French Prepare to Pay Homage to Abbe Pierre
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Eleanor Beardsley has a report from Paris.
ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: Hundreds of people fill the narrow street outside the Val de Grace Hospital chapel, waiting in near silence for their turn to join the thousands who have filed past Abbe Pierre's casket. Parisian Ann Bokur(ph) says she wanted to pay her last respects to a great man.
ANNE BOKUR: Unidentified Woman #1: (Speaking foreign language)
(SOUNDBITE OF FRENCH TV SHOW)
BEARDSLEY: People say it was during this time that the young priest learned his trademark skills of organizing networks, fighting the system and breaking laws for the dignity of man. After the war, Abbe Pierre became a member of parliament, and in the bitter winter of 1954, he took to the airwaves to demand shelter and supplies for thousands of homeless people.
ABBE PIERRE: (Speaking foreign language)
BEARDSLEY: The activist priest became a familiar figure in France in his dark cape, beret, and walking stick. But he was also controversial. He shook the church's establishment in a 2005 book when he admitted to having loved several women. He also supported marriage for priests and the ordination of women. Xavier Vandromme is the director of Emmaus in Paris.
XAVIER VANDROMME: For NPR News, I'm Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: This is NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.