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French Catholic Voters Reject Globalism, Liberal Bishops

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Above: French President Emmanuel Macron with His Holiness. Photo credit.

A fascinating takeaway from last week’s European parliamentary elections is the extent to which French Catholic voters have not so much drifted but hurled themselves to the right. 

According to an exclusive survey by French pollster IFOP for news site La Croix, 42 percent of practicing Catholics voted on June 9 for so-called “far right” parties. That’s more than double the 18 percent who voted for the “far right” in the 2019 elections. 28 percent of practicing Catholics voted for left-wing parties and a paltry 12 percent voted for centrist Valérie Hayer, the representative selected by French President Emmanuel Macron to be his Party’s lead candidate. By contrast, in 2019, 37 percent of practicing Catholics supported Macron’s standard bearer, Nathalie Loiseau.

Almost one third of practicing Catholics voted for Rassemblement National (RN), the right-wing nationalist populist party affiliated with former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and led by the youthful Jordan Bardella. This figure was on par with the percentage of votes cast for RN among French voters overall and almost 20 points higher than the 2019 Catholic vote for Jordan Bardella. 

10 percent of practicing Catholics – double the percentage of voters overall – voted for Reconquête!, the nationalist party founded by former presidential candidate Éric Zemmour, and led by Marion Maréchal, niece of Marine Le Pen and grand-daughter of the Front National founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Maréchal, a Catholic, has called for a return to Europe’s Greek, Latin and Christian roots. She has defended traditional marriage, denounced the Islamification of Europe, and criticized the open borders laxity supported by Pope Francis.

France’s center-right Republican party led by François-Xavier Bellamy, a conservative Catholic, obtained double the percentage of votes among practicing Catholics than he did nationally, where he secured 7.25 percent of the vote. Yet even among Catholics, Bellamy was down eight points compared with 2019. 

The top concerns cited by Catholic voters included terrorism, illegal immigration, security, education, and France’s place in the EU. For French voters overall, the core issues were cost of living and immigration.

Exit polls are consistent with a May survey conducted by polling firm IPSOS as well as research out of Sciences Po in Paris, both of which predicted substantial gains for “far right” parties among Catholic voters. This trend is emblematic of the nation’s wholesale rejection of the EU’s globalist agenda, as France finds itself at the vanguard of a pan-European shift toward center-right and right-wing parties.

France holds the second highest number of the 720 seats in the European Parliament after Germany. The EU’s system of proportional representation means that a party’s share of its country’s total number of seats in the Parliament – in France’s case, that’s 81 – corresponds to the percentage that party obtained in the national vote. For example, Jordan Bardella’s RN, which won 31.5 percent of ballots cast – more than twice that of President Emmanuel Macron’s party – is set to send 30 representatives to Brussels. The election results will also determine the composition of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU. No wonder Macron promptly went into full meltdown, dissolved the National Parliament, and called elections for the end of June in an attempt to wrest back control of a politically catastrophic situation. 

What’s particularly revealing about the Catholic vote, is that the faithful registered their dissent despite the deployment of the French episcopacy as well as senior European prelates to rally the troops, so to speak. In March, the French Conference of Catholic Bishops exhorted the faithful not to vote in the EU elections based on either their support for or frustration with their national government but for the good of the European Union, which they described as a “spiritual venture”.

In early April, the bishops of eight dioceses across Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg issued a remarkably tone deaf pastoral letter entitled “A New Lease of Life for Europe,” which warned that the European project was being threatened by the “strengthening of nationalism.” The document decries xenophobic trends and the “paralyzing … fear that nations will lose control of their destiny.” On the contrary, their excellencies claim, the admittedly “massive influx of migrants” is actually “helping and energizing Europe.”

Just days before the election, the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Bishop Mariano Crociata, urged Catholics to choose candidates and parties that “will continue building a better Europe for all.” And on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings last week, Bishop Delegate of the French Bishops’ Conference to COMECE, Archbishop Antoine Hérouard of Dijon, emphasized European solidarity and integration, and echoed Pope Francis’ “dream of a Europe marked by a healthy secularism.”

And how did the French flock respond? With a resounding “thanks, but no thanks.”

The irony is that the same Modernist bishops who, collectively, have spent the last several decades watering down the authority of the Catholic Church, relativizing the Kingship of Christ, and contradicting perennial teachings, still expect the faithful to heed their message when it comes to voting recommendations.

Take for example the bishops who authored the pastoral letter: Cardinal Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg, former president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, has stated that current church teaching on homosexuality is wrong and not based in science. Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier recently celebrated an ecumenical service in “solidarity with queer people and a commitment to diversity,” held in the diocesan cathedral and organized by the “Queer in the Diocese of Trier” working group. Bishop Jean-Paul Gusching of Verdun invited Catholics to an “interreligious prayer” service together with a local Imam and a representative of the Jewish community of Verdun instead of participating in Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville of Liège has called for the legalization of undocumented migrants as well as the creation of “humanitarian corridors,” presumably linking hotspots like Libya and Tunisia with continental Europe.

What a shock they all must have received when the very Catholics whom they’ve misled by preaching the so-called inviolability of conscience, actually invoked their consciences to send a clear message to the “diversity is our strength” globalists: enough is enough.

COMECE was quick to blame the election results on “the increase in nationalistic and Eurospceptic parties” as well as “low voter turnout.” However, in France at least, voter turnout among Catholics is almost 10 percent higher than the rest of the population; among practicing Catholics, it’s almost 20 points higher. Hence an even higher turnout by that demographic would only reinforce the same message of disillusionment that European prelates apparently don’t want to hear.

This is not about voter engagement. The real challenges for the establishment are three-fold: firstly, right wing parties like RN have lost the negative stigma they had in the days of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Secondly, Catholics in France have historically voted further to the right than the rest of the population and are a barometer for broader electoral trends. Thirdly and most importantly, Catholics make poor globalists. The more they return to Catholic teaching, the more they immerse themselves in the Word of God, and the more they invoke the Holy and Undivided Trinity, the less likely they are to support the open-borders take-down of western civilization, the anti-human climate emergency, and the abortion death cult. And as France’s election results just demonstrated, nothing – not phony photo ops with Pope Francis, sanctimonious pastoral letters, or disingenuous “faithful citizenship” voting guides from Bishops’ conferences – is going to change that. 

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