Following the death of Mgr Henri Teissier, Archbishop Emeritus of Algiers, The cross of 2 December paid him a justified tribute, both in the editorial and in the article by Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner. But I’m surprised the paper version of it removed the reference to the book The Church and Christians in independent Algeria, published last February by Karthala and in the production of which Henri Teissier had been heavily involved for several years. He had accepted that Algerian and French researchers take a social science look at the Church of Algeria, while remaining attentive to the words of religious actors. We had, Abderrahmane Moussaoui and I, a great pleasure to work in all confidence with him on this site which was not therefore a book of the Church and which respected the scientific approach, to which Henri Teissier himself largely adhered.
Jean-Robert Henry, Honorary Research Director at the CNRS
> read “Bishop Henri Teissier wanted a Church of dialogue”
As Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner reminds us in The cross of December 2, the life of Henri Teissier testifies that he is one of the great bishops of the Church of Algeria, who had so many, if not all, still today. It very conveniently reports the respect he had for Abdelkader. He joins in particular with the first bishop of Algeria, Antoine-Adolphe Dupuch (of which my great-grandfather made the bust), who, in the midst of the war, negotiated with Abdelkader for more humanity on both sides, which infuriated General Bugeaud, confused, who obtained his recall to France (where Dupuch never stopped defending and meeting Abdelkader in his first exile). Henri Teissier’s admiration for Abdelkader also recalls that of Charles Lavigerie who, a young priest, had gone to see Abdelkader in his Syrian exile to express his admiration and respect for his armed action to save Christians in Damascus threatened with massacre. Having become bishop of Algiers, C. Lavigerie inaugurated Notre-Dame d’Afrique and its dominant inscription behind the altar in Algiers: “Our Lady of Africa pray for us and for Muslims. ” (…)
I learned with great sadness of the death of Bishop Teissier (The cross December 2). I had the immense honor and pleasure of meeting him in Algiers, in Bensmen, during the tribute paid to Paul Décisier, sj, my professor of philosophy at the college of Algiers. With a group of friends, we had stayed up very late. Bishop Teissier was deeply attached to Algeria. This Algeria of peace, tolerance in which all citizens could live freely and contribute to the development of the country. Unfortunately, Algeria was – it still is – ruled by people far removed from the values of humanism that people like Bishop Teissier carried in their hearts and their behavior. I will keep from this meeting the image of a man of a deep culture, an unconditional openness to the Other. We are losing not only a “library” but a symbol of humanism. I will miss him. He will be missed by all. We so need this light, this hope that Bishop Teissier represented. You will remain in our hearts, for eternity.