Sunday, 15 October 2017

NOTRE PASSÉ JUDÉO-CHRÉTIEN



Les nouveaux curés et les nouvelles prêtresses de la pensée correcte de notre Québec n’en finissent pas de blâmer l’abominable Église catholique pour tout ce qui est croche dans notre petit monde québécois.

Notre côté bougon, quétaine, « grand parleux-p’tit faiseux » ; notre méfiance maladive à l’égard des riches et notre rapport trouble au sexe et au progrès, tout cela nous viendrait de ce passé judéo-chrétien que l’Église, la mère de tous les maux,  nous aurait vissé dans les os et planté entre les deux oreilles pour les siècles des siècles.

C’est en mettre gros sur le dos de l’Église. Il me semble que le défrichage d’un pays extrêmement rude et notre soumission forcée à un conquérant riche et méprisant (pourtant aussi judéo-chrétien que nous), nous ont cassé les reins autrement plus sûrement que les commandements de Dieu et de l’Église.

Quand du haut de la chaire l’Église martelait que l’argent était la source de tous les maux et ne devait pas être traité comme un dieu, elle n’abusait pas; elle ne faisait que dénoncer ce qui crevait les yeux. Hier comme aujourd’hui. 

L’Église, en effet, en raison de son grand âge, a été pendant des siècles le témoin de beaucoup d’horreurs causées par la puissance de l’argent. Partout à travers le monde, ses yeux ont vu les riches s’entretuer pour s’arracher les biens des plus faibles. Elle a vu d’innombrables peuples se faire écraser, exploiter, sacrifier par la rapacité des maîtres de l’argent. Cette horreur, elle l’a vécue à chaque instant de son histoire ;   parfois elle en a été la complice, mais plus souvent, la première victime.  

Malgré tout, alors que les gratte-ciel en or des ultra-riches poussaient allègrement au milieu des ruines, l’Église a  probablement été la seule institution au monde à prendre à cœur le sort des pauvres. Aux quatre coins de la Terre, elle  s’est engagée dans les sentiers boueux de la misère humaine, elle a pansé les plaies des plus malheureux et fait naître des légions à leur humanité. Sa vie a été un accouchement perpétuel dans les larmes et le sang, le plus souvent dans l’héroïsme et l’obscurité, et malgré tout, dans la joie. Et aussi dans la contradiction, bien sûr.

Car les choses étant comme elles sont,  alors qu’elle prenait la défense des pauvres, l’Église a souvent protégé les riches. Elle a fait cela d’abord et avant tout pour avoir le simple droit d’exister, et, par la suite, pour pouvoir bâtir églises, écoles, hôpitaux, - palais même ! -, et missionner dans le monde entier.  Tout récemment, dans certaines instances  de haut niveau, il lui est encore arrivé, sous le couvert de la piété, de se prêter à des manœuvres qui sont un affront à l’Évangile… Et malgré cela (ou peut-être justement à cause de cela), l’Église a toujours cru bon de ne pas bénir l’Argent.

De quel argent s’agit-il? Sûrement, pas de l’argent propre. La Bible des Juifs, que les chrétiens appellent Ancien Testament, fait  sans réserve l’éloge de la richesse qui n’est pas le fruit de la ruse, de la force et du  mensonge. Si quelqu’un devient riche par des moyens honnêtes, s’il s’enrichit sans tromper, sans humilier, sans soudoyer, sans exploiter, sans écraser et sans tuer, sa richesse est une bénédiction de Dieu. Cette richesse, toutefois, est plutôt rare…


Par contre, il existe, comme on sait, un argent sale. Un argent répugnant qui règne bel et bien sur le monde en dieu tout-puissant. Cet argent vient de l’évasion fiscale, de la drogue, de la contrebande, de la vente des humains, du très juteux commerce des armes, du crime érigé en business, ainsi que de la politique qui fait bon ménage avec les grands lobbies. Cette richesse sale naît de la corruption, de l’extorsion et de la fraude ; elle vient des prêts usuraires  à haute échelle ; elle vient de l’exploitation systématique de multitudes sans défense ;  elle vient de la terreur et des guerres ;  bref, elle vient de toutes les injustices, petites et grandes, qui se commettent sous le soleil. Pour les plus riches elle signifie « progrès », pour l’humanité et pour notre planète elle est la plus puissante machine de destruction massive qui n’ait jamais été inventée. Elle dégouline de sang. Elle est la grande malédiction du monde.

