A MOVEMENT OF ‘THE WAKEFUL’
FR. MARTIN DE LA RONCIERE
Before the conclave, cardinals were saying to one another in March 2013: ‘France is a great surprise this year!’. They meant mobilization of millions of the French against the law allowing for a ‘marriage’ between people of the same sex (see ‘Niedziela’ of 9 December, 27 January 2013 and 23 June 2013). Facing the pressure of the nation defending the natural order and the normal family, the government of France was using even totalitarian methods. The law was supported by the Parliament and was announced in May 2013. But its opponents – according to the words of gen. de Gaulle said after the defeat of France with Germany in 1940: ‘We lost the battle, but we did not lose the war’ – did not stop acting. But, on contrary- there are more and more initiatives in the defence of the family, life and the human dignity.
‘Niedziela’ of 23 June 2013 edited an article about a movement of ‘the wakeful’. Recently, in Paris there has already been the 26th vigil. And there are similar vigils – regular or occasional – in nearly 200 cities of France and in 12 other countries. In an excellent speech in a parliamentary meeting of the Europe Council in Strasburg on 26 June 2013, the representative of the movement, 23-year-old Madeleine, said: - We are sure that the current changes are serious and we choose any prophetic voices of the XX century as examples, which from Zofia Scholl (a German student who opposed Nazism) to Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, from Winston Churchill to Vaclav Havel – bravely awakened humankind endangered by death. ‘The wakeful’ want to light a spark which will lead to awakening of consciences through culture, thoughts and art.
A similar movement – called ‘guards’ or ‘vigilance while standing’ – mobilizes people spontaneously, who are in vigil while standing still and in silence, in a distance of a few meters among one another, in front of symbolic places of the authority, mainly in front of the Inner Affairs Ministry in Paris.
Another initiative is the movement of ‘Mothers in vigil’. These are groups of a few women who are standing at day and night for the whole week in the public place and are serving to pedestrians in order to talk to them about the family, defence of children’s rights, etc.
‘Pro-life Alliance’ which has been engaged for nearly 20 years in protecting the human life from the conception till the natural death, has been popular among more and more members in the last year – the record of the increased number of members was by 70 per cent! Its main representative – Tugdual Derville promotes the so-called human ecology: ‘It must be admitted that the essence of the man and his humankind are a valuable heritage which is the common welfare of all generations. The duty of the human ecology is accepting this heritage, caring about it and pass it to other generations’. Tugdual Derville and two economists founded a non-party ‘Movement for the Human Ecology’.
It is necessary to notice ceaseless activity of the movement ‘Manifestation for everybody’. It is all about non-party and non-denominational platform of various associations which were fused last year in order to oppose to legalization of homosexual ‘married couples’. On 13 October 2013, within a meeting ‘Catholics are active’ in Paris, the chairman of the Platform – Ludovine de La Rochere presented the current situation and plans for the nearest future: ‘Our fight is not finished; it is just starting! We are calling everybody to establish parents’ committees in all primary schools, whose task will be guarding the content of teaching’. For, the government, under the appearance of a fight against the so-called gender stereotypes, wants to introduce the vicious propaganda of this ideology already from the first years of school.
In the context of preparations of the new law by the government, whose purpose is adjusting legislation ‘to all types of families’, another ambitious project of the ‘Manifestation for everybody’ is organizing a general debate about the family. In the nearest weeks in six cities there are going to be public meetings about various issues concerning the family. Apart from that, all interested people will be able to present their vision of the family on the website. The result of this nationwide consultation will be an alternative act about the family which in February 2014 – that is, a month before local elections - will be published and presented to all candidates. And if its suggestions about the family do not bring any effects among politicians, the Platform reserves its possibility to present its lists at the European elections in May 2014.
What is more and more obvious is the fact that we are witnesses of the historical movement. Many observers compare it with ‘Solidarity’. An economist Pierre-Yves Gome, a co-founder of the ‘Movement for the Human Ecology’ states: - ‘Solidarity’ protested against the regime of the ideology and compulsory political thought. Something similar was taking place in France: when a change in marriage rules and filiation were being discussed, people realized the fact that it was time to oppose to the official ideology, according to which every change is a progress.
In a long run, the consequences of the current social movement can be so deep as the results of the ‘Solidarity’ in Poland and May’68 in France. Students in Paris were on barricades 45 years ago and they wanted to overthrow the so-called bourgeois society. They were not successful at once, but in other decades they were slowly taking over key posts in all spheres of the social life: in education, culture, media politics, etc. Today we are paying for this slow, peace infiltration.
A lot points to the fact that in the forthcoming decades, there will be a similar phenomenon in the French society. This time new generations will intend to rebuild the society on good fundaments. And maybe, in some time, the president and the prime minister will be in leadership in France, who were protesting against the act ‘Marriage for everybody’ in 2013 and were participating in the movement of ‘The watchful’…
It is necessary to wait and pray. I also ask Readers of ‘Niedziela’ for a prayer.