the slow fragmentation of the Catholic Church

Jean-Marie Guénois. Le Figaro

SUBSCRIBED TO EXCLUSIVE LETTER – Religions, secularism, spirituality, by Jean-Marie Guénois.

Dear readers, dear readers,

Very happy to see you again after this summer. I hope it was nice and relaxing for you. We are starting a new season of our exclusive “God Only Knows” letter and I am grateful for your loyalty and patience.

I try, a little out of time, to free myself from the immediate conditioning of hot news to share with you which seems to me stable, remarkable, decisive in the medium term.

With this dose – and responsibility – proper to this profession, which would be a form of “presumption” in the first sense of Larousse. A meaning that is not negative. These are analyzes and judgments based not on absolute evidence but on clues, observations, hypotheses, probabilities. Together with certain and tangible facts, this constitutes the daily material of journalism.

This is also the spirit of this letter: to approach the complex and delicate realities of the fields of religion, spirituality, secularism, grasp them as much as possible, formalize them with words, to feed our common reflection. At a deliberately slow pace to let things settle down. For the urgent and the daily you can, if you want, refer to my articles in Le Figaroprinted or published on the Internet.

This in-depth approach requires humility, I would dare to say, in the face of realities that are beyond us, but also a strong rational need. And above all the freedom to say things in cultural universes where the word is often locked up. Freedom could also be the spice of this letter, its key word.

What to remember in this fall of 2022?

I was lucky enough at the end of August, then in September, to go twice to Rome, a city I know very well having lived there for ten years, and to go there very regularly. It involved two events: the creation of new cardinals and an exceptional meeting of the Senate of the Church wanted by the pope on the reform of the Roman Curia; The journey of Francis to Kazakhstan, which I followed on the papal level.

After these “Covid” years marked by distance, by screens, by virtual appearances, nothing can ever replace the quality of these conversations in the shadow of the “trattorias” surrounding the Vatican City where we know, however, that even the walls have ears. ..

There is in fact a paradoxical Vatican tradition: it is forbidden for those who know to talk about the “secrets of the Palace”, it is possible that they say a lot, with good intelligence, when trust is established and is never betrayed.

A mythical “500” in the no less legendary Trastevere district in Rome Nicola Forenza /

From these two stays I confirm the “end of reign” atmosphere that I described last spring, which I will not go into in this letter. Otherwise note a form of fever and voluntarism never seen before at this point in more than three decades of Roman journalistic experience. François’ lieutenants are very nervous about the implementation of the reform. They are often more realistic than the king.

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