Friday, 29 November 2019

How Religion Killed African Civilizations (I) - Alisonomi

Africa benefited a lot both from the Euro-Asian and the Arab religious groups that came knocking at her door in different moments of her history. Her seemingly modern society is, as a matter of fact, due to their ingenuity. Her present-day education and worship systems were also influenced by their philosophies. Our modern African society could not have been possible without these religious groups. 
However, these religious groups also stole a very important part of her identity. Almost all historians are of the opinion that there is no African civilization. And the consequences of such is that it puts in doubt the “africanness” of the African society.
Samuel P. Huntington on his book “The Cash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Oder” puts it in these terns:
Most major scholars of civilization except Braudel do not recognize a distinct African civilization. The north of the African continent and its east coast belong to Islamic civilization. Ethiopian constituted a civilization of its own. Elsewhere European imperialism and settlements brought elements of Western civilization…” (S. P. Huntington, 1996, 47).
What this mean is that all we have so far as civilizations in Africa are byproducts of Christianity or Islamic religion. Academic historians, however, continue to ransack libraries to prove its existence.
Unfortunately, these two major civilizations are actually having difficulties in their lands of origin. They now need fertile soils to survive the passage of time. Fortunately for them, but unfortunately for our culture, Nigeria seems to be an ideal land for their growth.
The problem, however, is not that those civilizations are evil but that the survival of certain forms of their existence means the eternal death of our own cultures. This might be a personal opinion, but a careful examination of Nigerian Catholicism, Protestantism and Islamic religion might prove that Nigeria is not just a perfect breeding ground for these civilization but a modern dumping ground of their artifacts. 

La communauté innue d’Ekuanitshit bannit deux vendeurs de drogues de leur communauté — Alisonomi

Au lendemain de la semaine de prévention de toxicomanie, la communauté innue d’Ekuanitshit a décidé de faire un saut de géant dans sa lutte contre la drogue. Dans une cérémonie qui s’est déroulée aujourd’hui, le 29 novembre 2019, à l’heure de midi, le conseil de bande et les membres de la communauté entourant leur chef, M. Jean-Charles Pietacho a dévoilé une grande pancarte sur laquelle on peut lire en Innu-aimun et en Français que Marc-Antoine Richard et Michel Fernand Dumond sont bannis à vie sur le territoire traditionnel des Innus d’Ekuanitshit. 

Dans son discours, le chef de la communauté, M. Jean-Charles Pietacho, a rappelé qu’il y a plus d’un an, la communauté avait lancé une campagne de lutte contre la drogue. Ils avaient monté des pancartes d’interdiction de vente ou de la consommation de drogue dans la communauté, à chaque entrée et à chaque sortie de la communauté. Sur leurs pancartes, ils avaient averti qu’une action serait prise contre tous ceux qui oseront vendre ou faire vendre la drogue dans la communauté.

Aujourd'hui, pour passer à l’action, la communauté a invité d’autres instances politiques et gouvernementaux voisins pour être leurs témoins et partenaires dans cette lutte contre la drogue. Le Préfet de la Minganine, un conseiller du Conseil des innus d’Uashat-Mak-Maliotenam et deux représentants de la Sureté de Québec étaient présents lors de ce dévoilement. Et avant de conclure son discours, le chef a souligné que la communauté est prête à aider tous ceux qui sont concernés par ce problème. Et qu’ils sachent qu’ils prendront toutes les mesures pour les aider ou pour les arrêter s’ils continuent de violer cet interdit. 

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Silent Dialogue as an Infant Baptism Ritual - Alisonomi

If you have ever baptized children of different ages, you might understand better this intense silent dialogue. Though this might not be a theory of child psychology, I have observed that kids of different ages react differently to ritualized gestures.
Infants will only feel the difference if, for example, the water is too cold or too hot. For this reason, it’s important to make sure the baptismal water is adapted to the room temperature. It’s very little detail but very important.
Kids three to four years of age would ordinarily try to be good boys and girls. They are already at an age when people’s reaction becomes important to them. It means that they wouldn’t ordinarily resist or disturb so much during the ceremonies. They will be curious, but age has started telling them that curiosity could be misinterpreted. So, they try to apply the little knowledge they have by (childishly) hiding their emotions.
But two-years kids are the best! They have come to understand that they also count. And that they can express their feelings and ask for attention.
At this age, baptizing a kid becomes interesting. You don’t know how the child might react. He or she might decide to be calm or not to be. They can stay calm by the time you baptize them and move over to other activities in between the time you baptize the other kids.
It is then important to watch their reactions. You wouldn’t want them to feel that something is being imposed on them. Just a gentle look and well-intentioned eye contact can reassure them at that age.
And to be able to do that, one needs to know a little about the child to be baptized. And this can only be possible through a fruitful dialogue with the parents during the baptismal preparations.
In this scene, I negotiate with a baby who is skeptical about bending her head over the baptistery. A silent eye contact that shows that I don’t intend any harm to her. Even at this point, you shouldn’t be too certain of his or her reactions.

