Part 7



The teaching of contempt aims at marginalizing Catholics, denigrating Catholicism, discrediting the clergy and the Church. The corruption of the world has made society hostile or foreign to it. Christians must be attacked through a series of operations aiming at their intimidation, their humiliation, their persecution.


"It is not enough for the social body to hold Catholicism and the Church in contempt," says De Jaeghere. "Catholics themselves must consent to acknowledge their minority status and become ashamed of what they are, so that step by step they reach the point of giving up the defense of their Faith.

"This is being perpetrated by organizing harassment campaigns, some of them reverting to the spirit of turn-of-the-century anti-clericalism. This is what occurred in 1996 on the occasion of John Paul II's journey to Rheims, under the pretext that a mere reminder of the 15th centennial of the Baptism of Clovis and the Christian origins of France's identity would call State  secularism into question. But God knows that our bishops have already gone over to secularism, and that John Paul II himself has solemnly inveighed against the 'fundamentalist' temptation of reconstituting Christian institutions.

"That did not satisfy the enemy. A mobilization order was issued by the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, a declaration of war against the commemoration. At once banners were unfurled in front of Rheims Cathedral proclaiming, 'God is dead. What are you waiting for to join him, John Paul?' Some associations entered a plea in civil court to annul, in the name of secularism, the city of Rheims' contract to install the podium for the Pontifical Mass. A bomb was set in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre at Saint Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort's grave, which the pope was scheduled to visit. A gathering of Masons wearing their insignia was organized in Valmy to protest John Paul II's visit to France.

"This mobilization was rather excessive and a little ridiculous if one considers only appearances, but in reality the operation was crowned with great success. First because Jacques Chirac, who planned to attend the Mass, had to pledge his word to abandon the idea before ex-Senator Caillavet, President of Honor of the Parliamentary Brotherhood. The Archbishop of Rheims, Msgr. Gérard Defois, considered it his duty to issue a communiqué explaining that he would accept ministers of the Balladur government at the Pontifical Mass, but only as private citizens --- on a platform separate from the pontifical podium. Thus it was established that in the France of today, the Head of State may no longer attend a Pontifical Mass in his official capacity, and his ministers may not participate except in the background. Considering the quality of the person occupying the charge, this can be reckoned as no great loss. But that was not the issue, which was to prompt public opinion to admit that France is not a Christian nation,TEXT BOX that its Catholics are merely tolerated, and they had better maintain a low profile.

"More serious still: the maneuver led the pope himself, at the instigation of the bishops of France, to rewrite his sermon to remove any political or historical impact from the Baptism of Clovis and to proclaim it was a Baptism like that of any other Christian (in that case, why celebrate it?), denying it any connection with France's Christian identity. Several days earlier, Archbishop Defois had declared, 'Clovis is the inventor of French secularism,' while Cardinal Lustiger maintained, 'The idea of a Christian nation is not a very Christian idea.' (!!!)

"In Rome, the French Ambassador to the Holy See had boasted in front of a group of reporters that he had obtained the assurance of the Secretariat of State that during his visit, the pope would never employ the expressions 'the eldest daughter of the Church' or 'the baptism of France.' And indeed, in his sermon in Rheims, John Paul II declared that the Baptism of Clovis had 'the same significance as any other Baptism' and avoided making any allusion to the Christian vocation of France or the moral responsibilities of Christian leaders. Back in Rome several days later, he received a group of Polish pilgrims and confided to them, 'When I visited the Church of France for the first time in 1980, I asked the following question: "France, eldest daughter of the Church, what have you done with the promises of your baptism?" My recent journey gave a magnificent reply to that question.'"


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