Jacques Gaillot

From Academic Kids

Jacques Gaillot (born September 11, 1935; Template:Audio; generally known in French as Monseigneur Gaillot) is a French Catholic clergyman and social activist. In 1995, he was demoted to titular bishop of Partenia, an extinct diocese, for having expressed too loudly, in the view of his hierarchy, liberal positions on political and social matters. He was from 1982 to 1995 bishop of Évreux in France.

Education and early career

Jacques Gaillot was born in Saint-Dizier in Champagne. As a teenager, he already desired to become a priest. After his secondary studies, he entered the seminary in Langres.

From 1957 to 1959, he did his military service in Algeria during the war of independence.

From 1960 to 1962 he was sent to Rome to complete his studies in theology and get his bachelor's degree. He was ordained a priest in 1961.

From 1962 to 1964, he was sent to the Higher Institute for Liturgy in Paris, while teaching at the great seminary in Châlons-en-Champagne.

From 1965, he taught at the regional seminary of Reims. He chaired many sessions to implement the orientations of the Second Vatican Council.

In 1973, he was appointed to the parish of St Dizier, his hometown, while becoming co-manager of the institute for the training of the educators of the clergy (IFEC) in Paris.

In 1977, he was appointed general vicar of the diocese of Langres. In 1981, he was elected capitular vicar. In May 1982, he was appointed bishop of Évreux.

Media attention and controversy

In 1983, he supported a consciencious objector before the court in Évreux. During the yearly assembly of the episcopate, he was one of the two bishops voting against the episcopate's text on nuclear dissuasion.

In 1985, he supported the uprising in the occupied territories in Palestine and met Yasir Arafat in Tunis. He was invited to the United Nations for a special session on disarmament.

In 1987, he went to South Africa to meet a young anti-apartheid militant from Évreux sentenced to 4 years in prison by the South African régime. In order to accomplish this trip, he had to renounce going with the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, a move that attracted criticism.

In 1988, during a closed-door session of the assembly in Lourdes, he advocated the ordination of married men. (see clerical celibacy)

In 1989, he participated in a trip to French Polynesia organized by the peace movement, asking for the end to French nuclear testing. He also participated in the ceremony of the transfer of the ashes of the late bishop Baptiste-Henri Grégoire (1750-1831) to the Panthéon, a necropolis for the great men of France. Grégoire had been instrumental in the first abolition of slavery, and the end of discrimination against the Blacks and the Jews during the French Revolution; the hierarchy of the Catholic Church had refused to give him the last sacraments because of Grégoire's acceptance of the civilian constitution of the clergy. Gaillot was the only French bishop participating in this ceremony.

In 1991, he opposed the Gulf War, publishing a book called Open letter to those who preach war, but let it be waged by others. He condemned the embargo on Iraq.

In 1995, Jacques Gaillot was named bishop in partibus of Partenia. The See of Partenia, now located in the desert of Algeria, has not existed in reality since the 5th century when it was in Mauritania. This function is a kind of sinecure with no pastoral responsibilities. Gaillot still continues to reach out however, this time on the internet, as a "virtual bishop".

Jacques Gaillot wrote about a dozen books; one of them, A cry on exclusion (Coup de gueule contre l'exclusion) got much media attention. The book criticized the French laws on immigration proposed by the then minister of the Interior, Charles Pasqua. This book was the justification for his demotion by the Catholic hierarchy.

External links

fr:Jacques Gaillot


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