The news quickly made the rounds of half of Europe, with echoes also in our area. Because it re-proposes for the umpteenth time the wholly ideological clash between the millenary Christian tradition of the West and the secular currents, which are leading the Old Continent towards the ports of apostasy, so much feared first by Saint John Paul II and then by Benedict XVI. The fact we are about to tell concerns one of the most Catholic regions of France, the Vendée, in particular the town of Les Sables – d’Olonne, which was ordered to remove, hear hear, a bronze statue of St. Michael the Archangeldating back to the 19th century.
The decision is the result of the sentence of the judges of the Court of Nantes, who accepted a request from the association “Giacobina Libre Pensèe” considering the effigy of the Archangel “dangerous and discriminatory”. In the Transalpine country, in fact, it has been forbidden since 1905, i.e. since the separation between State and Church, to display religious symbols in public, in the name of the secular state. The determination of Court of Nantes was also confirmed by the Court of Appeal, but, as reported by local news, 97% of the citizens of Les Sables – d’Olonne, a seaside resort overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, opposed it first with a referendum and then urging the mayor of the municipality, Yannick Moreau, to appeal to the State Council, so that the Archangel Michael remains in his place. By the end of the year, the newspapers anticipate, the pronouncement of the Court is expected, which will write the epilogue of the dispute. And here comes the Municipality of San Michele di Ganzaria. Many will wonder: what does the “little village” of Caltagirone have to do with the matter of Les Sables-d’Olonne? The answer is simple: having St. Michael the Archangel in common as Patron Saint.
The municipal administration, having become aware of the case, in addition to showing solidarity with the population of the French town, has made itself available to “save”, should the Court confirm the legitimacy of the previous sentences, the statue of “French Saint Michael”, welcoming it in the small centre. «We are close – the mayor, Danilo Parasole wrote in a letter addressed to his French colleague – to the battle that Les Sables is leading – d’Olonne, because we were very impressed by the case, which we also feel partly ours. It is a cultural, political and judicial battle of resistance, but it must be stressed that every true secularism starts from respect for all and can never come to the discrimination of history and the roots that bind a people. It is only the encounter between cultures and religions – concludes the mayor – that makes the world more peaceful and supportive. Especially in such a delicate moment for the West”. Waiting to know the fate of the “French San Michele”, the Municipality of San Michele will put forward a proposal for twinning in Les Sables – d’Olonne in the name of the Christian roots in the coming weeks.
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