Pope Francis meets ‘Red Cleric’ who was exiled by Pope John Paul II – Sacred and Profane

Anyone looking to understand the decades-long struggle between Catholic progressives and the late Pope John Paul II – who was aided in his conservative renewal by his theological wingman, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – could do no better than reviewing the tale of French Bishop Jacques Gaillot.Gaillot was named bishop of the Diocese of Evreux, west of Paris, in 1982, in the early years of John Paul’s pontificate, and Gaillot quickly came to stand as a symbol of the sort of social activist bishop – and theological liberal – that the Polish pope sought to sideline, or censure.After years of tensions with the Vatican, and with his fellow bishops in France, John Paul in 1995 removed Gaillot – nicknamed the Red Cleric – from Evreux and, in a near parody of exile, named him titular head of Partenia, a defunct diocese in the desert of modern-day Algeria that has not existed as an actual Catholic community since the fifth century.Paradoxically, that exile freed Gaillot to continue his activism – and irk Rome – as he moved in with squatters in Paris and advocated for a host of reform causes in politics and the church.

Source: Pope Francis meets ‘Red Cleric’ who was exiled by Pope John Paul II – Sacred and Profane

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