Léonce Crenier

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Léonce Crenier (1888 – May 10, 1963) was a Catholic monk who promoted the theological-political concept of precarity.


  • “Because of the immense number of Christians who are gently slipping in the direction of paganism and damnation, through the appeal of comfort, of well- being and of “legitimate’ pleasures, certain priests have conceived the idea of reaction against this state of affairs and have begun to preach again the Sermon on the Mount.
    This gospel teaching, which is the very foundation of Christianity, has been forgotten to such an extent that it has had the aspect of a new, revolutionary doctrine, even suspect of being allied to certain heresies. It is interesting to see, among Christians, and even among the members of the Clergy and Religious Communities, two camps being formed for and against this doctrine, as if it were up to them to approve or disapprove of the Sermon of the Mount.” — Crenier, Léonce (29 September 1941). "English translation of “Grâce et Nature”". BANQ [P9/D4]., qtd. in Downey, Jack (2012). "A return to the Gospel": The Lacouture retreat and American Catholic revivalism, 1931–1985. Fordham University / ProQuest. 
  • “Nowadays religious communities are good, I am sure, but they are mistaken about poverty. They accept, they admit, poverty on principle, but everything must be good and strong, buildings must be fire-proof. Precarity is everywhere rejected, and precarity is an essential element of poverty. This is forgotten.” — quoted in Day, Dorothy. Loaves and Fishes. p. 83. 
  • “These last days our refectory was near collapsing. We have put supplementary beams in place and thus it will last maybe two or three years more. Some day it will fall on our heads and that will be funny. Precarity enables us better to help the poor. When a community is always building and enlarging and embellishing, which is good in itself, there is nothing left over for the poor. We have no right to do so as long as there are slums and breadlines anywhere.” — quoted in Day, Dorothy. Loaves and Fishes. 

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