In France, Three Bones of Contention Between Church and State

Source: FSSPX News

The Matignon Hotel.

The meeting of the “Forum of dialogue” between the French Republic and the Church of France took place at the Matignon Hotel on December 12, 2017: bioethics, tax reform, and secularism were discussed in detail.


Archbishop Luigi Ventua, apostolic nuncio – the ambassador of the Holy See in France, Cardinal Vingt-Trois – apostolic administrator of the diocese of Paris until January of 2018 , and Archbishop Georges Pontier – president of the Episcopal Conference of France – met with the Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe.

Several subjects – stumbling blocks between the Church of France and the French government – were broached.

Bioethics, of course, since the Church remains very reserved about the methodology revealed in November of 2017 in preparation for the general assembly on bioethics scheduled for 2018: extending access to MAP (medically assisted procreation) was one of President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promises.

Tax reform – with the withholding tax and the creation of a solidarity tax on real estate – gives reason to fear there will be a substantial decrease in donations made to the Church.

And secularism: the “Sapin II” law, which plans to register religions as “lobbies” in France, is inconceivable for the representatives of the Catholic Church, who are also opposed to the creation of a “college degree in secularism” which would be made obligatory for all chaplains working in public institutions.