Par le passé, des pays sont devenus des puissances géantes à force d'accaparer les terres, la force de travail et l’âme de nombreuses contrées, en échange de fusils, d’alcool et de verroteries de couleurs. Aujourd'hui encore, une belle racaille aux dents blanches et à la perruque blonde ne cesse de sillonner le monde dans des flottes de supersoniques pour nous offrir de la pacotille, de l’opium et des bombes en échange de notre liberté, de notre humanité et de la santé de notre petite planète bleue.  Ne pas livrer son âme à ces « bons investisseurs », est-ce que ce n’est pas, en vérité, un signe d’intelligence ? Est-ce être « épais », petit et colonisé, et avoir le cerveau déformé par nos racines judéo-chrétiennes que de croire que tout ce qui brille n’est pas or?


Par ailleurs, l’argent propre - il doit bien y en avoir quelque part -,  l’argent du génie, du travail créateur et de l’honnêteté, cet argent qui sert à faire grandir les humains et à étendre la justice dans le monde, celui-là est béni de Dieu. Il est estimé non seulement par les femmes et les hommes éclairés par les prophètes et par Jésus de Nazareth, mais par tous les humains, croyants ou pas, qui ont des yeux pour voir, des oreilles pour entendre, un brin de sagesse,  et un peu de cœur au ventre.
                                                                        

                                                                                 Eloy Roy

Tuesday, 26 September 2017





SAINT HEROD
Political story with known characters.  
Tired of being thought of as a baby eater, king Herod converts to religion. Perched on a golden palanquin held up by twelve slaves, he goes to the Crib of Bethlehem to adore the Infant God. The stench of the place is nauseating and nearly suffocates him. He tears his shirt as a mark of disgust and cries out with a slight cough: ««By the beard of Abraham, what a shame! And what a way of welcoming God on Earth!». He kicks out the shepherds, the sheep and other creatures, takes the holy family under his wing, sets the stable on fire and goes back to Jerusalem.

He himself carries the infant Jesus in his arms, tickles him, cradles him and becomes so fond of the kid that it did not take time before he adopted him as a son and make him heir to his throne. Joseph, like his famous ancestor carrying the same name, is appointed prime minister of the kingdom, and Mary, as First Lady, is given the sweet task of dispensing privileges, benefits, small gifts and other liberalities to the most faithful friends of the Crown. The national conscience, scrupulously oriented by the antennae of the almighty Minister of the Interior, sings day and night the praises of his king.

And so, that is the way that happy years go by in Herod’s kingdom. Still, the skies begin to become overcast on the day when, after becoming an adult, Jesus sets out on touring the country. While at the royal palace the cream of society has an easy time, Jesus, in the interior regions, discovers a population overburden with outrageous taxes and terrorized by the various Temple policemen, Romans and those of Herod. He is deeply moved, devastated and scandalized. He hurries back home and rushes to meet Herod and get things off his chest.
-  I always believed that you were a good person, but you’re a monster! You’re a treacherous man, a liar, a hypocrite, an unfair, cruel and vicious individual!     
-  Me, a vicious man? answers back the king with tears in his eyes. You are forgetting that the bad man that I am was the one to bring you out of your dung heap. The unfair one here is you. Listen to me carefully. In my kingdom, we respect God’s will. It is God who created the differences. To some, he gave talents, to others, none; that is why we find ourselves with rich people and poor people, with well-educated people and ignorant people.  It devolves therefore on the first to think and to command, and to the others to obey and work. This is the order that God, in his unfathomable wisdom, has established for all men on earth.  Delinquents and rebels are to be punished as it should be in an exemplary way. 

