Catholic World News

French bishops criticize increasing secularization

December 10, 2015

The permanent council of the Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement on the 110th anniversary of the law on the separation of Church and state.

The law ended French government support for the Catholic Church, led to the closing of most Catholic schools, and stripped the Church of most of its property. Pope St. Pius X denounced it in three of his encyclicals.

Noting that the Church in France “respects” the law and has not challenged it in recent decades, the bishops lamented the increasing shift “from a secularity of the State to a secularization of society,” with religion being a purely private matter.

Calling for respect for believers, the bishops said that it is “an illusion and an error” to think that the privatization of religion will bring about social peace. Instead, the marginalization of religion will foster “the emergence of fundamentalist currents and attitudes,” they warned.


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