Friday, 22 November 2019

The Implications of Babcock’s Expulsion of a 300-Level Student

The recent expulsion of a 300-level student of Babcock University raises a fundamental human right question. The student was said to have engaged in a sexual act outside the school territory and during the school vacation.
The act came to be known when their sex tape was leaked online. So far, no one is interested in who leaked the video as the bone of contention remains whether the university has the right to expel a student who has a (premarital) sexual act. 
A look at the school handbook of conduct shows some disturbing facts. The university has arrogated to itself the right to do what he deems right to maintain her self-made image. The handbook which a part can be seen at the University’s website states that: 
Babcock University, as an institution, has its identity and uniqueness. Parts of what has contributed to its uniqueness are the appearance and comportment of our students. We appreciate all our students who uphold the standards of the institution. This is to remind you, as an individual student, that as we resume for the new session, you should avoid those ways of life that can deface our identity and erode the foundation of our uniqueness as an institution. Your embracing the institution’s standard makes you to be unique every time, everywhere and in every situation.[i]
This clause could easily give the university the right to expel any student who breaks any law the university judges immoral. Among those acts are also: 
Bizarre hairstyles (which) are not allowed.
* Indecent dressing (which) is discountenanced, hence, skirts and skirt suits must be long enough to cover your knees…
* Cooking in any form in the halls of residence is disallowed.
* Loitering and association with the opposite sex at the wrong place, wrong time and inappropriate manner will not be treated lightly[ii].
The consequences of such acts being that as contained in the 2015-2017 Undergraduate Bulletin states that: 
A student who is out of harmony with the social policies of the institution, who is uncooperative, and whose attitude gives evidence of an unresponsive nature may be advised to withdraw without specific charge[iii].
The big question is on what basis did the university expel the lady? Was it because she had a consented sexual relationship or because the video went viral? All we know is what their statement allows us to imagine. In this state: 
“His girlfriend in the same video, until the video broke out, a third-year student of accounting of this university. After due process, she was expelled from the university for violation of university regulations,’ it is certain that the university is only interested in defending her integrity[iv]. 
Though one can argue that the university has no right to expel the lady, which could be true but there is a clause in their regulation that could jeopardize that right:
"Your embracing the institution’s standard makes you to be unique every time, everywhere and in every situation."
The university could argue that the student gave up their right when they agreed on that clause. But if we look at their opening statement, one can also falter this claim: "This is to remind you, as an individual student, that as we resume for the new session…" This opening clause could be interpreted to have overridden the every time, everywhere and in every situation’ clause by situating their application to only when the session starts. And we know the activity took place outside the school session. 
On another serious note, has the Babcock University the right to abrogate both the students’ human rights and Nigeria’s Sexual Offences Act Bill 2013? 
There is no place our Sexual Offences Act prohibits a consenting sexual relationship between two adults. We know that a law was made recently against the same-sex sexual relationship and in cases of rape, sex with minors, etc., but nothing against consenting adults. So, can Babcock’s internal regulations supplant a citizen’s, right? 
Also, according to the International Women’s Health Coalition: 
“At the regional level, sexual rights have been recognized in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and in Africa, the ground-breaking Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, adopted in August 2013, for example, committed to:Promote policies that enable persons to exercise their sexual rights, which embrace the right to a safe and full sex life, as well as the right to take free, informed, voluntary and responsible decisions on their sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, without coercion, discrimination or violence, and that guarantees the right to information and the means necessary for their sexual health and reproductive health”[v]
Apart from a same-sex sexual relationship, the Nigerian government is still a signatory to the 
"policies that enable persons to exercise their sexual rights, which embrace the right to a safe and full sex life, as well as the right to take free, informed, voluntary and responsible decisions on their sexuality.”
So, the position of Babcock could still be contested based on this policy too. 
And as to those applying the Bible and other similar arguments, Christianity has never been a coercive religion and Babcock has no rule of celibacy or any vow of chastity. The arguments like “spare the Rod: Save the Child” is not what Babcock did, they spoilt the child (by expelling the girl) to save their institution and that is unethical. 

