back to top
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
8.3 C
Sydney

Despite social changes, France is still deeply rooted in Christianity, sociologist says

Most read

Philippe Portier, a French academic professor and political scientist, poses for a photo in Paris 10 April, 2024. In secularised France, he said, “Christian religious elements are still perceived by the French as a precious heritage,” so he is not surprised the country mobilised to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. (OSV News photo/Paulina Guzik)

Specialising in the relationship between democracy and religion, Philippe Portier, a French academic professor and political scientist, is not surprised that secularised France is so interested in rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral in the nation’s capital.

“The interest aroused in France by the restoration of Notre Dame is very telling,” he said.

“Christian religious elements are still perceived by the French as a precious heritage, because they help preserve the French identity, which seems to be dissolving in a changing world.”

- Advertisement -

Faced with anxiety of the future, Portier said, elements of the nation’s heritage are “reassuring refuges in a period of doubt and loss of benchmarks.”

From 2019 to 2021, the French professor was a member of an independent commission set up in 2018 by the French bishops to investigate sexual abuse committed in the Catholic Church since the 1950s.

In October 2021, the commission published a report indicating that 216,000 children have been abused by Catholic clergy since 1950. Establishing the commission helped rebuild the church’s trust and make it a more reliable institution in a society going fast down the path of “de-Christianisation,” said Portier.

He pointed out that even though abortion was made a constitutional right on 4 March and France started a heated debate on legalising euthanasia, we “cannot say that the French have totally forgotten their Christian roots. It is more complex than that.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -