After more than a year of vacancy, the diocese of Cayenne has a new bishop. Father Alain Ransay was appointed by the Pope to head this overseas diocese on Friday, December 10. Originally from Martinique, this 60-year-old priest has, throughout his career, always had one foot on his native island and the other in metropolitan France. Today parish priest of Notre-Dame de Bellevue in Fort-de-France (Martinique), he also occupies many teaching missions. Professor in several institutes or seminaries, Father Alain Ransay was appointed teachers’ chaplain in 2008. Diocesan director for Catholic education between 2016 and 2018, he previously held the position of episcopal delegate for education. In addition, he had held faculty positions at the Catholic University of Lyon, where he was also spiritual director between 2005 and 2008.
Born in La Trinité in Martinique in 1961, Father Alain Ransay first followed a scientific course. He continued studying mathematics in Toulouse in 1983 before returning to Martinique to teach this discipline for three years. He entered the Avignon seminary in 1986 and two years later joined the Catholic University of Lyon from which he graduated in theology in 1992. He was ordained a priest for his original diocese of Saint-Pierre and Fort-de-France. the same year. In thirty years of priesthood, Father Ransay has been pastor of six parishes. Very involved in diocesan life, an episode in 2014 pitted her against her archbishop. In a letter co-signed with four other priests and sent to Pope Francis as well as to the apostolic nuncio, he warns of the ambiguous behavior of the Vicar General at the time, Father Jean-Max Renard, approached to take over from the Archbishop. Bishop Michel Méranville struck by the age limit, vis-à-vis young men as well as his way of exercising authority. The mail leaked to the press and the archbishop, who ultimately succeeded Mgr David Macaire still in office, suspended the priests, including Father Ransay. Several faithful express their anger after this decision. The sanctions were lifted a month later.
Father Ransay takes the head of a diocese of Cayenne in turmoil after the revelation of abuse allegedly committed by his predecessor Bishop Emmanuel Lafont. This one would be guilty of” abuse of weakness “ and of “Moral harassment” to obtain sexual favors from a young Haitian immigrant in exchange for help obtaining his identity papers. Following these accusations, the Vatican opened on April 2 a canonical investigation to shed light on these accusations, and an apostolic administrator in the person of Bishop Michel Dubost was appointed. The new bishop will have to overcome this episode which generated tensions between Catholics and reached the credit of the Church.