Michel Marie Zanotti-Sorkine.jpg

Can I say this? I want every priest to be like Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine: a sign of unlimited availability to Christ and to humanity.

In Marina Corradi’s Avvenire article “The Pope is Right: Everything Must Start Afresh from Christ,” (thanks to Sandro Magister for bringing this article to our consideration) she portrays a French priest in way that is attractive and full of great humanity.

Two paragraphs strike me as important for us to reflect upon:

•  “…he affirms that a priest who has an empty church must examine himself and say: ‘It is we who lack fire.’ He explains: ‘The priest is ‘alter Christus,’ he is called to reflect Christ in himself. This does not mean asking perfection of ourselves; but being conscious of our sins, of our misery, in order to be able to understand and pardon anyone who comes to the confessional.’”

• “In church, he welcomes everyone with joy: ‘Even the prostitutes. I give them communion. What should I say? Become honest, before you enter here? Christ came for sinners, and I have the anxiety, in withholding a sacrament, that he could bring me to account for it one day. But do we still know the power of the sacraments? I have the misgiving that we have excessively bureaucratized the admission to

• baptism. I think of the baptism of my Jewish mother, which in terms of the request of my grandfather was merely a formal act: and yet, even from this baptism there came a priest.’”

His pastoral plan for those who ask the question about returning to the practice of the faith: “the Marian embrace, and impassioned apologetics, which touches the heart.”

A man with Russian-Jewish-Corisican-Italian blood, a singer-song writer, author (his latest is Au diable la tiédeur, {To the devil with lukewarmness}), and now an ordained Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Marseille.

Father Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine is pastor at Saint-Vincent-de-Paul in Marseille.