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Secularism: The Pope Believes the “€œLevel “€œ Must Be “€œRaised”€ in France

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Secularism: The Pope Believes the “€œLevel “€œ Must Be “€œRaised”€ in France

France should “€œraise the level”€ in terms of secularism, because religions aren”€™t sub-cultures, says Pope Francis in a book-interview with French researcher Dominique Wolton, of which Le Figaro Magazine published excerpts on September 1, 2017.

The work “€œPope Francis: Meetings with Dominique Wolton: Politics and Society”€ (Editions de L”€™Observatoire), which will come out in bookstores in France on September 6, is the fruit of a dozen meetings between the Pope and the 70-year-old intellectual and sociologist.

In it, the Pontiff addresses a large array of subjects, among them secularism. The secular State is something healthy. There is a healthy secularism. Jesus said it, give to Caesar what is Caesar”€™s and to God what is God”€™s.”€

On this subject, he recalled France”€™s position: “€œI believe that in certain countries, such as France, this secularism has a very strong coloration inherited from the Enlightenment, which constructed an imaginary collective in which religions are seen as sub-cultures. I believe that France “€“ it”€™s my personal opinion, not the official one of the Church “€“ should “€˜raise”€ a bit the level of secularism, in the sense that it should say that religions are also part of the culture.”€

The Enlightenment is too heavy in the French heritage, says the Holy Father, who pleads for a State “€œopen to transcendence.”€ “€œWhen it is said that it”€™s not necessary to wear visible crosses around the neck or that women must not wear this or that, it”€™s stupid,”€ he stresses, because “€œboth attitudes represent a culture.”€

“€œOne wears a cross, another wears something else, the Rabbi wears his kippa and the Pope wears the skullcap! He exclaims . . . Here is healthy secularism!”€


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