How did you feel when you found yourself in front of us for this time of sharing? (Emmanuelle, 31 years old, diocese of Séez).
I was filled with gratitude to see so many of you and to feel your determination to serve the unity of the Church, to come to the aid of the poorest and to announce the Gospel. These moments strengthen a bishop’s faith. If I had to give you one piece of advice for continuing to experience WYD after this event: read! You are not a generation of readers but take the time to review the catecheses given by the pope or the homilies of the bishops… It is a way of preventing this significant moment in your life from being fleeting.
“All the country”, the unofficial anthem of the French people for WYD, is inspired by a song by the rap group HDX. Can this type of music have its place during masses or times of praise? (Corentin, 16, diocese of Rennes).
During masses, I don’t think so, but rap has its place during worship times. I don’t know much about contemporary music, but it’s an art that values the poetry of the spoken word. So it’s a very welcome form of expression!
What does your daily life look like? What is your workload? (Capucine, 25 years old, diocese of Rennes).
I always start my days with a time of prayer: from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Then I sit at my desk to take care of the mail or prepare meetings, etc. And I have many as a bishop! We have an economic affairs council, a presbyteral council, an episcopal council… I do not govern alone. I also take the time to receive people who contact me: whether they are Christians or from civil society. But I don’t just stay at the bishopric. I like to go out into the field to visit parishes or businesses, to meet farmers. I have a very varied daily life, and that is what is exciting in the life of a bishop. Besides, I try to give myself a little rest. I enjoy reading, gardening and beekeeping – I even have beehives to collect my honey. I usually go to bed between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.
My activity is rich and engaging, so I retire from time to time in an abbey or a religious community to pray more and take a step back.
Are you happy ? (Capucine, 25 years old, diocese of Rennes).
Very! Since I answered the call of the Lord, I feel a deep peace. Which does not mean that there are no trials or obstacles, but my peace comes from Christ.
Do you ever doubt? (Capucine, 25 years old, diocese of Rennes).
Admittedly, there are struggles, difficulties, weariness that sometimes make me doubt, but rather doubt myself! So I cling to faith, which is the rock of my life. When I became Bishop of Limoges in 2017, I had to leave my parish in Séez, Normandy. I was very attached to it. I sometimes miss not having the same ongoing relationship with the faithful, not seeing them grow. From there, certainly comes a form of loneliness in this mission. For example, when I celebrate a confirmation an hour and a half drive from my bishopric, I know that I won’t be going back there for a long time. It is not the same relationship with the faithful, because my community is the size of a diocese. But I thank the Lord for making me discover and love this diocese that I did not know and Limousin.
Do you regret not having a wife or children? (Marie Des Neiges, 16 years old diocese of Autun).
Indeed, the consecrated life includes a part of renunciation. But I fully live my consecration in celibacy as another way of loving and giving one’s life. Of course, sometimes I miss not having a wife or children with whom I can share my days. But above all, I experience the joy of dedicating my life to the Lord. As our ring on our right ring finger reminds us, we are spouses of the Church.
Can one refuse to become a bishop? (Marie Des Neiges, 16, Diocese of Autun)
It is the pope who chooses us to become a bishop, so you need a legitimate or serious reason to say no to the Holy Father!
What place should the Church give to LGBT people? (Marie, 17 years old, diocese of Rennes).
If actively lived homosexuality is incompatible with the message of the Bible, I would like LGBT people to feel at home in the Church, which is the house of all and not only of the perfect, who do not exist outside Jesus and Mary.
Is contraception a sin? (Anaïs, 18, diocese of Rennes)
It is above all the “contraceptive mentality” that can be considered a sin. Because for the Church, carnal relations are to be lived within the framework of marriage and allow spouses to express their love but also to transmit life, according to responsible fatherhood and motherhood. This being recalled as a still valid foundation, common sense dictates that, even if the Church opposes contraception, when one decides to have a relationship despite everything, it is better to use a contraceptive, so as not to transmit sexually transmitted diseases or if one is not yet able to welcome and assume life.
Should the Church engage in politics? (Guillaume, 19 years old, diocese of Albi).
Even if the Church has fundamental reference points – the social doctrine of the Church in particular – it does not give voting instructions and does not support any political party. On the other hand, Christians must engage in politics: whether on the right or on the left. It is an important duty to enhance the common good, the light of the Gospel in social life and to honor human dignity.