And now, debate

by | 21 Dec 2018 | Government

Dear friends,

Whatever your convictions and commitments, I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

On the occasion of the so-called “Yellow Vests” crisis, with all the caution that our common attachment to secularism demands here in France, Catholics engage in public debate.

Last night, I participated in a meeting “Let’s take part in the national debate” organized under the auspices of the Bishop of Val d’Oise, where I live. A fascinating and very useful dialogue with a large audience, deeply shaken by recent events.

If you are allowed a few days of respite on the occasion of the holidays, take the time to return to a text published in French in October 2016 at Bayard, and accessible on the website of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), entitled “In a changing world, rediscovering the meaning of politics “.

The ten members of the permanent council of the CEF address not only Catholics, but the entire population.

They describe a country that has been left in a state of disrepair of mutations of all kinds in recent decades, to the point of concluding that “what is the foundation of life in society is called into question” today. “The social contract, the republican contract to live together on the national territory, does not seem to go without saying,” summarize the bishops. Today it is necessary to “redefine” it.

The prelates who, thanks in particular to the Catholic associative network, have a broad perception of social realities, note the political ravages of situations of exclusion and precariousness, but also of the economic marginalization of young people, notably because of a future that has become many “indecipherable“.

In all these situations, the republican values ​​of” liberty, equality, fraternity “, often incantantly brandished, seem hollow for many of our contemporaries on the national soil.

Extending his reflection to the nation, to identities, to citizenship, he notes that “the idea of ​​a homogeneous nation, a political construction often constituted by forced march, by centralizing and unifying in an authoritarian way” and which “implied that the peculiarities community and especially religious are not put forward “has been” shaken by globalization “.

Those responsible for this decay, long before the election of Emmanuel Macron, would be the policy-makers: unfulfilled words, speeches managers, maneuvers, calculations and especially “no project or long-term vision” are put forward without pity and are deemed “unjustifiable” and “unbearable”.

All this explains the extent of the movement that has been observed in France in recent weeks and to which the “Great National Debate” will have to provide answers.

Last April 9, during an intervention at the Bernardins in front of the bishops of France, President Macron invited Catholics to reinvest the “political scene, national as well as European“, and to bring their “own vision“.

So read again this text of the CEF … “prophetic”, it is the case to say it!

Iconography: by Horace Vernet, Peace, central motif of the ceiling of the Salle des Pas-Perdus of the Bourbon Palace, Paris © Assemblée Nationale