Bishop Jean-Pierre Vuillemin
New auxiliary bishop of Metz
This priest of the diocese of Saint-Dié, a canonist and currently parish priest of Epinal, will be the second bishop Jean-Christophe Lagleize.
Mons. Jean-Pierre Vuillemin was appointed, on Tuesday 8 January, Auxiliary Bishop of Metz (Mosel) by Pope Francis. The Muslim bishop, Mgr Jean-Christophe Lagleize, had requested an auxiliary in April 2018 due to health problems. Obligation to agree the diocese, the decree announcing his appointment, signed by the President of the Republic, was published at Official Journal January 8th
Originally from the Vosges, Bishop Vuillemin, who turns 52 on 21 January, was ordained priest in 1994 for the diocese of Saint-Dié, where he was treated to Épinal and a member of the Episcopal Council. But it was at the seminary of Metz that was preparing for the priesthood. "For all this, I would not pretend to know the diocese well enough", points out.
He knows, however, the different realities of the Church of France. After beginning as vicar, Bishop Vuillemin spent three years in Paris studying canon law. He then served the parish of San Francesco Saverio, in 7is constituency. Before returning then to the realities of his diocese of origin, as parish priest of Mirecourt, parish of 27 bell towers. However, in 1999, his skills as a canonist led him to occupy the position of official at the interdisciplinary official office of Dijon, then vice-functionary of Besançon.
Overall, Bishop Vuillemin has spent seventeen years in ecclesiastical courts. "Although it seems technical, it is a very pastoral ministry that welcomes and listens to people weakened by the vagaries of life", describes one who has dealt with many cases of marriage nullity. In this ministry, he is confident that he has been confronted with some cases of abuse, but never with minors. "The succession of cases we are currently experiencing only reinforces the idea that we need to reflect on the state of criminal law in our church, officials are not very solicitous about criminal matters, and it is damaging."
As for the new functions that await him, Bishop Vuillemin is getting ready "Learning to be on"but "Great trust in the Church – and in God, it's obvious!" Aware that his departure is not good news for the diocese of Saint-Dié, already severely affected by the lack of priests, recognizes that he left "A very familiar world". Literally, moreover, since his family is still in the Vosges. The youngest of six brothers, he also has a brother who is also a priest in the diocese.
But Metz is not so far. "And in my life, traveling has taught me to have a relationship a little distant from my past." Since completing a two-year military cooperation in Seoul (South Korea) at the end of the 1980s, Bishop Vuillemin claims an Asian tropism. "I lived there a certain cultural exoticism, and this was an important moment in the discernment of my vocation, far from my religious and family references." Since then, he has visited Japan, India, Tibet … "I was able to discover Buddhism, Hinduism, shamanism, religions that always seem far away, but that I could approach."
In addition to his taste for travel and the mountains, Bishop Vuillemin also has an original passion: beekeeping, which he has practiced since the age of 23. "It's my connection to the earth, you must have one in one way or another." He also hopes to be able to bring his hives to Metz, "If the city accepts that you install them in the garden of the bishopric!"