Mathilde Hallot

When The cross asked Mathilde Hallot-Charmasson, 33, to meet her, the young woman accepted on one condition: that Lucie, her friend and collaborator, also be present. A matter of comfort and confidence.

This climate of perfect harmony, she tries to establish it with her interlocutors, Catholic women whom she questions, in her podcast “Women and a God”, on their relationship to faith. An audio production that was formalized in association, co-managed with Lucie, in order to give “the word to women in the Church”.

Two worlds that do not speak to each other

Few things destined her to take the microphone to collect the testimony of these Catholic women. Breton by birth, Mathilde Hallot-Charmasson moved early to Paris with her mother “very practical” and his father « atheist, trend chained duck ». Trained by her grandmother, she goes to catechism, becomes a mass servant. At the same time, she frequents “the school of the Republic”, then joined a preparatory class for Henri-IV and was admitted to the École Normale Supérieure.

Between his meetings “very left, very anticlerical” of the rue d’Ulm and her Catholic entourage, she lives in two worlds “who do not try to talk to each other and who, when they talk to each other, do not understand each other”, she summarizes. Hence her argument, then a high school student, with a young seminarian who was not very excited to see her so close to the altar. “It was my only feminist position”she slips, her eyes laughing.

Sexual violence against nuns, the “tipping point”

Today in charge of the “Performing Arts” collection at the National Library of France (BnF), she intends “building bridges” between these two worlds. Watching an Arte documentary broadcast in 2019 on nuns who are victims of sexual violence constitutes “a tipping point”. “As a baptized person, I don’t want to be part of a Church like that”she thinks after watching the documentary.

So during a year of discernment with the Jesuits, the young woman sought there the meaning of her “baptismal ministry”. With this documentary, “The answer seemed obvious” : he must train and sensitize Christian women to the concepts of feminism. She then interviews for several seasons business leaders, women involved in associations, journalists… “I realize that it overflows everywhere, they do not fit into the boxes in which they want to put us”she attacks, as she does in mood posts and biblical commentaries.

In Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme), Lucie is also overflowing with ideas “to raise voices that are not heard”. She organizes her first women’s circles, where participants can indulge in complete safety. ” It’s frightening. One in ten women has already been sexually abused. So, in a circle of ten, at least one of them will have been a victim…”

From “sorority” to “do Church with women”

Mathilde and Lucie now wish to propose “a safe place” for women, consecrated or not. Their association Des femmes et un Dieu organized its first spiritual retreat in July, “Living the Gospel Daily” hosted in a Benedictine monastery in Deux-Sèvres. On the program: speaking time, lecture by a pastor, artistic and reflection workshops. Beyond the biblical readings and the prayers offered during these four days, it is for this handful of women a moment of rest, discernment and ” sorority “far from there “patriarchal rule” and “solicited or outdated homilies”.

Far, too, from men, even their husbands. Why ? “For once, I don’t want to justify myself”, declares Mathilde Hallot-Charmasson with a smile. From now on, she wants to continue to build her bridges and “to reach as many women as possible”. And consider chatting with Christian women “who don’t have the same ideas” what. Basically, his is “to make Church with women”. Lucia nods: “Too bad if we are rejected, we will go elsewhere! »

Close to Ignatian spirituality, she was offered by the Christian Movement of Executives and Leaders (MCC) to co-produce the fourth part of her podcast. Proof that the testimonies of women in the Church are expected.


His inspiration. The interpellation of a word of Jesus

“Give them something to eat yourselves” (Lk 9.13). I received this word during a circle of women. At the beginning of the story of the multiplication of the loaves, the disciples come to Jesus to tell him of their distress: large crowds are following the Master’s teachings, it is dinner time and there is nothing to eat. Instead of immediately offering them a miracle solution – that’s the case! –, Jesus urges them to find a solution themselves. This sentence is for me a personal challenge: how can I take my place as a baptized person, “priest, prophet and king”, in the Church? If I can’t find the places in the institution as it exists, it’s up to me to create them. But it’s also about feeding other members of the community. By responding to the call of Christ heard in prayer and discernment, I joined many women who thirsted, sometimes unconsciously, for free speech on the feminine and on spirituality.

Mathilde Hallot-Charmasson: “Building bridges” between two worlds