What are the great issues that have separated the Church from the French State?

In an unprecedented event on April 9, the President of the Republic was welcomed by the Catholic Church of France.

Archbishops, members of the clergy and associations, and representatives from the world of business and culture — all in all, almost 400 French Catholic dignitaries — attended the reception for Emmanuel Macron in the Collège des Bernardins in Paris, the seat of the Bishops’ Conference of France. The first time that the Catholic Church organizes such a mediatic political event.

President Macron affirmed, this “dialogue is indispensable” because “a church claiming to be disinterested in temporal matters would not go to the end of its vocation”, while “a president of the Republic claiming to be uninterested in the Church and Catholics would miss his duty “.  In his speech on the role of the Church in the country and after an hour of a speech full of statements like this “France has, indeed, been strengthened by the commitment of Catholics”,  Macron clearly knew how to speak the language of his audience.

President Macron position in the General States of Bioethics debate, that are mobilizing the Nation, continues to be the same *

Macron omitted to give his position on the great issues that have separated the Church from the French State and about the bioethics debate in France that currently is taking place within the framework, of what has been called the General States of Bioethics, about the reforms that the French government will propose at the legislative level on euthanasia and assisted reproduction issues, which are sensitive ones for Catholics. In these matters, Macron did not have much to say that was substantive.

The Church open to dialogue but categorical in its bioethical and humanitarian principles

The president of the Conference of Bishops of France, Mgr Georges Pontier in his speech to the President, reiterates the opposition of the Episcopate to the enlargement to all women (single and lesbian) of the medically assisted procreation, which “would open a great risk of the commodification of the body”. He also reaffirmed the refusal to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide (see France: States General of Bioethics. Bishops’ Declaration, “End of life: yes to the urgency of fraternity” and  “French bishop urges Macron not to ‘reopen divisions’ by allowing assisted procreation for lesbian couples”

According to Nicolas Sévillia, General Secretary of the Jérôme-Lejeune Foundation, “He flattered his audience with an excellent and well-referenced speech, but the basic message was: “Don’t lecture me. In the end, I am the one who makes the decisions.”

This kind of skepticism seems to be shared by many Catholics, bioethics institutions and social networks, who are concerned that the president’s speech was an exercise in public relations. Archbishop Hervé Giraud affirmed, “As usual, we are hearing the words; we shall see the actions.”

#  Macron personal bioethics position. He said in an interview with the French Catholic newspaper La Croix that his “personal conviction is that we must extend medically assisted procreation in the name of gender equality” (The Herald, 7 14 2017 see HERE).




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