Bishop called Battle, a general incapable of defending his troops. No wonder there is a vocations crisis.

The Bishop of Saint-Etienne is called Monsignor Bataille- (Battle in English, Riposte Catholique calls him Waterloo) but when it comes to defending the priests beaten up by rioters, he hardly lives up to his name, points out the independent Breton newspaper Breizh Info, which looks at the diocesan communication on the subject of the beating up of a priest and the responses made by the Diocese in a press release and to France Bleu.

It's hardly surprising that there is a problem with vocations, especially in the diocese... who would go and become a 'brother' and 'son' of a leader incapable of defending his troops, or at least have a minimum of propriety and respect for those, like this priest, who have given sixty years of their lives to the Church? As one Occitan priest confided, "the Bishops see themselves as the Vicars of Christ, but for many of them, the priests, seminarians, even the deans of cathedrals, are not worthy of them, and they make it felt in all circumstances - the same people should not complain of being isolated, lonely, and broken by their position".

Breizh Info writes: "The bishop of Saint-Etienne is Monsignor Bataille. But the least we can say is that he is not a thunderbolt. Late this afternoon, one of his priests, an 80-year-old religious, was beaten up and knocked to the ground by rioters, who then stole his wallet and mobile phone. Rather than defend its priest, the diocese was quick to say that the incident was of no importance and, above all, had nothing to do with the riots.

The priest attacked was Francis Palle, a member of the Saint-Vincent de Paul religious order. The diocese was quick to tell France Bleu that it was "dissociating this attack from the urban violence" that took place in Saint-Etienne on the same day: "we don't know what these people [the attackers] did before or after the violence, but this attack is not part of the riots", a diocesan spokesperson told the local radio station, adding that it was a "simple incident".

According to the diocese, "the attack on Father Palle does not appear to be linked to his status as a religious priest", this time according to the official press release, which reiterates that it did not take place "in the context of the violent events of the last few days", a fine euphemism for riots and looting. A revealing slip of the tongue? Nevertheless, Monsignor Bataille does not push absolute dhimmitude to the point of refusing to lodge a complaint.


Cathcon: Ironic that the Bishop is a member of the Société Jean-Marie-Vianney, one of the "new communities" created in the Catholic Church at the end of the 20th century. Founded in 1990 by Guy Bagnard, Bishop of Belley-Ars, it is an international association of diocesan priests designed to encourage vocations, strengthen priestly spirituality and break the solitude of priests.

According to Olivier Landron, it was a speech given by Pope John Paul II on 6 October 1986 in Ars that indirectly led to the creation of this community. Recalling and updating the words of Jesus on the harvest, John Paul II declared: "And from that place [Ars], Christ said to his disciples, as he had said in Palestine, he said to the whole Church in France, to the Church spread out over the earth: 'The harvest is plentiful and the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest". Today he says the same thing, because the needs are immense and pressing ".

Guy Bagnard, appointed shortly afterwards as Bishop of Belley-Ars, was moved by these words. In 1988, he set up an international seminar in Ars. He then founded the "Société Jean-Marie-Vianney" in 1990, both to supervise seminarians and to bring diocesan priests together through a specific priestly spirituality.

In founding this "Société Jean-Marie-Vianney", Monsignor Bagnard also drew on "Presbyterorum Ordinis", the text of the Second Vatican Council on the ministry and life of priests. He also drew extensively on his pastoral experience, having been confronted, as seminary director, with the isolation of priests who found themselves alone at the end of their community studies.  (Source Wikipedia)