President President Macron to the Catholics: “I’m counting on you.”

French President Macron to the Catholics: “I’m counting on you.”

Posted on 4/13/18 by tiberge

On April 9 Emmanuel Macron delivered a bi-level speech to the Conference of French Bishops gathered at the former Cistercian Abbey of Les Bernardins in Paris.

By “bi-level” I mean that there was an outer visible, audible layer of well-chosen words, beneath which lay hidden another meaning.

The speech has been strongly condemned by left-wing leaders and associations, including the Grand Orient, headed by Philippe Foussier who labeled the speech as “clerical”; Benoît Hamon, head of the the Socialist Party; and Communist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the France Insoumise party who called Macron a “sub-priest”.

(We should regard these condemnations as perfunctory. Bear in mind that the denunciations by the left and the freemasons will make Macron look good in the eyes of naive Catholics.)

The speech has aroused considerable consternation among enlightened Catholics – those loyal to traditionalist principles regarding bioethics and family values. Macron’s soothing double-talk did not entirely fool them.

The speech has confused many of those Frenchmen who remain dedicated to the 1905 law establishing the separation of Church and State. For the French president appeared to be moving in a direction of closer ties between the two, something no president has done in recent memory. Having admitted that the ties between Church and State had been broken, he declared that they must be repaired. What can his purpose be?

The most lucid reactions all concur that Macron is attempting to “seduce” the Catholics of France into believing that their voice really counts and that they have a role to play in the governance of the State. Not necessarily as politicians but as Catholic watchdogs who defend their traditional positions on a variety of issues. Besides bioethics, and family values, this includes immigration.

So what is Macron saying?

Macron is saying (these are not his words, only my somewhat cynical version of them):

“Dear Catholics of France, whose roots may be dead but whose sap is still flowing, you have the right to speak out, but I as president have the final word. Because I as president am steering the country to the new age, the brave new world that awaits us. You, dear Catholics, are the relics of a past age, but you count, because you will help me in my vast program of social change. You will be there to point out the dangers, you will be there to help the weak and the abandoned, the refugees, the sick, the autistic, the desperate souls in need of salvation, as you have always been there for them. You can speak out, but it won’t matter because I have the final word.”

And why would Macron tamper with the 1905 law that separates Church from State? There can be only one reason: he intends to elevate Islam to the rank of co-equal with the Church of France. Can he do this? With Parliament’s approval he can. But it may not be necessary to legislate. Islam is already almost de facto the first religion of France.

At Le Salon Beige, the readers are for the most part unimpressed by Macron’s speech:

– This not-so-bright Macron is trying to win over as many as he can with his speeches full of emptiness. He tells his audience what they want to hear. His speech conceals, therefore, multiple standards, adapted to each type of voter. Here, the Catholics are targeted. Beware of the trap. The trap of a so-called equal treatment of the Catholicism that is denigrated by the moralizing left in its entirety and by Islam, to whom our leaders accord many favors. (…)

– Foussier is afraid of the Catholics. This loser is right to be afraid and his fear is welcome. He’s afraid as those in the Temple long ago feared the Lord who disrupted with his Word their dirty little schemes. Demons are afraid of the Truth. The Sanhedrin was afraid of Jesus, Foussier is afraid of Catholics and that is as it should be.

Note: Philippe Foussier (photo below) is president of the Grand Orient of France, the largest masonic lodge in the country. From the comment above we get the impression Foussier is Jewish (as were his two predecessors), but nothing I have found in his biographical information confirms this. At any rate there has been close cooperation between the Jewish dominated LICRA (League against racism and antisemitism) and the Grand Orient. The anti-French, anti-Christian, anti-Western, goals of both associations make them fellow-travelers against traditional France. Here is what Foussier had to say about Macron’s speech:

– How can the president of the Republic enjoin Catholics to become active in politics? Did not the lesson from 2012-2013 with the tensions over the debate on “marriage for everyone” serve as an example? French society is fragmented enough, without our adding more confrontations, notably on the part of those who affirm so many preemptory and dogmatic positions on a variety of topics.

