French bishops express concern about urban violence

Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard, president of the French bishops conference, has published a formal declaration deploring the "climate of mutual suspicion" that has precipitated the continuing violence spreading through France.

CLICK HERECatholic News Agency reports that Archbishop Ricard's words echo those of the full assembly of French bishops, which is gathered this week in Lourdes.

"The French Bishops express their vivid concern in front of this violence and the subsequent destructions," he said.

Archbishop Ricard attempted to explore the cause of such events: "We must ask ourselves what could be the cause of such a spiral of violence in the most recent urban neighborhoods. Recent urbanization, difficulties for the youth facing unemployment, the instability in family life, are often mentioned."

"But we deem that repression and the incitation to collective fear are not answers to these dramatic tensions in our society."

Finally, he issued a message fostering the work of religious communities.

"We wish to underline particularly the work that is being done daily by numerous associations and institutions in order to create a social link and fraternity."

"We know how precious is the presence of little religious communities in these urban areas," he concluded.

French bishops express concern in front of urban violence and foster presence of religious communities in neighborhoods (Catholic News Agency 7/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Church in France | Déclaration suite aux violences urbaines (PDF

Birmingham: Archbishop challenges Catholics to 'resist racism in our midst' (Independent Catholic News 7/11/05)
French Violence Prompts an Appeal From Bishops (Zenit 6/11/05)

8 Nov 2005