[i] https://www.babcock.edu.ng/student-life

[ii] Ibidem 

[iii] 2015-2017 Undergraduate Bulletin

[iv] https://thewhistler.ng/what-babcock-universitys-student-handbook-says-about-sexual-behavior/

[v] https://iwhc.org/articles/sexual-rights-human-rights/

 

Thursday, 14 November 2019

The Importance of Community Life - Alisonomi

As young missionaries, we are easily carried away by activities and unnecessary engagements. We, innocently, run after missionary adventures and pastoral engagements to the detriments of our prayer and community lives. We even often sacrifice our comforts and well-being.

It’s, of course, not just out of outright negligence, but rather, one of the errors of every young creature.Among the lions, the recently weaned male curbs are driven out of the pride to fend for themselves. The ones that hunt together survive the loneliness and can regain the pride after few years or start a new pride of their own. But in all, the chances of a lion surviving loneliness increase with the lion’s attachment to a pride.

Likewise, after a few years of missionary experience, young missionaries, depending on the place they are, are called to explore the mission. They are called to fly on their wings. Most often, they stay close to other missionaries, but in certain areas, they are often called to explore the missions alone. In this latter case, they are invited to find a way of staying constantly, in touch with their religious communities.

In most cases, there are always enough reasons to be out of touch with one’s community. If they are not experimenting with one missionary approach, they are executing one pastoral program. Brief, reasons to be a lone wolf is never lacking young missionaries.

This week, I had the opportunity of attending a spiritual retreat in one of our communities. The community, being our elderly Oblates home, enjoys a particular status. It is a residence for our Quebec retired Oblate bishops, vicar generals, university professors, former missionaries to different parts of Canada, to Africa, Asia, South America, etc. It also houses the elderly French-Canadian Jesuits.

Within this time with them, I met Oblates and Jesuits I have read their books during my formation years. I came in contact with gurus whose words are oracles. I also met founders of missions, great teachers, administrators, etc. Seeing them struggle to remember, to walk, to see, and to concentrate, I felt something, not strange but deep. I asked myself a few existential questions.

And during my interactions with them, I discovered happy missionaries, less distracted Oblates, and men of few words. I noticed that age is the best teacher in our human existence.

These men who ran around solving problems, giving conferences, starting new missions and creating new schools are no longer interested in noises. They spend their time praying, reading – if they can still read, and savoring every moment of fraternity they have.

In the end, I discovered that I need to renew my attachment to my community. I am persuaded that I need to re-evaluate my fraternal engagements and refine what counts in my life as an Oblate missionary.

One thing is certain and that is: “young missionaries should learn from the elderly ones that being a missionary, more especially a religious, is belonging to one’s religious community. It’s choosing to value the occasions the congregation gives one to fraternize and creating different social spaces that include one’s religious community to one’s different missions".

Sure, being a missionary entail working with the people to whom one is sent, but never forgetting that one belongs to a religious family.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

We Are The People — Alisonomi

Empowered by the nation

Against the intimidation 

Of men of guns and on khaki 

Who thrive in time of anarchy 

 

But arrived at the Aso Rock

They turned to a holy rukh 

With a knack of palmist rats 

Claiming to be democrats 

 

Flying around in fleets of cars 

Our economy covered in scars 

The nation made their heritage

As the masses die in hostage 

 

These are our national fathers 

Happily locking up our brothers 

Enacting laws to suit their choices 

And quenching our unheard voices 

 

Ours is a nation breeding cabals 

That poison us with their sambals 

Dividing the nation with religion 

But will see in us a fearless legion 

 

For we are the People !


