The Archbishop of Dijon in Marseille for the Pope’s visit: “A duty to assist” migrants

Monsignor Antoine Hérouard, Archbishop of Dijon, also vice-president of the Commission of Episcopates of the European Union (Comece), is one of the men of the Church who were invited to Marseille as part of the visit of Pope Francis. Friday evening, he answered our questions.

As of Friday, Monseigneur Antoine Hérouard, Archbishop of Dijon, was alongside Pope Francis, as part of the latter’s visit to Marseille. As a reminder, for two days, the sovereign pontiff is in the Phocaean capital on the occasion of the closing of the Mediterranean Meetings, a meeting of bishops from the Mediterranean. Among the events planned during this visit, a prayer at Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, a meditation at the Memorial to Sailors and Migrants Missing at Sea and a large mass at the Vélodrome stadium.

Monsignor Hérouard, Archbishop of Dijon, also vice-president of the Commission of Episcopates of the European Union (Comece) is therefore on the papal trip. Friday evening, after an interreligious moment of contemplation and prayer at Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, he answered our questions by telephone (1). “The words of the cardinal and the Pope were very strong on migrants, who are not always saved at sea.”

Asked about the purpose of this visit to Marseille, the Archbishop of Dijon explained the Pope’s choice: “It is a cosmopolitan, interreligious city, where the question of migrants arises. It’s also a visit to France. » And added: “On Sunday the conclusions of the conference will take place, presented to the Pope. Then, in the afternoon, mass will take place. »

“The Pope sent a message of encouragement to migrants, but also, more generally, to the poor and destitute. » If he did not speak directly, visibly, about the current crisis in Lampedusa, he gave a speech “not on the political field but on the religious field”. “He launched a call to people’s conscience and action, with a duty to assist. For his part, Cardinal Aveline considered that there is something criminal in not coming to the aid of people in the Mediterranean. »

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