The affair shook the digital sphere of the Church in France. On August 23, Father Matthieu Jasseron, parish priest of Joigny (Yonne), 36 years old and 626,000 subscribers on TikTok, created controversy following a video seen more than 1 million times on the social network. Responding to a user’s question (“Are we still Christians by being gay?” “), he asserts that nowhere in the Bible is it written that homosexuality is a sin. Enough to provoke the wrath of believers and members of the clergy.
The story even takes on the appearance of clash 2.0 when some respond by video on YouTube or others get carried away on Twitter. Two days later, Father Matthieu nevertheless reaffirms his positions in a new video. The diocese of Sens-Auxerre then distanced itself in a press release dated August 27: “Father Matthieu Jasseron, priest of the diocese of Sens & Auxerre, has been developing a presence on the TikTok social network for several months. However, like many priests, Father Jasseron expresses himself there in a personal capacity, without having received the particular mission. “
Same tone on the side of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), which publishes in the wake: “The CEF disapproves of some of these videos which distort the message of the Church. She warns that their audience success does not mean that they are fair. “
Humor to convey God’s message
It was in August 2020 that Father Matthieu launched on TikTok. Most often, he shares verses from the Bible or discusses, facing the camera, various subjects, such as life, death or celibacy. Always in the short and dynamic format imposed by the platform. He also does not hesitate to demystify the seriousness of the clerical function by staging his daily life in humorous sequences.
“Talking about homosexuality is good, but it’s a serious subject that cannot be dealt with on the phone or in two sentences on social networks. »Monsignor Hervé Giraud, Archbishop
Short, well-groomed salt and pepper hair, light eyes and a charming smile, if the man puts himself forward on social networks, he remains rather discreet outside. This is why Father Matthieu very kindly declines each request for an interview. “Please know, however, that I am really excited to see your journal take an interest in this new form of spiritual presence via social networks. I am delighted, and I hope our Lord too, to see that it is a large audience who can find pleasure in following what I show on TikTok ”, he answers us.
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