Covid-19: Gérald Darmanin thanks cults for their “spirit of responsibility” in the face of the health crisis


Invited to deliver a speech on the occasion of the vows of the Protestant Federation of France (FPF) which were held on January 25, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, praised the "spirit of responsibility" of the president of the FPF, François Clavairoly, as well as other worship leaders in the context of the pandemic.

Fullerenes greetings from the Protestant Federation of France (FPF) were held yesterday, Tuesday January 25, at the Maison du Protestantisme in Paris. The leaders of religions - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist - as well as the Minister of the Interior in charge of religions, Gérald Darmanin, were present.

On this occasion, the Minister of the Interior delivered a speech in response to the address given to him by Pastor François Clavairoly, President of the FPF.

Referring to the pandemic, he notably wanted to “thank very deeply” the president of the FPF for his “spirit of responsibility”, associating in his thanks the other “leaders of worship in France”.

"I would like [...] also to thank very deeply the spirit of responsibility that you had Mr. President, that the leaders of religions in France had but that you had Mr. President when it was necessary to make difficult decisions closure, restrictions. »

The Minister of the Interior underlined that it is precisely "no doubt", "in more difficult times when death is on the prowl and death is approaching that we need religion the most, and the most need to speak, to be at the rendezvous of the cult that one has chosen and that one has espoused".

He therefore wished to "repeat", specifying that it is not a question of a "form of politeness", "that despite the difficulties of moments of private joy, moments of sadness" and the accompaniment of families in mourning, the Protestants, like the other cults present, "knew how to offer responsibility when it would have been so easy not to be responsible, it was to be popular at little cost". "You have chosen life," said the minister.

Secularism and the place of religions

Gérald Darmanin also dwelt on the place of religions in a context of secularism, evoking the separatism law which had sparked lively exchanges with cults. He also recalled that "secularism is not the abnegation of religions" or even "the duty of discretion of religions".

In conclusion, the Minister of the Interior expressed the wish that French society “believes more in otherness”, considering that “religions” and “first and foremost Protestantism” can contribute to this.

“The clarifications that each or everyone can bring and particularly the religions will allow the French to be a little more open still”, he affirmed.

The wishes of Pastor Clavairoly

Pastor François Clavairoly, who spoke just before the minister, presented him with wishes for "peace" in the face of international tensions and the migration crisis, wishes for "social appeasement at a time of concerns linked to the pandemic" as well wishes for "hope and citizen and Christian mobilization" in the context of the upcoming elections.

He also mentioned the pandemic and the difficulties of the year 2021, expressing the wish that one day we will be able to "re-read this whole sequence more calmly [...] in order to learn lessons from it on all levels and in particular on that of solidarity with the most destitute, the poorest and the most isolated”.

An address to candidates

The President of the FPF then mentioned the presidential elections and the address sent to the candidates by the Protestants.

“We have decided to send candidates an address. To speak to the candidates for the presidential election is still today to publicly protest our faith in Christ and to live our citizenship freely. »

10 questions will thus be presented to the candidates which will relate to subjects which “engage the future of our generations, of our country and of Europe”.

These are ecology and climate justice, autonomy and disability, gender equality, secularism and the place of religions, racism and xenophobia, welcoming refugees, youth and education, poverty, Europe and social justice as well as international solidarity.

This address will be launched next week and for 10 weeks until the first round of the presidential elections. Its purpose is to elicit responses to "clarify the proposals that are made" and thus facilitate "each person's choices at the time of the vote".

Camille Westphal Perrier 

Image credit: Shutterstock / Obatala-photography

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