practice of circumcision
In the letter to the readers of January 24, a reader indicates, about Eliette Abécassis’ column (published on December 27): “Let’s be clear: circumcision is sexual mutilation, the boy’s equivalent of excision in the daughter (…). From a medical point of view, this statement cannot be left unanswered. Circumcision has no negative effect on a boy’s sex life, pleasure or urinary function. On the contrary, it has been proven that it reduces the risk of contagion of sexually transmitted diseases, and for this reason it is encouraged by the WHO in programs to fight AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa (cf. The Lancet of March 18, 2017 ). It is also an act that is commonly performed for medical reasons in boys. It cannot be said that the same is true of the different variants of genital mutilation in a girl (excision, infibulation, etc.), the consequences of which are dramatic in the health of the woman and in her sexual life. (…)
Pablo Ortega Deballón
Pension reform (continued)
I was retired at around 60 (in 1994) and in the years that followed I often wondered why I had been sent into retirement. I was in education and, at least until I was 65, I felt able to do the job properly. And I’m not the only one. (…) Of course people’s health is different from one to another. But Social Security helps a lot. Those who started working earlier must of course be able to retire if they have contributed for 43 years.
M.-B. from the left
You headlined, on January 17, “Retirement, a “deliverance” for many French people”. Shouldn’t this observation lead to “à la carte” retirement and put an end to the fight over the legal retirement age? Let the possibility of:
– finally live… for a very long time with a modest retirement if you leave at 50.
– live very well for a few years if you stay at work very late, at age 70 and over.
It is up to each individual to choose between these two extremes. (…)
We talk a lot about the active/retired ratio in the question of the financing of pensions. But if this ratio has dropped significantly since the creation of pay-as-you-go pensions in 1945, is it only for demographic reasons? I am not a specialist, but it seems to me that for the same work, you now need fewer people. We see factories running with very few staff, work is no longer the only source of business income: there is the stock market, the sale of one’s image, etc. But this income does not contribute to pensions. Isn’t one of the problems the relationship between work and money in our society?
The issue of retirement should not be dealt with in general but on a case-by-case basis. The law should leave great leeway to pension funds to assess the merits of a departure request based on certain criteria. Personally, I had to retire at 60 (state employee) and I admit I was ashamed of it, believing that I could still have worked for several years. Besides, I took up another part-time job until I was 66. (…)
And why not choose to live before retirement? Isn’t the search for performance, a high salary protecting us from misery a trap in which we can lock ourselves freely? Wouldn’t sobriety go through a less busy schedule? Living without burnout, meeting your parents, your children before retiring, rich in relationships… I feel that my positioning as a wealthy person is not politically correct, but what do you think?
To be continued
Synod on Synodality (continued)
I allow myself to react to various letters from readers read in your newspaper lately or to opinions heard on priests and held by lay people concerning the synodal path that Pope Francis has invited us to take together. It seems to me that many reproaches addressed to the clergy as a whole may seem unjust as they seem to make priests, in particular, bear the responsibility for all the problems that our Church is encountering in France today and the difficulty in implementing with will and courage the essential reforms needed to move forward. Unfair, for example, to affirm that “our pastors superbly ignore those who do not go to mass”. For the Church to be renewed, and she is constantly called to do so, or rather to live it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, isn’t it good not to shut ourselves up in sterile reproaches and accusations that separate instead of bringing together?
Of course, we priests are far from perfect in everything, especially in the performance of our ministry. The news shows it only too well. We have, it is true, to allow ourselves to be challenged and questioned by the discouragement or the estrangement of the faithful, sometimes reflecting a lack of listening and dialogue in the communities for which we are responsible or which we accompany. We surely have to promote a way of welcoming and involving each and everyone, more fundamentally and over time, in the places of pastoral animation and decision-making in our local churches. We have to be with humility ever more faithful to our mission as pastor and servant in the Church of Christ. (…)
Let’s perhaps first try not to point the finger at those responsible – guilty? – but to encourage each other to move forward together on this path of conversion and missionary renewal in the following of Christ, one and only Shepherd.
Father Christophe Potel
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