Alisonomi 2019©

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Why Should Every Female Youth Corps Member Wear Trousers - Alisonomi

You might have heard about the girls sent away from the NYSC camp because they appeared on skirts. It was alleged that they were claiming that their Christian faith prohibits them from wearing trousers. Permit me to disagree with them too.  My reasons are simple:  wearing trousers is not against any Christian faith and the girls were going to be indecently dressed in those skirts. Let me take these points one after the other.
I have heard people quote Deuteronomy 22:5
“A woman must not wear mens clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”
Brethren, can anyone show me where this bible verse condemned wearing of trousers? I really can’t see it!
But for those who might think that trousers are men’s clothing, let me tell them that they are wrong too. Trousers from the origin were meant for both sexes. It was popularized by soldiers and horse riders (men and women) who used it for riding the horse back.
And even the earliest historical knowledge of trousers in Africa was among the Amazonian soldiers who were all women. So, those who might think of telling me that it’s for men in Africa should first think twice.
I know some who might want to go ahead pushing the idea that in our culture, trousers are meant for men. Assuming they are right, it then means that our women are known for tying wrappers. If yes, if it could then mean that any man who ties wrappers, violates Deut. 22:5. Can we agree on that?
But there is a problem here too. Our ancestors never wore trousers. They tied wrappers either around their loins or around their waist almost like women do. Did they violate Deut. 22:5? Can we continue to argue that men who tie wrapper today are wearing women clothes?
Of course, dressing code evolves regularly and by the time the book of Deuteronomy was written, there was nothing like trousers among our vestments. And not even in the time of Jesus did we see men wear trousers either. So, cut me the crap with this roadside interpretation of this biblical injunction. No one sees verses 9-12:
“9 Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled.
10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.
12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.
How many have heard about that, talk more of respecting them?
Secondly, those partisans of skirts claim they were wearing it to avoid indecent dressing. Permit me to say that they were doing exactly the contrary.
Yesterday, the director general, National Youth Service Corps Scheme, Shuaibu Ibrahim made a very important post to clarify this question. Here is an extract of his Facebook post: 
“The dress code remains, depending on the activity: a pair of khaki trousers and shirt; crested vest; white vest; a pair of white shorts; a pair of zebra - stripped socks; a pair of jungle boots; a pair of canvas; belt and fez cap.
[...]
 It is imperative to state that the National Youth Service Corps Camp, predicated on discipline and decency in a training ground for Corps Members. Any other dress code, contrary to the officially sanctioned one will not promote the course of decency.
For instance, it will be utterly reprehensible for a female Corps Member to embark on obstacle crossing, and so many other physical training activities on camp, including parade in skirt or gown, which obviously will expose her indecently, thus, leaving little or nothing to imagination.”
Can anyone tell me how Christian faith has to do with this type of exhibitionism!
I have also heard people argue about Muslim corps members wearing hijab. I’m not a fan of hijab to begin with, but that argument is a lame one. Must every question in Nigeria be turned into a religious conflict question? If we Christians want to reclaim something, we should look for something serious and really Christian and not arguments like these ones.
Women pastors and religious sisters can wear trousers both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria and I don’t believe we are either more religious than those doing that or are we better instructed in the bible than they are.  But if women want to wear skirts, they should be free to fight for it but let them stop hiding behind the banners of religion to do so.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Our Old Village Roundabout — Alisonomi

Nigeria, an old village roundabout 

Where the biggest cars enjoy the privilege 

And no one really cares as one can always shout

But it seems to facilitate circulation in such village 

 

Here, events are like spells of witches 

They attracts attention as in megachurches 

That sap the faithfuls in the name of good-news

And multiply incessantly as the fake-news 

 

Our situation is surprisingly unique in nature 

For each of our system is built on this structure 

That like in marketplaces samples corruption

And transfers the knowledge as an education


Our leaders are certainly on another planet 

Always travelling up and down around the earth  

With the money openly stolen without remorse 

As the citizens coolly remain in slumber, of course

 

Our churches harbour the worst among our thieves

Multiplying in leaders who are but sacred pet peeves  

That in the name of God deceive and fake miracles 

Commanding God up and down like village oracles


Alisonomi 2019©

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Au Café Edgar — Alisonomi

Une soirée au goût d’espresso 

Au café Edgar de la rue Arnaud 

Où se groupent des gens de tout âge 

Qui malgré la musique font le placotage 

 

Voici ici notre carte d’alcool 

Dis la dame, presqu’à la ténue d’école  

Merci mais je veux seulement le café 

Après une journée que je viens de toffer 

 

