French presidential candidate Le Pen criticizes rival Fillon for emphasizing Catholic faith
January 11, 2017
Maxine Le Pen, the presidential candidate of France’s populist National Front, has assailed her leading rival, Francois Fillon, for making frequent references to his Catholic faith during the campaign.
Le Pen told a television audience while she respects religious beliefs, “the opportunistic use of that faith” violates the principle of secularity that has governed French political affairs for generations.
Le Pen, whose party has opposed Muslim immigration, said that if Catholics brings their religious beliefs into the nation’s political life, it will difficult to oppose those “who want to pursue their politics in the name of some other religion, for instance Islam.”
Fillon, whose unabashed invocation of Catholic principles helped him to an upset win over Alain Juppé in a primary contest, is Le Pen’s leading rival in the presidential contest that will take place in April.
- Le Pen slams rival Fillon over use of religion in politics (Reuters)
- French presidential candidate Fillon rouses Catholics, challenges secularism (CWN, 1/3)
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