FRENCH BISHOPS: MGR. PONTIER, "FUTURE IS NOT BUILT ON EXCLUSION POLICIES" (2)

Secularity protects "civil peace and enables the coexistence of citizens with different beliefs. But it cannot ensure peace by monitoring some people and asking them not to express their religious beliefs while at the same time allowing others to stigmatise them". The challenges facing France are very similar to those facing Europe with the emergence, almost everywhere, of "nationalist thinking characterised by distrust of others" and the idea that it is better to seek a way out of the crisis "alone". "But – the Archbishop of Marseille pointed out – the future is built together and the health of each member is important to all. It is the principle of the common good, the common good of all those living in Europe, especially the most poor, that should guide our political decisions". Mgr. Pontier went on to refer to the French regional and local elections, pointing the finger at the very low turnout in the first round that took place last Sunday. "Voting – he said – is the most essential and necessary act of civic participation. Abstention is not without consequences for the outcome of an election. And nothing absolves us from our individual responsibility as citizens". ” “” “” “

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