In a tweet, Foussier proclaimed:

– Protector of the indivisible, secular, democratic and social character of our Republic, President Macron, through his declarations before the bishops, has just inflicted a grave wound on laicité. The Grand Orient strongly condemns this violation of our republican principles.

Note: Again I feel these condemnations are to be expected. The Grand Orient knows perfectly well that Macron will not suddenly decide that France is Catholic, and will continue to bring in as many Muslims as he can.

More comments from Le Salon Beige:

– Since 1789, the only religion you can spit on is Catholicism… The Protestants are far too few, the Jews have become veritable sacred cows (and both are only too happy to trash us); as for the Mohammedans… (…)

– Marine is not wrong (and she must have a source of information): they want to re-play 1905 in order to saddle us with a reconstruction of religions.

Note: The above comment refers to Marine Le Pen’s tweet on Macron’s speech:

– The president of the Republic is trying to anesthetize the Catholics in order to attack the 1905 law (on Church/State separation). This is my concern. And I say to the Catholics that they are not the ones who will benefit from this change…

Note: This is indeed a ground-breaking comment from Marine, and it is possible someone did help her. For once she is saying that the sacrosanct law on laicité may be modified in favor of Islam, though she does not mention the name.

Now, for the speech itself. It was very long, and since he placated his audience (who, we can assume, was happy to be placated, the French bishops not exactly being known as descendants of Charles Martel!) it has a numbing effect on the listener, and even the reader. For the text is published online, making it easier to translate, but I have decided to translate just a few passages, to spare all of us the pain of another presidential ruse:

Having paid homage to Father Jacques Hamel and Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, both of whom were killed, their throats slit, by Muslim immigrants, Macron assures the bishops that laïcitéwill not overpower spirituality:

– If Catholics want to serve and ennoble France, if they agree to die, it is not just in the name of humanistic ideals. It is not just in the name of a secularized Judeo-Christian morality. It is also because they are carried by their faith in God and their religious devotion.

Some may regard such remarks as being in violation of laicité. But after all, we also have martyrs and heroes from all faiths as our recent history has again shown us, and this includes atheists, who found in the depths of their morality the source of a complete sacrifice. To recognize some is not to diminish the others, and I feel that the function of laïcité is certainly not to deny the spiritual on behalf of the temporal, or to uproot from our societies the sacred part that nourishes so many of our fellow-citizens.

As head of State, I am the guarantor of the freedom to believe or not to believe, but I am not the inventor or the promoter of a State religion that would substitute for divine transcendence a republican credo.

Note: He may not be the inventor, but he certainly is promoting the republican credo of the 21st century: open borders, homosexual marriage, surrogate motherhood, euthanasia, feminism, etc… Recently he said he would like to bring female imams, pastors and rabbis to Elysée for discussions on women’s role in religions.

– To blind myself knowingly to the spiritual dimension that Catholics invest in their moral, intellectual, family, professional, and social life would be to condemn myself to a partial view of France; it would be to misunderstand the country, its history, its citizens; and affecting indifference, I would be failing in my mission. And this indifference is equally absent from my position on all the faiths that today inhabit in our country.

And it is because I am not indifferent, that I see how the road shared by the State and the Church for such a long time is today strewn with mutual misunderstandings and mistrust.

Note: He goes on to criticize previous governments that either sought the votes of the Catholics through flattery or refused to listen to them, and calls for a different kind of dialogue between Church and State that would lead to cooperation.

Later he acknowledges that the EU ignored the importance of Christianity in Europe:

– I know that the Christian roots of Europe have been debated as much as the sex of angels. And that this denomination was rejected by the European parliamentarians. But after all, historical evidence sometimes comes before such symbols. And above all, it is not the roots that matter to us, for they can just as well be dead. What matters, is the sap. And I am convinced that Catholic sap must still contribute to our nation and make it live.

