We know the presence of many Haitian faithful and priests in metropolitan France, in Guyana and in the West Indies. Both Lebanon and Haiti are strong signals of the real situation of our humanity.
Our assembly, dear friends, who are listening to me today, has been dense. To tell the truth, we have lived three or four assemblies in one. We owe redoubled thanks to the staff of the sanctuaries of Lourdes. Bishop Antoine Hérouard will be able to take over. Both during celebrations and during meals, at 150, 300 or 400, everyone was greeted and served with a smile and promptness. We check it every year, but this year we put our teams in front of an intense challenge and they took it up without complaint, without tension, with encouragement towards us! This assembly owes a great deal to the staff of the general secretariat and to the volunteers who joined them and also to the sessions and events team who came from Paris but reinforced here by volunteers with unfailing loyalty, animated with efficiency and a smile by Julien Kraemer. . I had the honor to attend the presentation by the Nuncio to Mr. Henri de Watrigant, coordinators of the drivers, of the pontifical medalBenemerenti. Anne-Cyria and Sylvie-Violaine and many others deserve deep thanks. We benefit from the discreet presence and the efficient work of Laurence Vitoux who is working on the white paper of our assemblies. I would like to greet again on your part the directors of the national services who helped us, in particular, to welcome our guests on Friday and Saturday and to reap the fruits of their exchanges, and with these national directors, all those who work on avenue de Breteuil. Allow me to thank our communications director, Karine Dalle, her entire team and those from whom she asked for help for the work accomplished in this assembly. We were able to experience it with complete freedom of mind while keeping the media informed of our thoughts and decisions. I express a very special gratitude to our spokesperson, Fr. Hugues de Woillemont, and also to Mgr Luc Crépy and Mgr François Touvet who provided daily press briefings. We all, bishops, have admired the selflessness and efficiency of the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretaries General. The liturgical booklets which supported our common prayer were an indicator of the quality of the preparation of our assembly. The road we have traveled would not have been possible without the commitment of Mrs. Ségolaine Moog, in the relationship with the victims and with us. We can never thank her enough. we have admired the selflessness and efficiency of the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretaries General. The liturgical booklets which supported our common prayer were an indicator of the quality of the preparation of our assembly. The road we have traveled would not have been possible without the commitment of Mrs. Ségolaine Moog, in the relationship with the victims and with us. We can never thank her enough. we have admired the selflessness and efficiency of the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretaries General. The liturgical booklets which supported our common prayer were an indicator of the quality of the preparation of our assembly. The road we have traveled would not have been possible without the commitment of Mrs. Ségolaine Moog, in the relationship with the victims and with us. We can never thank her enough.
For our part, we return to our dioceses, no doubt tired by this session full of emotions, pains, concerns, fraternity, intense moments of sharing. We come home freed, I believe, and full of the humble virtue of hope . Before we leave, I suggest that you look together for a moment at the crying child, the imbroglio of his life, and recognize our brother and also our Lord.