SOCIAL WEEKS IN FRANCE: GRIEU (THEOLOGIAN), SOLIDARITY "NOT CHARITY, BUT AT THE SERVICE OF CHARITY"

(Paris) – Christian solidarity cannot be understood only in terms of charity although it springs from charity, the root of God’s love. This concept was reaffirmed by the Jesuit theologian Etienne Grieu who addressed over 3,000 participants at the 84th edition of the Social Weeks of France (SSF) which started today in Paris (until 22 November) on the theme "New Solidarity – New Society". Drawing on his experience at the service of the unemployed in Mans and Cergy and on his missionary journeys to Africa and South America, the religious man found "in the rediscovery of the biblical tradition of the Covenant a new key to understanding Christian solidarity which is often seen by public opinion only in terms of charity". "In the biblical Covenant – he explained – the selfless and unfailing commitment of Christians to the good comes hand in hand with the law of love, charity, which is the origin of solidarity for Christians". For a Christian, in fact, solidarity cannot be separated from charity. "This feature applies to diaconate, to service. Diaconate means to be part of the very essence of the Church, like in administering the sacraments and proclaiming the Word, and so are charity and solidarity. The deacon is the servant of Christ, the poor. It is therefore urgent to rediscover diaconate in its meaning of service of charity".

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