Identities weakened, integration failure, secularism under tension, education in crisis… The bishops are to publish a long and gloomy letter “to the inhabitants of France”, which calls for a finding “lucid” on the state of the country, a few months before the presidential election.
The bishops “concerned”. “If we’re talking about today, it is because we love our country and that we are concerned about his situation” : so begins this rare document, titled In a changing world, find the meaning of the policy. It was desired by the ten members of the permanent council of the bishops ‘ Conference (CEF) – a kind of executive of the catholic Church in France – in view of the elections of 2017. Officially made public on Thursday, this letter of sixty pages, the report issued by the three houses (Bayard, Cerf, Mame), will be available on Friday in the library at a price of 4€.
“to Provide elements of reflection”. Even if the faithful are in the millions, “we wanted something that is not ‘the cathos for the cathos’,” said this week to the press, the president of the CEF and the archbishop of Marseilles, Monsignor Georges Pontier. Three thousand copies were sent to elected officials, political parties, trade unions and other stakeholders, according to the spokesman of the bishops, Monsignor Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, who evokes a “call to dialogue without hysteria or stiffness”. “The ambition is to provide elements of reflection and point ten requirements”, according to Monsignor Pontier: “How to give a breath, a common vision for the French, various, can find reasons to live together ?”
The word “too often perverted”. The findings are not soft. On the political class, to begin with : “The attitude and image of a few to discredit the whole of those who live the political commitment as a service to their country”, “the word has too often been perverted, used, disqualified”. In the company, “the dispute has become the habitual mode of functioning, and the culture of confrontation seems to take precedence over that of dialogue,” lamented the bishops, scratching “social networks and the media, especially the audiovisual”: “You can’t constantly play on the com and the hearing.”
question on the jihadists. persons of foreign origin “are not able to find their place”, when “the republican values of liberty, equality, fraternity, often brandished in a way mesmerising, seem to ring hollow for many of our contemporaries”. Not a question of addressing war-the problem of identity, if present in a pre-electoral campaign marked by the seal of the recent attacks on jihadists in France. About youth who are tempted by jihad armed, the bishops call to push the reflection : “Without minimizing in any way their responsibility or that of the sponsors who have manipulated their destiny, it is worth asking why the integration could not be achieved, and how our society has left a part of his youth getting lost in such adventures the deadly and murderous”. And wonder about the “crisis” of “our education system”.
The topic of secularism has become a “place of power” that “holds a lot the movement of reaffirmation of religions, particularly of islam,” notes the episcopate. But it must be a “legal framework”, not “a “project for society” and “neutralizing religious, plead there, and alert them of the “frustrations that will strengthen the international community”.