France: Integrate Islam in the name of secularization

Source: FSSPX News


The general secretary of the French Bishops’Conference, Mgr Stanislas Lalanne, has reaffirmed, in an editorial of the French language service of the religious agency SIR, the opposition of the Church in France to a draft law banning all religious signs and symbols from schools. "As a Church we are opposed to such a law, he said, because it risks developing an exaggerated spirit of community, and also because the law establishes general principles and does not regulates exceptions".

It is without doubt necessary to establish guidelines, but the solution to the problem is not to be found through legal channels. According to Mgr Lalanne, religious symbols are "the symptoms of a malaise, and to eliminate them would take away the symptoms without curing the illness".

The integration of Islam is truly a challenge, he said, not only for the Church, but also for the National Assembly and for the French and European societies. "It is about understanding how Islam can be integrated into our society, so that each of us can live our religion freely. Above all, Islam must distinguish between religious law and civil law, and we have to ensure that Islam accepts religious liberty, as in the case of the role of women in society".

"There is a risk of rekindling the fire, at a moment when the balance is very delicate". Secularization is the warrant of religious freedom and freedom to worship within the State, he continued. That is why it is up to lay people to preserve and guarantee the practice of worship and religious liberty". The dialog between the government and the Churches showed all its importance, "with the participation of Catholics, Protestants and Muslims". "The government realizes that religious faith is not solely a private matter, on the contrary, it has an important social dimension".

The General Secretary of the CEF thinks that "what is in danger at the present moment is not so much secularization a co-habitation". "The challenge is to succeed in living together with our differences, and our diverse opinions on questions of solidarity and justice".