the will of Bishop Jacques Noyer

The Taste of the Gospel

by Jacques Noyer

Present time, 150 p., € 16

The author will not have seen his book. Jacques Noyer died on June 2, 2020, and this last posthumous work, published in November, takes on the air of a testament. At 93 years old, the emeritus bishop of Amiens interweaves the life of the Church and his own journey in a sometimes painful confession: “I have the right to be sincere and to confess that we have lost. “

Jacques Noyer, the thick white mane and loud laughter, was arguably the last of a generation. The one who embraced the fruits of Vatican II, and who helplessly witnessed its difficult implementation: “The generation that came out of the war with the desire to change things is slowly disappearing and the landscape is returning to tradition. ” Rejoicing in Pope Francis’ way of doing things, Jacques Noyer recognizes the error of method: “We had the naivety to think that it was through the clerics that we were going to wake up the people of God. No, it is the cry of men that will awaken the clerics. “

Sincere grief

Without bitterness, but with sincere pain, even a share of responsibility, the former bishop revisits the errors of the Church. “It took a long time for me to discover that in the Church too, among my priest friends, there could be predators with shameful aims. “ Insisting on the role of the laity and the commitment of Christians in society, he describes the clergy with a sharp and iconoclastic pen, for example with regard to the marriage of priests: “Ecclesiastical celibacy is a false adventure. It even risks being an extension of childhood rather than the risk of adventure. ” Going through the history of the Eucharist, Jacques Noyer is still acerbic: “The world to whom we are to preach the gospel is not neutral or ignorant. He is suspicious of a Church of saints claiming to teach sinners a lesson. “

A fan of rants, Bishop Noyer first showed an overwhelming passion for his Church. His latest book resonates like a call to vigilance, the cry of an elder who invites daring, and which recalls the essential. Beyond criticism, he wanted to share one last time his taste for the Gospel, for the community, for the Church: “My pastor’s heart invites me to accept men as they are. I like to walk with the simplest, the less learned, the poorest. “

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