- What things some people come out with! protested Jesus bursting out with indignation…Listen to John the Baptist, read Moses and the Prophets! The will of God is quite the reverse of what you are saying. As far back as the first lines of the Bible, we do not see God allotting land to some individuals rather than to some others. He allots it to all human beings so that every man and every woman may live with decency. The more you receive, the more you must give; the greatest you are, the more you have to take care of the little ones. God created us BROTHERS and SISTERS, and EQUAL. The Law, the Prophets, the whole Bible come down to that! Do not look for the will of God elsewhere. Neither you nor anyone has the right to change one iota in it!

Even His Excellency Caiaphas, in spite of his big mouth, is incapable of pacifying Jesus. He goes to open his mouth when Jesus, who knows already by heart the sermon that awaits him, puts his fingers in his ears so as not to hear it,  but His Excellency, nevertheless, will try his hand in delivering once again to Jesus the same speech that he had already delivered to him for, at least, one million  times…

- Ah, my child! Beware of those ideas that travel through the world in these times of tragedy. The Baptist is not a bad person, but still he is an excessively a populist and an alarmist. He should shut up. The things he preaches, while abusing with our patience, are to be taken with a pinch of salt. You see, the era of the prophets is over. The world has changed. Today we have the Roman Empire on our back; a terrifying power! One little spark and it is a blaze. Never in our history have we have felt so much need to remain calm. It is not by criticising the king, the private property, the social differences and the Arm Forces that we will improve things. Think about it a little. Who produces wealth and assures the security in this country: the poor or the rich? Do you think that it is by cutting the means of subsistence of the rich that we will feed the poor and reinforce our borders? The poor do not know a thing about business. We will not all the same put into their hands our national wealth, our security and our future. Besides, whatever we do for them, it’s a waste of time; Scripture says it well: « Poor people will always exist».


Jesus does not interrupt the High Priest. In the twilight, he seems to catch a glimpse of God signaling to him to keep cool, because, some day, like all the dinosaurs, Caiaphas will disappear. So, Jesus bites his tongue and lets the pontiff the opportunity to carry on with his speech on his favorites themes:  

-  The spirit of rebellion is the work of the Devil.  
-  Violence is only used to increase violence. 
-  It is true, the poor are hungry; yet, what they need the most is not bread, but words of peace, love and consolation. And for God’s sake, let them work! Work is the natural remedy to vices and bizarre ideas. Actually, there is a dire shortage of labors in the farms, but the poor snub that kind of work. They are simply lazy bastards! 
- We must not let ourselves be moved by their moaning; they are never satisfied, anyway. Yet, they are richer than they think, and at times happier. Sometimes, the High Priest himself envies them.
   
-  As for the Bible and the prophets, there also, prudence! The Bible is full of utopian ideas of sweet dreamers and of apocalypses created by extremists. Noxious opium if ever there was one! The reference point so as to not get lost with the Bible is not so much the truth as such, because very often the truth kills; it is rather: order and peace in the community. « Unity! », my dear, here is the final word of the Bible. But then, only a strong authority can make unity with a unruly people who has the tendency to break up and lose its way. And so, to understand the Bible well and place oneself in relation to God’s will, the key is submission to the authority. And to submit to the authority is to obey God.        
- And then, what matters most at the end, it is not that change of structures but a change of hearts…
-  And bla bla bla…
 

Jesus is speechless. He has a strong desire to tell Caiaphas that the counsels are those of a selfish and coward heart which places his interests and those of his royal stooge light years above the interests of the people… But what’s the use? Caiaphas and Herod are so deeply convinced in their minds that their way of thinking is dictated to them by God himself.   

A few moments after that final attempt for brain washing, Jesus goes back once again and visits the two stooges in total simplicity. He gives them back the honor insignia that they had lavished on him and tells them: « Take back these chains which belong to you. All the things you have given me, I leave them behind. I won’t stay one second more in the rottenness of this palace! I do prefer to go back to my stable instead! ». With these words, he makes off.  

