Thursday, October 2, 2008

Way to go Sarko

So much for "positive laïcité" called for by French President, Nicolas Hey, Look At Me Sarkozy. During his recent Apostolic Journey to France, the Holy Father embraced this concept, saying:

"The Church in France currently benefits from a “regime of freedom”. Past suspicion has been gradually transformed into a serene and positive dialogue that continues to grow stronger. A new instrument of dialogue has been in place since 2002, and I have much confidence in its work, given the mutual good will. We know that there are still some areas open to dialogue, which we will have to pursue and redevelop step by step with determination and patience. You yourself, Mr President, have used the expression 'laïcité positive' to characterize this more open understanding. At this moment in history when cultures continue to cross paths more frequently, I am firmly convinced that a new reflection on the true meaning and importance of "laïcité" is now necessary. In fact, it is fundamental, on the one hand, to insist on the distinction between the political realm and that of religion in order to preserve both the religious freedom of citizens and the responsibility of the State towards them; and, on the other hand, to become more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences and the contribution which it can bring to -- among other things -- the creation of a basic ethical consensus within society."
What has called this into question? As Rocco, writing over at Whispers reports yesterday, after presenting an ambassador to the Holy See who is divorced and remarried, Sarko, a convert to the Catholic faith who has been divorced and remarried himself just since becoming president of the la Republique last year, in a move in which he was trying to be provocative, incredibly insensitive, or simply failing to take the hint, had another ambassadorial appointee rejected by the Holy See. The diplomat in question, Jean-Loup Kuhn-Deforge, is openly gay and in a civil union. This "nomination was deemed unacceptable to Rome for reasons of what's been termed the diplomat's 'personal profile.'"

Oh well, "positive laïcité" sounds good, but negative laïcité remains the preferred practice of all too secular governments, including that of President Sarkozy.

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