Nicolas Sarkozy on Spirituality in France in a Speech at the Lateran Church of Saint John in Rome
December 20, 2007
For a long time, the lay Republic has underestimated the importance of spiritual aspirations. Indeed, even after the restoration of diplomatic relations between France and the Holy See, its often revealed itself to be more diffident than benevolent with regard to matters of cult. Every time that its taken a step toward the religions for example, the recognition of diocesan associations, or scholastic questions, or matters regarding religious orders its given the impression of acting because it has to. Only in 2002 was the principle of a regular institutional dialogue with the Catholic church accepted. Id also like to recall the virulent criticism to which I was subjected at the time we created a French council for the Muslim faith. Even today, the Republic keeps religious congregations under a form of supervision, refusing to recognize a character of cult to the charitable agencies or means of communication of the churches.