The rest of the story is known. Jesus sinks into the sufferings and into the dreams of those who are left out of the society. He realizes among them things that are simply spectacular and very moving. His popularity attains the pinnacle of fame.  Those big landlords, the ultra right-minded, the super devout, and the authorities in charge of the nation are really mad at him. The religious fundamentalists and the armed radicals, who cannot recover him for their sectarian cliques, hate his guts. So much so that only after two or three years later, Jesus is found hanging on a cross. Caiaphas and Herod are there.

Herod sighs:   

- What a pity! I had told him ahead of time that all this would end badly!       

Caiaphas sighs also :  

- What a shame, really!  A young man with a so promising future!

- Whom I brought out from nothingness…, adds Herod while repressing a tear. Alas, he had a rebellious side which led him to regrettable excesses. We spoiled him too much. Nowadays, the youth is like that…It is so sad!  

-  Cheer up, my brother, whispered the Sovereign pontiff while blessing his king. Let us be magnanimous. Let us forgive that poor boy who let himself be bewitched and who played with fire. He thought he was doing the right thing, but instead of uniting the people, he divided it much more. Only time will be able to erase the damages he has caused. Still, let us remember the nice things that, in his moments of lucidity, this dear Jesus preached about love. Those ideas, I share them with him 100%, because that is exactly what myself has been preaching without cease all the time: love, reconciliation, peace …  
On that day, at the foot of the cross, the good king Herod and Caiaphas forgive Jesus for his numerous slips-up, and swear to love one another as brothers more than ever.  
                                      The end
                                                                                      

Our short story has come to an end. Malicious gossip has it that at least 95% of our Church is much more the Church of saint Herod and of blessed Caiaphas than that of Jesus of Nazareth. And you, what do you say?... 
                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                 
                                                                
December 1990- September 2017


Kindly translated from the French by Jacques BourdageS

Friday, 2 December 2016

CASTRO THE MYTHICAL

Internet

                   No oppressor is good, and no oppressed is bad

Fidel, I do not want to offend you, but I am asking myself how come you let Nelson Mandela overtake you...

The apartheid regime of South Africa was maybe more cruel than the one laying to waste Cuba under the thumb of Batista and of his mafiosi yankees. Under the inspiration of the CIA (her again!), the criminals who were ransacking and pillaging South Africa took hold of Mandela and had him imprisoned. For 27 years, he suffered hell. But in jail, Mandela grew up, so much so that in the eyes of the people he became a hero as popular as you in Cuba.   

When he came out of that inferno, he could have only to snap his fingers so that the people rise up and make a stew with the oppressors. But Nelson did not chose that path. He chose to initiate a revolution light years away from yours. Animated by an inner strength that he had developed in jail, he categorically refused to fight hate with hate, lying with lying, injustice with injustice, tyranny with tyranny.  

You also, my dear Fidel, you could have done something similar. You hold up to the Yankee Empire and you became the standard of the oppressed of the world. Yet, by the pathways that you followed, you were not always a great man. You acted, sad to say, as a delinquent. It is true that you realized many good things, but the enthusiasts of Pablo Escobar say the same thing of their hero who was still a huge bandit…

Never did you admit to one sole error. Humility was not your strongest point; that is the strength of the great.  Mandela took 27 years to discover that strength, and he became great.  

You Fidel, through your courage, you won the heart of your people. You freed them from illiteracy and you offered them the best medicine in the world. You sent legions of Cuban doctors and teachers to be of help in abandoned regions of many depressed countries. But you also led wars, small ones and bigger ones, that were questionable.  One of them, it seems, would have contributed to the liberation of South Africa. Mandela must have expressed his gratitude to you for that help. Great!  

The worst still is that you abused your own people.

Under the pretext to liberate them and protect them, you took your people hostage. You brainwashed, humiliated and submitted them to silence and to hunger. The USA was boycotting you, that is true, but the rest of the planet sided with you. You could make business with the majority of the world’s countries. In spite of that, you let your people stagnate. You sent to the firing squad and let rot in your gaols thousands of Cubans. You pushed back into exile thousands of others (they were not all followers of Batista neither agents of the CIA). Thousands of your people went out to sea on makeshift boats in the hope of earning their freedom; hundreds among them ended in the belly of sharks. Those people were not all traitors to their country. They simply wanted to live. 

