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
that is attractive and full of 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.