Laïcité = secularism

I was curious about why President Macron took the lead with public statements about the burning of Notre Dame. Where was the Archbishop of Paris? So, I looked into it. The French government owns the cathedral. Unlike, the US, when France committed to the separation of church and state it had a lot of separation work to do because the Church and State overlapped a lot. In 1905, a law made the French government neutral to religion, but it also " declared that all buildings which the state had made available to religious organizations the property of the state." Apparently, the state owns the building and the Catholic Church uses it.

I love how studying French has expanded my knowledge of the world.

I hope this post remains as a new thread because I think laïcité is a new topic.

April 16, 2019


Le message de Mgr. M. Aupetit:

Consolez, consolez mon peuple, dit votre Dieu » (Is 40,1). Ses paroles du prophète Isaïe raisonnent fortement en cette Semaine Sainte où nous accompagnons la Passion et la mort de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ en préparant nos cœurs à la joie de sa Résurrection. Notre-Dame, notre chère cathédrale, témoin de tant d’événements majeurs de notre pays, a été détruite par un incendie effrayant après avoir résisté si longtemps aux péripéties de son histoire. La France pleure et avec elle tous ses amis du monde entier

se trouve ici:Click

April 16, 2019

I clicked and read the Archbishop's remarks. Thank you. I was really taken by his beautiful French. And, I did see him on TV the day of the fire, but he was not identified as the Archbishop, but as the pastor of Notre Dame.

April 17, 2019

The separation of the two 'worlds' meeting at the Notre Dame is put in historical perspective in this French documentary: Notre-Dame au coeur de l'Histoire

April 18, 2019

I love MaryAnne's post and the merging of current events, history, and culture with our study of the French language. Along with the gilets jaunes and Macron's adventures with Trump, the cathedral fire has helped me learn about French language.

April 19, 2019

That is really interesting. I spent time reading about it on some French websites, but I didn't question why it was M. Marcon who made official statements. Thanks for sharing.

April 16, 2019

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this. I believe sometimes church and state should overlap in some cases.

April 16, 2019

In what cases?

April 17, 2019

Like if religious monument or others things are being destroyed. They should be able to stuff like personal investigations

April 22, 2019

True, and I think the government should be able to own something like the Notre Dame cathedral, but only because it's a historical monument, not because of it being a religious monument.

April 23, 2019

I think the decision was made to have the government own it was because the government (including kings, emperors, and tax payers) paid for it in the first place back in the day when there was no separation of church and state.

April 24, 2019

The French take the separation of church and state very seriously. Religious symbols are banned in state schools.

April 16, 2019

And yet, unlike the English (the Church is "established" in the United Kingdom), they don't have a word for it or "disestablishment". I think they used "séparer" and "séparation" (séparer de l'État) for their disestablishment process.

Though they did previously describe their system of government as "tricameral"... hence "the fourth estate" for the press.

Really interesting post MaryAnne.

April 18, 2019

Montesquieu is my hero. His idea of tricameral government made modern democracy with full suffrage possible. And no one ever remembers him. Of the three enlightenment thinkers, he is the one who has shaped our lives the most. Yet people are more likely to remember Voltaire and Rousseau. :(

April 27, 2019
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