In your revolution project, you see, there was no place for anyone else but you. And in your great revolution which claimed to be liberating, only one thing was missing: freedom. A mere detail, of course… Should I tell you that I am not talking about the freedom of consuming which is a real madness in the capitalist world, but about the ordinary freedom which sets apart the human being from a puppet?      

My dear Fidel, as a symbol of resistance to the piggyness of the Great U.S. Octopus, I give you 10 on 10, and I place you between Martí and Bolívar. Yet, because of some movements in your head that have cause much innocent and useless pain and death, I am sorry to have to place you between Pinochet and no other one but …Batista. Sorry!   

This does not please me, I can assure you, since I respect you and I respect those among your people who sincerely love you. From the bottom of my heart, I would wish that Mandela would interfere in the case and find for you a place outside the club of all the Neros of History. I would appreciate that he would keep you far away also from the scoundrels who made attempts on your life 638 times (maybe not because you were a bad boy but rather because you did not belong to their gang...). Much work for Mandela. 

Reflecting on your life, allow me three words for those who have the desire to save the world and wish to avoid stupidities:     

1-   Either left wing or right wing, no oppressor is good. And no oppressed is bad. Oppression is always an evil, even for the best of causes. 

2-   Good or evil, every human being is greater than the most marvelous of ideologies or the most holy of religions.   

3-   Connected to a deep-rooted commitment for justice and freedom, forgiveness is, like humility, the other human force which makes a human being really great.  

                                                  ¡VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN!
   
                                                                                                  Eloy Roy
Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages


                                                                   

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

DRAGON




My dear Dragon, in any case, of all the dragons of the world, you are the most wonderful!  Your mother was an exquisite sausage princess who had a sulphurous affair with a police dog…From that atomic fusion, dear Dragon, you were born as the synthesis of the thesis and the antithesis. With you the conflict of the opposites is over and the eternal battle between the intelligence and the stick comes to an end.

When you entered my life in Tilcara, some thirty-five years ago, you were only a puppy given by a nice boy of the village to my son Edu. He and I welcomed you, filled with joy, like a little star fallen from above.  

Your childhood was a non-stop running of mischievousness and laughs. With the time, you sat down and you became my secretary and confidant. After dinner, lying like a mat on the floor you would listen with patience the monologues in Spanish and in French of the incorrigible dreamer that I always have been. At times, you would look at me with bored eyes, but you would never grumble. To express your opinion, you would waggle your tail.                   

In the altar area of the church, you would begin by shaking yourself up from the fleas and to scratch yourself where you were bitten; and then, you would lie between the two cactus wooden legs of the altar. Coiled up on the red carpet, you would stoically listen to my never-ending sermons. At times, you would applaud with your ears, other times, you would simply yawn.

You were sensual. Because of your maternal ancestry, you adored all the pleasures of life: cushions, sofas, the golden armchair covered of episcopal velvet… But because of your paternal ancestry you would look for trouble and rumpus. You would roam in the streets, you would sneak everywhere, you were cheeky and roguish. At times, you were having the gracious bearing of a prince, but often you looked like a lout.   

Great seducer, you let yourself be kidnapped for weeks by a lady doctor who gave you your bath, perfumed you, dressed you with tulle and had you sleep in her bed between silk sheets. You were also for two to three months the escort of a lady teacher; you would accompany her in the mountains, on a rocky path, walking together back and forth between Tilcara and the small school of Alfarcito. If by chance I would catch you taking too much advantage of the kindness of those big-hearted people, you would turn your head away, pretending not to know me…

