Lyon, a diocese in search of unity



“Do you want to choose the unit?” ” It is by questioning the assembly in this way that Bishop Olivier de Germay introduced his new pastoral orientations this Sunday, September 26, during the presentation of the Pallium. “Because it is a gift from God, but also and above all a decision to be made”, considers the new Archbishop of Lyon (Rhône), who took advantage of the first year of his ministry to travel through this great diocese, renowned for its diversity. Beyond the different styles, sensibilities and commitments that have always been deployed there, also remain “Wounds, scars” and divisions,left by the grim news of recent years, which inevitably resurfaces with the submission of the Sauvé report.

A change in posture

At first symbolic, the ceremony of the Pallium was precisely “An opportunity to bring together like there are few”, we rejoice in the diocese. At the end of a long period of estrangement, imposed by health measures, unifying events are welcome: here, we are impatiently awaiting the traditional ceremony of December 8, canceled in 2020, and we are counting on new appointments “Lyonnais”, like those who could accompany the beatification of Pauline Jaricot, scheduled for May 2022, or the proclamation of Saint Irenaeus as Doctor of the Church, announced on Thursday, October 7.

Intense but ephemeral, these times will not however be enough to work in depth on communion. Within the parish of Saint-Pothin, in the city’s sixth arrondissement, we focus, for example, on tools such as fraternities. One, aimed at young professionals aged 25 to 35, has just been launched: “This is what helps us to restore and nourish the bond on a daily basis”, explains Bénédicte Prévost, the parish coordinator. Bishop de Germay, who recalls the growing need for new places “Meetings, dialogue and peaceful debates” to which the laity will know how to give shape, insists: “It is first and foremost a change in posture and mentality. “

Help to adjust your gaze

It is there, perhaps more than elsewhere, that the new generation will be able to fully play its role., thanks to “A flexibility of mind which allows him to distinguish between things and to navigate between places and ideas”, according to Clémence Pasquier, responsible for “pro” projects in youth ministry. Faced with the important place of different communities and households, whose visions sometimes seem irreconcilable, it intends to set up joint actions and activities. “To prove that the other can help to adjust his gaze”.

“We try to share responsibilities with the different groups rather than ‘doing it for them'”, confirms event coordinator Baptiste Vanacker. For three years, the pastoral has also invested the Saint-André church, in the heart of the popular district of Guillotière, and tries to transform it every day a little more into a place of “Reunion for all”.

A need for “horizontality”

New secretary of the presbyteral council, Father Patrice Guerre also relies on the youth to cultivate ” open-mindedness “ within the presbytery, while Bishop de Germay wanted “To watch over communion” of this body subject to divergences for several years. Whoever wishes to reaffirm the “Good disposition” des priests believes that this cohesion will notably “Common training” and informal meetings ”. In Lyon, his parish chose to have them regularly share meals with the deacons.

→ READ. Bishop Olivier de Germay: “The Catholics of Lyon want to move forward”

Point of attention of the archbishop, this collaboration between the different states of life is also an opportunity to reflect on a new mode of presence of the priest which would systematically include the laity, “Since each one only comes true thanks to the other “. This need “Horizontality” at several levels,the two persons in charge of youth ministry join him in their reflection and their work, to build a community “Always more harmonious”.

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The five objectives of Bishop Olivier de Germay

In his pastoral letter published Sunday, September 26, Bishop Olivier de Germay lists five objectives for the diocese of Lyon:

The communion, by making the different states of life in the Church collaborate, caring for fraternity and cultivating dialogue in order to escape individualism.

A return to Christ within an increasingly secularized society.

A new missionary impulse by breaking down barriers and reconciling the different facets of evangelization, always starting from the Holy Spirit.

An adjusted relationship to the world inopening up to others and taking a lucid and benevolent gaze on a world in search of spirituality.

Improvement of structures forto remedy the dysfunctions identified in the diocesan services.

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