FRANCE: BISHOPS CONCERNED ABOUT BILL ON "NEUTRALITY" OF NURSERIES AND PRESCHOOLS

A bill signed by Françoise Laborde (RDSE) aimed at "extending compulsory neutrality to private facilities working with children to ensure respect for the principle of secularism" will be tabled in the National Assembly tomorrow. In a statement signed by the president of the French Bishops, Mgr. Georges Pontier, the French Bishops’ Conference expresses its "deep concern" about the bill which "shows clear signs of distrust towards religions" seen as something "from which children must be protected". The Bishops "firmly" condemn the bill which is "yet another attempt not only to try to relegate religions to the private sphere, but also to hide them and make them gradually disappear from all aspects of social life. By gradually and insidiously undermining our model of secularism – Mgr. Pontier wrote – we are not ensuring a secular state, but rather promoting a society devoid of any religious reference. We cannot accept this, because this does not in any way match the reality of our society". ” “

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