Répondis-je forçant un très beau sourire 

Car ici, à part la musique, on n’entend que de rire 

Des jeunes et des vieux au visage heureux 

Qui semblent se moquer des malheureux 

 

Puis-je avoir votre carte du café  

Je demandai avant de me faire câlifer 

De ce coins où tout le monde semble poli 

Et des serveuses toutes super jolies 

 

C’est dans cette ambiance surréaliste  

Que m’est venue cette idée irréaliste

D’écrire les mots que vous lisez

Et que j’espère vous auriez amusé  


Alisonomi 2019©

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

I Pledge to Nigeria my Country — Alisonomi

I pledge to Nigerian my country 

And I am sick and really angry 

To be faithful, loyal, and honest 

To a leadership perfectly dishonest 

 

To serve Nigeria with all my strength 

And to champion without constraint 

To defend her unity 

Among all disunity 

 

And uphold her honor and glory 

Though her honor is only but a story 

So help me God 

For I feel like in a fog


Alisonomi 2019©

The Historical Evolution of Igbo Alphabets

There are 36 alphabets in the Igbo language. They are generally divided into three categories: consonants, vowels, and semivowels. The Igbo alphabets, we use, today, are made up of our normal English alphabets coupled with few digraphs which are different from all the Euro-Asian languages diphthongs. On the other hand, our alphabets were not always 36 from the beginning. It evolved to our present-day Igbo alphabets through a series of reforms and counter-reforms. As a matter of fact. there were five earlier versions before the one we all know today. They were Lepsius’s orthography, New orthography, Adam-Ward’s orthography, compromised orthography, F.C. Ọgbalụ’s orthography, and Ọnwụ orthography[i].
Lepsius’ orthography was founded by Karl Richard Lepsius (1810–1884)[ii] the founding father of modern Egyptology. After studying Greek and Archaeology, Lepsius dedicated himself to the study of Champollion’s grammar before traveling through major European capitals to study all the major Egyptological collections.
He toured many ancient cities collecting archaeological facts and transcribing Egyptian hieroglyphs which were later adapted for writing other African languages. This Lepsius orthography was the first orthography used by Anglican Clerics to write the Igbo language. 
But at the arrival of Catholic Missionaries, they altered the Lepsius orthography proposing the new orthography in 1927. The objective of the new development was to correct few particularities of the Igbo language which Lepsius orthography did not take into consideration. Instead of solving the problem once and for all, it created a little confusion as there were two factions, some supporting the Catholic missionaries’ orthography and others that of the Anglican missionaries. In 1939, R.F.G. Adam and Ida C. Ward proposed a new orthography called Adam-Ward's orthography. 
They hoped it was going to solve the problem, but it created more trouble, causing publishers to wonder which method to adapt. In 1949, F. Chidozie Ọgbalụ formed the Igbo Language and Cultural Promotion Committee. The committee, under the leadership of S. E Ọnwụ, in 1953 came up with compromised orthography. And even though Chidozie Ọgbalụ was the founder of the committee, he was not happy with the outcome of the new orthography. So, in 1955, he came up with a new one but was snubbed by the others. 
Then in 1961, the government formed a committee named Ọnwụ Committee after its leader S. E Ọnwụ. This last orthography enjoyed a wider reception and continued to be widely used. But in 1976, the committee made a final adjustment that brought the Igbo Alphabets to what we now know as mkpụrụabịịdịị Igbo – Igbo alphabets.  

a b ch d e f g gb gh gw

h I j k kp kw l m n  

nw ny o p r s sh t

u v w y z. 

There are two new tendencies that modern Igbo publishers are developing, but I will discuss those developments while treating Igbo digraphs and vowels. 

--------------------------------------------------

[i]  Cf. S. O. Ezeomeke, Igodo Nghọta Ụtọasụsụ Igbo, 1999, 20-22

[ii] Cf. https://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/lepsius.htm

 

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

La Naissance De L’Église — Alisonomi

La folie de la foi chrétienne c’est de croire en un Dieu fait homme. La foi, cette confiance absolue à un monsieur qui, sur le point de vue humain, a échoué dans sa mission, est étonnamment la force et l’essence même du christianisme. Un monsieur en qui le peuple d’Israël — hommes et femmes de tout âge — a mis sa confiance pour les sauver des oppresseurs romains, mais qui s’est fait plutôt crucifier sans protester. 

