Eric Zemmour: The Growing Rift Within European Catholicism

The following clip from RTL features the popular French commentator Eric Zemmour discussing the recent decision by the Bavarian government to mandate the display of crosses in all public buildings — which caused heads to explode among European progressives.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   You’re watching RTL.
00:04   RTL Morning — We don’t necessarily agree.
00:08   8:19, ‘We Don’t Necessarily Agree’ this morning with Eric Zemmour. —Good morning, Eric. —Good morning.
00:12   The decision by the Bavarian president to display crosses in all public places has provoked
00:16   an outcry in Germany! —We live in great times!
00:20   A century ago, when French Radicals, the great priest-eaters,
00:24   Removed — in the name of secularism — crosses from schools
00:28   and town halls, the Church vehemently protested. Today,
00:32   when the Bavarian Minister-President announces that he’s going to put the same crosses
00:36   in all public places, the Munich archbishop personally
00:40   denounces this decision, and accuses the Bavarian leader of,
00:45   and I quote: “dividing, agitating and playing off people against one another”.
00:49   Some even go as far as talking about blasphemy. But if the Church doesn’t defend
00:53   the symbol of the Christian religion, who is going to do it?
00:57   Do Muslim countries remove the crescent from their flags? Does Israel remove the Star of David from theirs?
01:01   If the Catholic Church in Germany or France no longer wants
01:05   to have crosses outside of churches, who will see it? Since
01:09   churches in European countries are increasingly emptying themselves. The paradox
01:14   is that crosses in the public space shock the secularists much more than Muslims themselves.
01:18   Most of the latter in fact consider Europe Christian territory, just as the Arab countries
01:22   are Muslim. Additionally, Germany isn’t a secular country à la France,
01:26   and the taxpayers pay their taxes to finance all religions.
01:30   And the European Court of Human Rights itself has already decided that the cross in a public space,
01:34   in Italy just as much as in Germany, is in no way contrary to fundamental rights.
01:38   Hasn’t the Bavarian president had a couple, just a couple, of political thoughts in the back of his head?
01:42   because he hasn’t avoided mean-spirited [comments]
01:47   that the intentions of Bavaria’s president aren’t pure electoral thoughts in the back in his head.
01:51   The party, the CSU, the Bavarian right wing, is making a huge effort
01:55   in order to recover the electorate that left them for the AfD, the new German Identitarian party,
01:59   which was a hit during the last legislative [elections]. Others
02:03   will outright cite Pope Francis, who reminded us recently that the crucifix isn’t
02:07   a simple ornament or a embellishment, and that it has to be contemplated
02:11   with devotion. But, more profoundly this case reveals
02:16   a rift which is growing increasingly wider within European Catholicism.
02:20   Some, such as Pope Francis, retain from Christ’s words
02:24   only the message of universal love. They want to love the Other,
02:28   capitalized, whatever his religion. But a portion of Catholics
02:32   in France, in Germany, and in all of Europe, refuse to allow Islam to transform
02:36   European identity, which was begotten and forged by Christianity.
02:40   Let’s say that the first are more Christian, and the others more Catholic.
02:44   All looks as if the pope was forever crossed against Europe. He sees in South America,
02:49   which is where he comes from, and Africa, the land of the election of Catholicism
02:53   in the 21st century. But a growing portion of European Catholics don’t feel
02:57   like being sacrificed on the altar of Universal Love. Their religion is a
03:01   faith, they say, but also a culture and an identity; a way of creating “us”,
03:05   which isn’t soluble in other civilizations. And they no longer listen
03:09   to the very sweet happy voice of Pope Francis, who murmurs to them
03:13   unctuously: “Don’t you worry. All will be well”
03:17   Eric Zemmour!

15 thoughts on “Eric Zemmour: The Growing Rift Within European Catholicism

  1. The Roman Catholic Church has lost its salt. Most Protestant denominations are even worse. Only the Orthodox Church remains faithful to Jesus Christ.

