Greetings from a Starbucks on the Boulevard St-Michel. Starbucks is where they have big-ass cups of actually tasty coffee (French coffee is pretty bad), and free wi-fi. So here I am for a moment, updating the blog before running off to a liturgy at a Russian Orthodox church. Above, Self and my French co-conspirators Yrieix Denis (left) and Nick Thibault-Trewby, after a hard day of press interviews and prepping for a week’s worth of conferences here in Paris. Yrieix and I are drinking Muscadet and waiting for our oysters. Which arrived shortly thereafter, with little sausages:
Those were Black Pearls, and transportingly delicious.
I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m doing nothing but eating here. I had several good interviews yesterday, and will be talking to Le Figaro and Le Monde on Monday. So the Ben Op is getting traction here in France. I’m meeting some young, energetic, and engaged orthodox Catholics (two of them are in the photo above). I’m also hearing depressing stories about how hard it is for young people to find jobs in France, and to start businesses. I’ll report back more after today, if I can find a wi-fi connection.
One thing that always comes up: French fear that I’m calling for Christian separationism. I didn’t anticipate that they would view the Ben Op in light of the Muslim situation here. Many feel that to endorse strong Christian community would be implicitly to endorse the same with Muslims. I’ll have to think about this. Again … more later.