Ce monsieur qui se présentait comme le fils de Dieu, avait, curieusement, moins de respect pour ce que la plupart de gens voyaient comme la volonté de ce même Dieu. Et le plus grand scandale de son existence a été de mourir entre deux bandits. Il était donc du point de vue humain, le modèle d’un échec. Pourtant, c’était cette fragilité et vulnérabilité (de Dieu), inconnue jusqu’à là, qui le distinguait de toute compréhension que l’humanité a toujours eue de Dieu. Car, il n’y a jamais eu et il n’y en aurait jamais un Dieu qui a pris notre humanité afin de la rendre divine.

Et contrairement au projet national du peuple d’Israël, il voyait plutôt un projet visant l’humanité tout entière. Un projet avec un objectif clair : rapprocher l’humain de Dieu en abattant le mur que la religion a érigé entre les juifs et les gentils et réconcilier la création à son créateur. Et, sans mettre terme à l’élection d’Israël, il ouvrît le royaume à tous en faisant d’Abraham le père de tous les croyants. 

Naissant dans une famille pauvre, d’un père simple et d’une mère ordinaire, il grandit dans la sagesse et l’amour de ses frères et sœurs humains. Dès son jeune âge, il démontra sa volonté de rester fidèle à sa mission et à l’amour inconditionnel de son Père. Réunissant quelques hommes de bonne volonté, il leur a appris à témoigner par leur amour. Les envoyant dans le monde entier, il leur donne une simple mission : Ceux qui croient qu’ils les baptisent et ceux qu’ils baptisent qu’ils les envoient proclamer l’amour de Dieu et de leurs frères. 

Parmi ceux qu’il a choisis étaient des bons, des innocents, des zélotes, et même un traître. Aussi, parmi ses amis, ses invités, et ses hôtes étaient les collecteurs d’impôts, les pêcheurs et des pécheresses, les ivrognes, etc. Et dans son projet comme dans ses enseignements, il ne faisait pas de différence entre des hommes, des femmes, et même des nations, car il croyait profondément à l’amour universel de Dieu. 

Plus tard, il sera renié trois fois par son bras droit, vendu par son ami, et abandonné par ses propres disciples avant d’être livré par sa nation pour être crucifié par les Romains. Avant de mourir sur la croix, il pardonna à tous ceux qui l’ont trahi et abandonné. Et, le troisième jour, il ressuscita et réunis encore ses frères et sœurs dispersés.

Pendant 40 jours, il les réconforta, leur montrant que la mort n’a pas le dernier mot. Et plusieurs fois, il fit le chemin avec ceux qui se décourageaient et en visita plusieurs dans leur milieu de vie. Montant aux cieux, il leur a promis le Paraclet. Le cinquantième jour après sa résurrection, il a tenu sa parole en envoyant l’Esprit-Saint à ses frères et sœurs réunis dans la prière. Et ainsi se fit la naissance de l’Église, cette communauté de foi.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Nous Sommes Ses Églises— Alisonomi

En allant dans le monde entier 

Pour proclamer la Bonne Nouvelle 

Regardons toujours bien autour nous

Pour les signes des Églises renaissantes

 

Devenons d’abord des Églises vivantes  

Qui produisons les fruits de notre baptême 

Au service de tous nos frères et sœurs

Et surtout ceux aux périphéries existentielles 


Devenons ensuite des Églises en sortie

Qui proclamons très haut le Christ Jésus 

Une assemblée d’un peuple en sortie  

Qui évangélise par son témoignage 

 

Nous serons des Églises en marche 

Qui révélerons Jésus en œuvre  

Par notre charité et vraie fraternité

Dans ces Églises profondément endormies 

 

Ainsi bâtirons-nous des Églises militantes 

Des Églises selon le cœur du Christ 

Qui proclament l’évangile d’amour 

Et défendent les petits et les vulnérables 

 

Car nous sommes des Églises

Renaissantes

Vivantes

En sortie 

En marche 

Militantes

Et selon le cœur du Christ  


Alisonomi 2019©

Friday, 1 November 2019

L’Église de Demain — Alisonomi

J’entends les gens se plaindre de la diminution des vocations religieuses et sacerdotales. Je les entends prédire la fin de l’Église qui sera liée au manque de prêtres et de religieux et religieuses. Mais je suis d’avis que cette manière de voir l’Église est fausse. C’est comme mettre la charrue devant les bœufs car l’Église n’est ni issue de la vie religieuse ni de la vocation sacerdotale. C’est bien le contraire. C’est plutôt les vocations religieuses et sacerdotales qui sont nées dans l’Église. 