In the whole town of Tilcara, few were the houses where you did not feel at home, and few the solitudes you did not share. If the drums, the sikus and the cracked bell of the church had not been an unbearable torture for your ears, you would have been the first to dance at the carnival and sing in the processions. And never in your life would you have missed one of those peacefully noisy manifestations which simply required that our crooked world be changed from top to bottom. 
Anyway, I suspect that beyond your love for the dolce vita, you had a soft spot for the poor and for justice, for the cause of those who disappeared during the dictatorship, for Women Rights and for the Earth, for freedom and democracy, for the affirmation of the indigenous culture, and for a Church that would not prostitute itself with money and guns (I end here, otherwise people will think that it is self-projection…). Still, I think that you succeeded to understand before me  that the struggles between good and evil, or between the right and the left, are often very self destroying on the long run,  and that the path towards a decent future is, before all else, to be gauchos.

You would spend nights flirting with the First Canine Lady of the village on the roof of the mayor’s residence. But at sunrise, you would jump over at the nearby Sisters and weave your way in their mini chapel. The Sisters were members of your fan club, and you liked to be with them for the morning prayers. Luisa, the most kind and the eldest of the community, was your favourite. You would cling to her skirt and, between two psalms, she would gently pet you. As a good daughter of St. Francis, she would turn a blind eye to your private life and see no trace of the slightest flaw.  In the afternoon, she would go out to work to help her neighbors, while you, so as to regain your strength eroded by your nocturnal excesses, you would take a nap like an angel on her immaculate bed.      

You fought with the most terrifying mastiffs, the most snobbish and the most ill-mannered of Tilcara; they have gashed through your face with their huge teeth and have left on your body the glorious stitches of countless scars.  Those famous wars have still brought you to conquer the most sophisticated females in town. You have populated the region with many kids that carry on until now your work of civilisation.

In the parish, when ended the war of missiles, you did not join force with the old Teutonic priest who had succeeded in getting his hands on the parish and already was preparing for war so as to put the minds of the village through his Taliban theology. For not one second did you let yourself be intimidated by him. During his first mass, you were in the church as usual, rolled up under the altar table. At the moment the first words of that creep squealed in your ears, you bounced on your behind, raised a leg slowly and copiously watered the cactus wooden leg of the altar table. And then, calmly, you relaxed your ears as a sign of supreme indifference, spread out your tail like an antenna, lifted your head and went down the central aisle of the church with the dignity of a Viltipoco getting back his lost glory. Never again did you set paws in that church that you loved, and where you were one of the most assiduous faithful. Never.    

From a window in the skies, God had seen everything. Even today, He remembers that scene with pleasure, marveling at the guts you had as a Dragon and at the remarkable soundness of your discernment.

Years went by. I was in far-away China when a letter reached me from    Tilcara. In that letter were described your last moments on this Earth. One day, carrying on your back your sixteen years of life as a dog, you climbed one by one half of the narrow steps of the Escalinata (high staircase of the village which links two areas separated by a steep slope). You arrived almost a moribund at the house of Norma Maine. It is from that place that you had decided to say goodbye to the world.

Norma and her children welcomed you with emotion.  Up to your last breath, they lavished you with tenderness.  Still, your days were counted. When the moment to leave came, a mysterious sensation of cold fell over you; it swept up to your bones and your teeth were chattering.  – The Bible says that, on the point of dying, the old king David (another mischievous one loved by God) was stricken also by a terrible attack of cold. But by putting Abishag, a young good looking girl in the bed of the king, the old man bucked up and left for the hereafter without shaking. -  That highly instructive story was not known by Norma and her children; nevertheless, they reproduced it to perfection. Seeing you shaking so much, the children ran to their neighbor to borrow a young cute female dog that they hastened to place against your freezing bones. Gradually, a bit of warmth spread in your being, and calm came. You therefore were to leave this world with the same consolations than king David, that old womanizer and brave vanquisher of Goliath, the giant…      

When your time came, Norma and the children cried their eyes out. Norma went on her knees praying God that he would inspire her the best gesture that would help you to leave without pain. Unconsciously, she already had in her hands a water pitcher; without hesitation, she baptized you!

