In Lyon, pastoral actors are trained in the fight against anti

“Anti-Semitism appears as a virus that has always infects the world: it only changes appearance depending on the situation. » This Tuesday, October 12, Jean-Dominique Durand, the president of the Judeo-Christian Friendship of France (AJCF), speaks before an assembly made up of religious, lay people or associative actors, Catholics, Protestants or Jews. All are gathered on the benches of the Catholic University of Lyon to train against anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism, at the call of the diocese, the AJCF and the Christian Center for the Study of Judaism.

→ READ. Bishops urge Catholics to get involved against anti-Semitism

This day comes following the declaration of the 1er February 2021: that day, the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF) called for a firm fight against the trivialization of the phenomenon. On Monday, a new survey carried out in sixteen European countries revealed that the number of anti-Semitic acts had increased during the period of health crisis. “The challenge is urgent, for society and for Christians”recalls Father Jean Massonet, former director of the CCEJ and winner of the Judeo-Christian Friendship prize in 2016. In his view, it is necessary to both dive back into the “roots” evil in order to fight it better and rely on the “spiritual connection” which unites the two religions.

Education and transmission, “two key axes”

Volunteer of the Licra and intervening in educational establishments where he notes above all a “great ignorance” on the subject, Michel wonders how best to explain the discrepancies between a Jewish reading and a Catholic reading of the Scriptures. “We tend to simplify things when they should be clarified with more truth”, he exclaims during a workshop.

Here, after having honed some essential knowledge, these participants from diverse backgrounds are invited to express their needs and reflect together on solutions. At his side, an Ardéchoise invested in the catechumenate of her parish tries to be able to respond to adults who wish to be baptized but cannot help denigrating other religions, in particular Judaism.

“Beyond mobilization, education and transmission must remain two key areas of our action”, confirms Father Christophe Le Sourt, national director of the service with relations with Judaism. He relies in particular on youth, by encouraging, for example, better management of social networks, such as the ban on anonymity, or by announcing the forthcoming publication of videos. “very complete” on Judaism, made available to all. It also invites to multiply the “common projects”, as meetings between the young people of the Church and new Jewish generations around themes that bring together “like that of integral ecology as defined by Pope Francis”. Also participating in the implementation of this will of the Church, the faculty of theology, host of the event, should launch a diploma “Christians in relation with the Jews” from the next school year.

In Lyon, pastoral actors are trained in the fight against anti-Semitism