Le Christ n’a pas fondé les castes de disciples et d’apôtres avant d’appeler des personnes autour de lui. Au contraire, il les a choisis après les avoir appelés : 

“À cette époque-là, Jésus se retira sur la montagne pour prier; il passa toute la nuit à prier Dieu. Quand le jour fut levé, il appela ses disciples et il en choisit parmi eux douze auxquels il donna le nom d'apôtres” (Lc 12, 12-13). 

Le choix des apôtres était donc une réponse au besoin de la communauté de Jésus. 

L’appel des diacres était aussi une réponse au besoin de la première communauté chrétienne. 

“En ce temps-là, alors que le nombre des disciples augmentait, les croyants de langue grecque se plaignirent de ceux qui parlaient l'hébreu : ils disaient que les veuves de leur groupe étaient négligées au moment où, chaque jour, on distribuait la nourriture. Les douze apôtres réunirent alors l'ensemble des disciples et leur dirent : « Il ne serait pas juste que nous cessions de prêcher la parole de Dieu pour nous occuper des repas . C'est pourquoi, frères, choisissez parmi vous sept hommes de bonne réputation, remplis du Saint-Esprit et de sagesse, et nous les chargerons de ce travail.” (Actes 6, 1-3). 

La vocation diaconale est aussi donc une réponse au besoin de la première communauté chrétienne de même que les autres ministères et responsabilités dans l’église.

Pourquoi donc, tout à coup l’Église s’est vue prise en otage par une vision autre que la vision fondatrice? 

Certaines communautés ayant encore des vocations à la vie religieuse ou sacerdotale peuvent se croire à l’abri de ce dilemme. Mais qu’elles ne se fassent pas d’illusions car cette configuration actuelle est un défaut à purifier. L’Église comme communauté des croyants précède toute vocation et subsistera même à l’absence d’une forme de vocation, sauf si on continue de faire d’une vocation la fondation de l’église. 

C’est donc une erreur de croire que l’ordination des femmes ou des hommes mariés vont sauver l’église. Et sans méconnaître l’importance de cette question, je voudrais seulement souligner que ce qui est plus urgent c’est de redonner d’abord l’Église à la communauté chrétienne. C’est elle la fondation de l’Église et on ne peut sauver la structure sans sauver sa fondation. Peut-être qu’une fois la fondation renforcée, on pourrait penser à ce qui est vraiment le besoin de l’Église d’aujourd’hui. On n’aurait peut-être même pas vraiment besoin de certaines formes d’engagement dans l’Église de demain. 

Et qui sait si le besoin de l’Église de demain sera la présence des autres formes d’engagement et d’autres possibilités que service sacerdotal. Dans la structure actuelle, même si on ordonnait des anges, ils vont se perdre dans une structure trop cléricale et on se retrouverait dans la mêmeté. 

Il y a aussi cette tendance de croire que les missionnaires venant d’ailleurs vont sauver l’Église d’ici. Sans vouloir minimiser l’apport des missionnaires venant du sud (car j’en fait partie), je suis convaincu que notre rôle ne sera pas de sauver la vocation religieuse et sacerdotale. Non! Nous pourrions accompagner l’Église pendant ce temps de transition. Nous pourrions avec notre expérience communautaire et ouverture à la pluralité des cultures aider l’Église d’ici à passer à la pluralité de dons de l’Esprit-Saint et à la complimentarité de la vie fraternelle. Mais croire que nous avons la baguette magique c’est vivre dans l’illusion et le déni. 

Toutefois, l’impossibilité de sauver l’Église d’ici telle qu’elle est, n’est pas liée à l’incompétence des missionnaires d’aujourd’hui, comme certains sont portés à le croire. C’est peut-être parce que la structure actuelle est prouvée inadéquate. 

Le chemin que l’Église est appelée à prendre est celle de la simplicité. C’est un chemin qui devrait nous ramener aux sources de notre communauté chrétienne. C’est un chemin qui mène au Christ et son évangile. C’est un retour à notre vocation baptismale. Et une fois que la communauté est refondée, les vocations sacerdotales et religieuses renaîtront selon le besoin de l’Église.