May 27, 2006

Major Signs of Religious Revival in France and Quebec

By Peter J. Smith

May 26, 2006 ( - France, once called the Eldest Daughter of the Church, has begun to awaken from her deep secular slumber, and so has her daughter Québec. France and Québec have been the respective leaders in the European and North American continents in the culture of death, but there are definite signs of a promising renewal. Better yet, France may even have found its champion against what Pope Benedict has called "the dictatorship of relativism."

Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the most visible public ministers of France and favorite for the 2007 presidential election, has publicly broken with the most sacred tenet of secularism by calling for the Republic to actively and publicly support religion. In a book entitled La République, les religions, l'espérance ["The Republic, the Religions, and Hope"], Sarkozy makes a salient call to critically examine the legacy of secularism in France, and instead calls for an active secular government that funds the work of religion in France from funding church buildings to financial aid for clergy formation to church use of public property. Sarkozy says its time for France to revise the current 1905 law mandating total separation of church and state to renew a youth that he says have no ideals.

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Blogger Scott said...

This is great news, although I have some misgivings about the "charismatic renewal."

6:03 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

So do I, Scott.

However, I know some mature individuals who seem to have integrated their "charismatic period" into a personal history of authentic faith. "Charismatic" doesn't define them. Most of them don't go in for "charismatic" prayer groups any longer. I find that over the years the members of the charismatic experience who are mature tend to have been a major presence in the North American recovery of Marian devotion and Eucharistic devotion.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Father, that is quite interesting. Perhaps, then, the charismatic renewal can lead to a deeper relationship with the Eucharist and, thereby, open the door to the rich, and lasting traditional aspects of our faith.

This does present quite a fascinating intellectual issue. I see elements of orthodoxy sprouting up that are not necessarily traditional, and I have asked whether we can have that: orthodoxy detached from tradition. Better yet, whether we _should_ have it. I tend to think that people underestimate the degree to which tradition can evangelize. We always think of "evangelization" as requiring something novel or untested, creative, etc. But the underlying search is as old as the Faith itself.

Father, do you have an email address? I searched but could not find it on your blog.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...


If the charismatic experience can help a person sincerely learn to submit to God spiritually, then the door is open for the larger tradition and, of course, for orthodox faith.

In order to avoid having both your e-mail address and mine appear publicly on this blog, please go to:

I've set that up so that you can send me your e-mail address confidentially, and then I can respond to you with mine.

9:22 AM  
Blogger dilexitprior said...

I was writing a comment to respond to this interesting discussion but it got too long so I ended up posting it on my own blog.

10:38 AM  

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