And so you died as a Catholic, my dear Dragon... Not as a Catholic of the imperial Church of the golden pointed hats and of the corporals, but as a Catholic of a large anonymous Church without walls, tender and courageous, made up of ordinary people who often do unauthorized things by the books, but usually follow their good heart and never turn their backs on the cribs and the calvaries of this world.

The three angels of the Escalinata carried your body of Dragon over Tilcara, on the flanks of the Black Mountain. They buried you in secret, at about 300 meters higher than the cross, in line with where the sun rises in the morning. It is from that place that your little soul of Dragon went on its trip on the old footpath in zigzag  - and not yet totally erased - « which links the valley to the stars»…You have returned quietly to the country where you came from.


                                                                    Eloy


 Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

 JULIEN, AUTHOR OF THE  BIBLE




For our modern sensitivity, our good Julien Vézina* is not quite the type of missionary to imitate. Anyway, he is inimitable.

In the mountains of South Honduras where the climate is very hot and where life is very rough, he is the freest man of the world. He does not sleep, eats very little and never stops. He is a man whose passion is to be with the ordinary people, to make them happy, to serve them. He plays cat-and-mouse with the children, he extracts teeth, and if no midwife is available for delivery, he is the one who plays the role of «mid-husband». No unemployment. 

When we are Julien Vézina, we enrol in the Eucharistic Crusade the babies still breast feeding and communion is given to them just like with adults. We direct the brass bands at all the patriotic celebrations and we play any musical instrument.  We use the typewriter at the speed of lightning and we create documents. For those thousands of people who have no papers and need a baptism certificate so as to have the right to exist, but don’t have one because the archives were burnt or stolen, Julien, with closed eyes, produces the so desired document without fuss, «authenticates» it by stamping it with the seal of the parish and turns it over to the new citizen, saying: «Next! » It’s free.

His catechesis is at the forefront of technology. The exterior walls of all the chapels – already whitewashed – are used as screens for the projection of films that are unique in the whole world. The material is being carried in the mountains by a caravan of seven or eight mules, including Anselma, his pet mule. Julien himself edits his films with sequences «borrowed» (to use a euphemism) from other movies of his impressive collection. He pastes them to one another according to a surrealist framework of which he only has the secret. Short scenes about Jesus and Mary are shown here and there between the adventures of Mickey Mouse and are followed by other topics as essential to salvation as the most beautiful goals of the CH of Montréal in the series of the Stanley Cup, or excerpts of the family rosary with Cardinal Léger, without omitting the Max Brothers and the apparitions of Fatima… Each time, a huge success! 

One day, in Cuba (he was missionary in the Philippines and in Cuba before ending up in Honduras), Julien is going his way wearing a white cassock when two braggarts ask him what kind of woman is he to go out with a dress on. Without a word Julien grabs them together by the neck, lifts them at full arms and knocks their heads against one another like in the best movies of the already mentioned Max brothers.

The strength of our Tarzan is legendary. The gloomiest military men and the most roguish prisoners bow in front of him out of respect. When he speaks, people listen to him, and even though the stories he invents are unbelievable, everybody believes in all he says. For example, to urge the parents to bring up their children in a good way, he does not hesitate to tell that when he was in Cuba, Fidel Castro was his altar boy. He tells them: «How many times have I warned the mother to send her son to catechism, and since she did not listen to me, well, he became the devil who is making the world tremble!».

Not only does Julien impress by his physical strength and his stories, but also by his kindness and his tenderness. Under the shell of a boxer, Julien has a child’s heart. His preferred weapon to open hearts is the candies. At all times, he has a bag of them handy, and he distributes them on his way. To the young girl who stick to him like glue, to the grandmother who looks at him as if he was God, to the policeman armed to the teeth and who struts like a peacock, and to the toughest one who hates the whole world, it takes only a candy to become great friends. Jesus said: « Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth»; this beatitude, Julien lives it out by dint of candies.  

At the time, it was forbidden to priests to celebrate more than one mass a day, except in very rare cases. Julien himself would nonetheless celebrate up to five masses a day, each one at a different place, by using the host and wine consecrated in a previous mass.  Everything goes on in an impeccable way and with an atmosphere of perfect piety, especially as, from the sign of the cross at the beginning up to the final blessing, the mass would last hardly ten minutes, hymns and homily included. No one complains.   