Note: Quite a comment. Are the roots really dead? Can sap exist without the roots? If so, is this sap potent or diluted? And furthermore, do the bishops feel the traditional sap running through their veins? Have they in any way contributed to the death of the roots? Will not Islam finish off any remaining living roots? Unanswered questions.

Later, he moves on to the topics of bioethics and migrants, and associates the plight of the refugee with the plight of the unborn:

– You believe it is our duty to protect life, in particular when this life is defenseless. Between the life of an unborn child, the life of one on the threshold of death, or the life of a refugee who has lost everything, you see the common trait of absolute vulnerability, of nakedness. These beings are exposed. They need everything from someone else, from the hand extended to them, from the benevolence that will care for them. (…) I have heard concerns coming from the Catholic world and I would like to here answer them, or at least present our portion of the truth and conviction.

– On the topic of migrants, we are reproached at times for not welcoming them with enough generosity and kindness, for allowing the troubling cases to reside in detention centers and for turning away isolated minors. We are even accused of fostering police violence.

Note: What Catholic world is he speaking of? Which Catholics reproach him for his lack of kindness? Not the enlightened, traditional Catholics, but those who, like the bishops, are blind to the effects of immigration on the country and who see only the suffering of the migrants, not the suffering of the French or the long-term disaster for French civilization. (But remember that the migrants aren’t suffering!)

He accurately notes some of the criticisms hurled at his program:

– On bioethics, we are suspected sometimes of having a hidden agenda, of knowing in advance the results of a debate that will open new possibilities in the area of assisted procreation, of opening a door to practices that will then be irresistibly imposed such as surrogate motherhood. And some say that the introduction into these debates of representatives of the Catholic Church (…) is a trap meant to dilute the word of the Church or to take the Church as a hostage.

He describes the activities of Catholic associations confronted with the realities of everyday life:

– (…) every day, the same Catholic associations and priests accompany single-parent families, divorced families, homosexual families, families having had to suffer abortions, in vitro fertilization, medically assisted procreation, families facing the vegetative state of one of their members, families where one person believes and another does not, resulting in a rupture of spiritual and moral choices (…) The Church tirelessly accompanies these delicate situations and tries to reconcile its principles with reality. This is why I am not saying that the experience of reality undoes or invalidates the Church’s positions: I am simply saying that there too we must find a limit, for society is open to all possibilities, but the manipulation and fabrication of living matter cannot be extended infinitely without redefining the very idea of man and life.

Note: He acknowledges that there are limits. But he does not seem interested in improving society by restoring family values or respect for life – he is leaving that to the church. He will still do what he has to do – we don’t know what that is, but we can guess…

He acknowledges the turmoil resulting from immigration:

– But I cannot forget that we also bear the responsibility for the difficult territories where these migrants arrive. We know that the influx of new populations plunges the local population into uncertainty, pushing it to extreme political options, often unleashing a recoiling stemming from the reflex of self-protection. A form of daily anxiety emerges that creates a competition of miseries.

Note: He understands the misery of the people, but never admits that the cause is the immigration policy itself. Like death and taxes, the miseries caused by immigration are now part of the landscape, something we all have to live with, like it or not. He is only concerned that the people will try to save themselves by turning to a right-wing party. So how does he intend to deal with the problem? By engaging the Catholics to do the work!

– One must be very free in order to dare to be paradoxical, and one must be paradoxical in order to be truly free. This is what the best Catholic writers remind us. (…) And in this freedom of expression, I include the desire of the Church to initiate, to maintain and to re-enforce the free dialogue with Islam that the world so greatly needs (…)

Note: Yes, that will help a lot!

– I’m counting on you, on all of you, to nourish this dialogue and to root it into our common history that has its particularities, but its (primary) particularity is to have always attached to the French nation a capacity to think in universals. We are conducting this sharing, this task, after so many years of hesitations and renunciations and the coming months will be decisive in that regard.

