La Croix: What do you think of the recent controversy with Father Matthieu Jasseron?
Cognitive Philosophy : It is absolutely necessary that there are priests on the networks and who reach people who do not know the faith. But what unsettles certain more classic priests is that the way of expressing oneself on the networks is not that which the Church usually adopts.
→ THE FACTS. CEF criticizes videos posted by a priest on TikTok
A few weeks ago, Father Matthieu Jasseron had already caused controversy because of a video on the social network TikTok in which he pretends to play the DJ on the altar of his church, using the ciborium as a record player . This video shocked me, but I understood its intention better by chatting with people younger than me. In the world of TikTok, this kind of videos had its place. But those who do not have the codes of this social network are completely dumped. This is why it is difficult to take a video out of its context as it has been.
The problem with TikTok is that the videos are only two minutes long. We cannot tackle such complex subjects in such a short time! Especially since Father Matthew was wrong in his video, especially when he said that the practice of homosexuality is not a sin according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I would have found it more interesting if he recalled what the Church says, while giving his personal opinion on the subject. What is interesting with this priest is that he still takes the trouble to make other videos afterwards to explain his choices, remember why he is on Tiktok, tell the feedback he has received …
Have you been marked by the extent of the controversy?
P. C. : I wondered why it was on the subject of homosexuality that it had become so violent. The question of homosexuality has become a divisive point since the Demonstration for All in the French Catholic landscape. It crystallizes a lot of issues. There is also in the biblical and Christian tradition an insistence on the difference of the sexes: Christ is the bridegroom of the Church, etc. It is constitutive of our Catholic mentality.
→ DEBATE. Social networks: what freedom of speech for the clergy?
This episode is an invitation for the laity to have freer words in the Church. Whether on TikTok or at a night out with friends, a priest always speaks as a spokesperson for the Church. The laity are less subject to this requirement, they have more freedom.
Will the debate come from the laity?
P. C. : I hope so ! The laity must be listened to and formed: many are already, it is necessary that this formation can be put into practice. I hope so ! The laity must be listened to and trained. This is the whole meaning of synodality! The Catholic faith is tradition, the Magisterium, the Bible, but also the presence of the people of God! Is being Catholic simply applying the Catechism of the Catholic Church? As Pope Francis says in The Joy of the Gospel: “I prefer a Church that is damaged, wounded and dirty for having gone out on the roads, rather than a Church sick with its confinements and which clings comfortably to its own securities. . “
Is the Church closed to the debate on the magisterium?
P. C. : I think that the theological debate must come second. We must first listen to the people. If we listened more to homosexual people or couples without children tell their story, we would be more accurate in our remarks. This will not result in changing the doctrine overnight, but instead of having a rigorous position, it would allow restraint. It is painful to have your word confiscated by priests or married people. We must be a Church where everyone needs others and where everyone can express themselves. Let us stop asserting the doctrine as an answer to everything! This is the goal of the Synod Church.
You are present on Twitter and you express yourself regularly. Have you always felt free to do this?
P. C. : The debate is possible from the moment when everyone is aware that the doctrine is not immutable. If we think the doctrine is not changing, then there is no possible debate. It is the Word of God that is immutable, not the doctrine! However, I feel that you have to be theologically and humanly armed to intervene on social networks because the debates very quickly become violent. It’s astonishing that people who say they belong to the Catholic Church are so violent in their words!
→ ANALYSIS. How the Church is negotiating its digital shift
Are social networks disrupting the way the Church expresses itself?
P. C. : Certainly. It’s because Father Matthieu understood how TikTok works that his videos work. He has the TikTok codes, and I’m not sure many other priests have them. After that, do you have to shock people in order to touch others? It is absolutely necessary to have training in seminars on social networks, to understand the codes and better speak to those who are far from the Church. But I think that the debate, if it has to take place, can only be done between people: nothing replaces the meeting.