If you are a confrere of Julien and live under the same roof, do not be surprized when things from your bedsheets, your towels, your shorts, your shirts, your pants, your altar linen, your cassock and your surplice disappear like magic. It is the “invisible hand” of Julien that is taking away from you everything that can be useful to the poor.

From this indescribable companion, I learn that we can cheerfully open the way to salvation with Jesus’ gospel in one hand and dynamite sticks in the other hand, throwing up in the air everything that in the troubled geography of the country was an obstacle to the passage of the holy jeep of the missionary. 

I even learned from the mouth of some pious country women that it was not the pope who wrote the Bible – as claimed by ignorant people – but by Padre Julián… 

In the jail of Choluteca, the Padre Julián is not only the chaplain but also the greatest of the heroes. Today, the jail and its chaplain are awaiting hastily the official visit of the First Lady of the country.  In the hope that she will demonstrate her generosity toward that institution which wallows in misery, Julián personally organizes the reception. He carefully teaches his friends – a great number of them are known murderers – how to welcome the august visitor. From the moment that the prisoners see Doña Alejandrina enter solemnly arm in arm with Julián, a clamour reaches the heavens. But instead of «Long Live the First Lady», what bursts out from all over is «Long Live Padre Julián!” The face of the good Julián turns to a red beet. As a good catholic, Doña Alejandrina amuses herself. It seems that on that day a bundle of lempiras came out of her purse. Did this help in improving the life conditions of those unhappy prisoners? We have to ask the administration… One thing is sure: if that money had been put directly into the hands of our good Robin Hood Julián, there would not have been any question asked.    

Julien was not a “Curé d’Ars”, nor a new Moses, nor a Che Guevara, nor a Mother Teresa, neither the most up to date version of a 21st century missionary. He was only the « Padre Julián », the unique Padre Julián. And then, one day, he passed away. Even though he and I were as similar as day and night, I had much affection for him. I was really saddened by his departure. I had the feeling that a great marvel had just left us. If the delinquents and all the underprivileged whom he loved and served during his life had accompanied us during his burial, I am sure that we would have heard them crying as far as the end of the world.  

                                                                               Eloy Roy


Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages


JULIEN VÉZINA, p.m.é 1913-1983
Missionary in The Philippines : 1941-1945  In Cuba : 1945-1956, in Honduras : 1956-196. Died in LavaL, Québec, Canada: Feb 14, 1983

             

Monday, 9 May 2016

VOTING FOR LOSERS


If I were an American, in the next presidential election I would vote for Bernie Sanders. That’s because Bernie is the freest, the most humane, the more just and the truest among all the candidates in line.
But Bernie will lose, for sure. Why? Probably because the majority of Americans - like most of the inhabitants of our planet - want nothing but money, even dirty money that trickles down with blood.  What is «more free, more humane, more just and more true» comes second for them. Moreover, they don’t give a damn!  
«The majority», I said, not everybody, since a minority will vote for Bernie.  
2000 years ago, I would have voted for Jesus, you see? ...
And so, why do I vote for losers?
The youth knows very well why. The youth feels that Old Sanders’ ideas are vital for democracy, for social justice and for the peace in the world. The youth is aware that the future of the humankind is going exactly in this direction. So the youth votes for Sanders.
Jesus lost for a time. He got thrashed incredibly (no surprise!). What he sowed, still, has sprouted, grown, ripened somewhere.
Those who lose in searching for justice and brotherhood will be sooner or later the real winners, even though before arriving there they have to be crushed a thousand times.
Bernie will lose, but because of the waves that he is raising, Hillary is redirecting her boat. Now she is siding with the ordinary people more than with Wall Street and the Washington clique. This is a very big step forward. When she wins the election (if ever she wins), the victory will be hers, of course, but, who will be able to say that Bernie has really lost?

                                                                                    Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages


                     A new consciousness is arising.