Row over cross on pope's statue in France

A cross adorning a monument to the late Pope John Paul II in France must be removed, the country's highest administrative court has ruled. The ruling prompted Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło to offer to move the monument of the Polish-born pontiff to her country to "save it from censorship". How should France deal with the affair?

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Le Figaro (FR) /

Just a symbolic ornament

The absurd court ruling shows once again how arbitrary interpretations of the principle of secularism can be, lawyer and essayist Gilles-William Goldnadel writes in Le Figaro:

“From a legal perspective the decision seems simply insane. This is not about erecting a religious symbol in French public space, but about a symbolic ornament on a work of art. ... Our native religion is being given less consideration than the faith of the newcomers - witness the headscarf and the burkini. These Christians are damned racists because they're dominant Westerners. Let's hide their symbols. Like the Greek yoghurt that recently removed the Orthodox cross on its label to avoid offending anyone. Like the PR team of the [Paris public transport system] RATP, which refused charitable ads for martyred Christians in the Middle East so no one would get upset.”

Gość Niedzielny (PL) /

France should rethink its secular stance

The conflict over the papal monument should encourage the French to rethink the principle of secularism, author Jacek Dziedzina writes in the Catholic magazine Gość Niedzielny:

“There is a chance that the absurd decisions that for decades have tried to make the French forget who they are and where they come from will also have a good side. Namely that those who have no strong ties to the Church will wake up and focus on the problem with the logic of such decisions. These decisions are an example of the madness that results from the ideology of extreme secularism.”

Magyar Hírlap (HU) /

Back to our Christian roots!

The West has fallen victim to a godless ideology, the national conservative daily Magyar Hírlap rails:

“The oh-so progressive countries of the West are doing everything in their power to eradicate Christian values - whereby 1968 was the real turning point. ... As a result of these developments today we have unisex toys in Sweden and gender-free toilets in Berlin, not to mention the fact that crucifixes have long since been banned in schools. The focus today is on strange family configurations, careers, and material wealth. And now the cross on a statue of a pope is to be banned yet the red star on beer cans is entirely acceptable. ... What we are dealing with here is the ideology of a god-rejecting world order shrouded in hypocritical tolerance. We must finally remember our Christian roots!”

Polityka (PL) /

Szydło doesn't understand secularism

Secularism - meaning the strict separation of Church and state - is clearly a mystery to the Polish government, Polityka writes:

“The Polish prime minister's reaction shows that she has no understanding whatsoever of the principles on which the French Republic is based. For a Polish politician the independence of the Church and the state must seem exotic indeed. Because here in Poland, as Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki once said, the Church is to the state what the soul is to the body.” (PL) /

Western Europe lying on the guillotine

Liberalism is a danger for Europe, writes Marzena Nykiel, editor-in-chief of the pro-government news website

“The decision by a French court to remove the cross from the monument raises many questions about our freedom. ... As things now stand this stops where the Christian creed begins, because there's no room for Christianity in the public sphere. That's what European left-liberalism is after. ... Here, no holds are barred - from the sexual revolution to the forced introduction of gender ideology to the multicultural experiment and the importation of Islam. All of these tools are meant to destroy the foundations of Christian civilisation, eradicate our Christian roots and destroy our nation states. The clash of civilisations is in full swing. And Western Europe is putting its head in the guillotine.”