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French bishops cautioned against political manipulation

Catholic World News - April 22, 2014

The new leader of the French bishops’ conference has warned his colleagues against “manipulating or being manipulated” in political controversies.

Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, addressing a spring meeting of the French episcopal conference, said that the heightened power of social media has had an impact on the hierarchy, often putting the bishops in a position in which they could be—or could seem to be—allied with partisan groups. He remarked that social media have also brought to prominence some pressure groups that are marked by “a refusal to dialogue.”

The Tablet, the liberal English Catholic newspaper, interpreted the words of Archbishop Pontier as an indication that the French bishops would seek to distance themselves from conservative Catholics who have organized to preserved traditional marriage. The French bishops have been conspicuous for their involvement in the pro-marriage campaign.

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  • Posted by: nix898049 - Apr. 23, 2014 3:45 PM ET USA

    Hey, Abp. Pontier, how about borrowing a page from JPII about not letting those who would silence you (in this case the 'social media') tell you who you are? That goes for all of the faithful who are tired of the label, Hateful Bigot.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Apr. 22, 2014 7:08 PM ET USA

    Let's see if I understand. It was perfectly all right for the French clergy to align themselves once with non-Catholic political forces eager to abolish the death penalty, but it's not all right to align themselves with those convinced sodomite "marriages" are an abomination. The logic here escapes me but some ugly suspicions insinuate themselves into my mind.

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