The Catholics of France

The French bourgeoisie is very Catholic. To what extent they are truly religious, I can’t say, but for example, most of the top private schools in Paris are Catholic, the upper class goes to church (or pretends it does) more than the other urban classes, and every family seems to be related to a priest (by the way, I am, too). France was long called “the eldest daughter of the Church.” It’s not really true any more, but deep down, most French people still feel strongly about the Church, one way or another.

For the past two years, the French Catholic church has busied itself with loud concern over gay marriage. There have been several huge marches sponsored by the “Manif’ pour tous” movement [“demonstration for everyone”]; the marchers say that they are not against gay people, just against gay marriage. Just yesterday in the Sunday magazine of the Figaro (the most conservative of the main daily newspapers), there was an insert asking people to sign up for the movement. Archbishops of the Church have been active in fighting gay marriage, which is now legal in France. Being anti-mariage gay has becomede rigueur, just as being anti-Halloween was a few years ago.

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