This sharing that you engage in is all the more important because Christians are paying for their attachment to religious pluralism with their lives. I’m thinking of the Christians in the Middle East.

Note: I believe this is one of the rare occasions on which he has mentioned the persecuted Christians. And he expects the weakened Church of France to convince Islamic leaders that religious pluralism and “universals” are necessary in order to live in France? Considering the drop in church attendance, considering the large number of “practicing” Catholics who voted for Macron, this is another pipe dream being foisted onto the gullible French population. As for the bishops, many of them are beyond redemption at this point, rendering these fine words from Macron totally obsolete. Still, we cannot fault Macron with not being aware of the problems his country is facing; yet he stands aloof from all of it.

– I want to praise the admirable work done by movements such as l’Oeuvre d’Orient, Caritas France and the Sant-Egidio Community for enabling the arrival on national territory of the families of refugees, for coming to their assistance on the spot, with the support of the State.

Note: Again, not a word about stopping immigration and closing the borders. Instead, thanks for aiding and abetting massive immigration!

He notes the need to obey the laws of the Republic, but does not mention all the known criminals who have been released on technicalities only to repeat past offenses, or commit newer and greater offenses including murder. Do not the laws of the Republic apply to them?:

– My role is to be certain that (each citizen) has the absolute freedom to believe or not to believe, but I will likewise require of him to always respect absolutely and without any compromise all the laws of the Republic. That is nothing more or less than laïcité, an iron-clad rule for our life together that accepts no compromise, an absolute freedom of conscience and this spiritual freedom that I have just spoken of.

Near the end he quotes philosopher Jean-Luc Marion:

– “Ought not a Church triumphant among men be concerned for having already compromised everything pertaining to its election by having made a compromise with the world?”

Note: Macron feels this quote should act as a “balm” for the Church and for Catholics in their hour of doubt concerning the place of Catholics in France. In other words, it is normal to feel doubts, to be concerned, this is the predictable price we pay for our election as the triumphant Church in France.

Let this speech be a template for future speeches Emmanuel Macron will be giving to those who have “doubts”: rural people, farmers, retired people, and others who did not vote for him. He is currently on a type of first-anniversary campaign to reassure people that he is watching over all, totally aware of the problems, and eager to engage everyone in the task of solving those problems. Unfortunately, we know that the problems have not been named overtly, and we know that a problem that is not properly defined cannot be solved.

Photo below of Macron with Georges Pontier, the archbishop of Marseille, and president of the Conference of French Bishops. Pontier, said to be a socialist, has strongly supported an “in-depth” dialogue with the Muslims, but “without naïveté”. Since two young women were recently killed (one was beheaded) in front of the Marseille train station, we can only urge the bishop to keep plugging away at that dialogue. Some things take time…

The beautiful interior of the Collège des Bernardins, formerly a Cistercian abbey of the University of Paris, recently restored. Today it serves as a meeting place for religious groups, musical groups, discussions and theological instruction.

Note: You can read about Macron’s speech in English at VOA, and many other websites.

French readers may be interested in articles at Boulevard Voltaire and Le Figaro.

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One comment on “President President Macron to the Catholics: “I’m counting on you.”

  1. Somewhere Father Spadaro is having a modernist fit at the spectre of reactionary Catholic integralism returning in France. Quite obviously Church Militant or Michael Voris have kidnapped and hypnotized President Macron. Or perhaps Raymond Arroyo is up to his wily tricks again to undermine Pope Francis. Or perhaps the architect of anti-Bergoglian reaction, behind the historic movement of Catholic traditionalism, Vladimir Putin has some sexy blackmail tape he is using against President Macron to put him up to this jesuitical chicanery of Catholic Restorationism in France? Who knows… Perhaps Macron was secretly one of ours all along….The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel…

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