    • “Only the Orthodox Church remains faithful to Jesus Christ.”

      I know very little about the Orthodox church (and, there’s only one of them? Greek, Russian, Syrian, etc. Which one do you mean?).

      My quibble is with the “only”. You’re only referring to denominations as a whole. I can assure you, there are a great many churches which remain faithful to Christ and his word. Most of the ones I know aren’t part of a denomination. But then, that’s not really required, either.

      • I mean the canonical communion of the Orthodox Churches, which are organisationally independent, but have the same faith. The Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Russia, Greece, Cyprus, Georgia, Serbia, Roumania, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Czech Lands and Slovakia, Albania, and, of course, the Orthodox Church in America. (The Orthodox Church of Japan is an autonomous church of the Russian National Church).

        As for Protestants, of course, there are quite a lot of morally and theologically conservative Protestant communities that have not yet replaced the Ten Commandments with the ideology of human rights and multiculturalism.

        But the established mainstream Protestant “churches” of Europe, like the Lutheran Evangelical “churches” of Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Anglican “church of England”, just like many other Protestant and Episcopalian communities all over the Western world are nothing but obscene caricatures of the Christian Church, with their gay “marriages”, female (often lesbian) pastoresses, priestesses and bishopesses, and of course, their fervent support of multiculturalism.

        The have betrayed Jesus Christ. In fact, many of their bishops have openly proclaimed that they do not believe in the reality of Resurrection.

        And those so called “churches” go out of their way to accommodate Muslims. The current head of the Lutheran “church” of Sweden has publicly said that Christianity is no better than the noble teaching of Mohammed. The lesbian bishopess of Stockholm ruled that crosses should be removed from a cathedral in the Swedish capital so as not to offend Muslims who might wander into it by chance.

        And these are “churches” whose basic theological principle is supposed to be “solo scriptura”! Where in the Scriptures have they found justification for blessing homosexual couples, for proclaiming equality of Christianity with non-Christian religions, for denying the reality of Resurrection and for lots of other similar things?

        No, these communities are no longer Christian, even in the broadest meaning of the word. For them, the political directives of the Western anti-Christian elite are more important than the fundamental teachings of the Bible, that the words of Jesus Christ himself.

        And the Roman Catholic Church, which for a long time seemed a tower of strength, is quickly marching in the same direction under the leadership of her Jesuit Pope, who seems to be motivated much more by some vague humanitarian ideals than by God’s commandments. For him, they are too old-fashioned.

    • The Orthodox Church allows divorce and remarriage. Not once, but twice. An Orthodox person can divorce his/her spouse and remarry, and then can divorce the purported second spouse and remarry yet again, while the original first spouse, which is the only true spouse, is still living. The Orthodox are allowed up to 3 marriages.

      In other words, the Orthodox Church sanctions adultery.

      That is most definitely not remaining faithful to Jesus Christ, and it is an attack on the family as constituted by Him.

      “Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery.” [Luke 16:18]

      “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers.” [1 Corinthians 6:9]


  2. Catholics should be able to wear crosses and defend themselves against Islam, which is extremely aggressive whenever it can! If Muslims are offended, so let them be!! Aren’t we all offended by some of their beliefs (inferiority of women, multiple wives, absurd dietary laws, among others)?

    We should demand the strict enforcement of our laws (not Sharia) by whatever means are necessary. We should only vote for people who swear they will fight against the end of freedom, which presupposes love of truth and not coercion of other peoples’ will!

    As for Pope Francis, let us remember that, by Catholic Church teaching, he is not AT ALL infallible when speaking about politics (which he does most of the time…). We shouldn’t listen to what he says about that!!! He forgot what his predecessors said against Islam; what St. Thomas Aquinas (among others) wrote… Perhaps he doesn’t even know it… May his successor be better!

    • I have heard from many people that Muslims are far less offended by public display of Christian symbols than Western anti-Christians lobbyists are. Muslims tend to see European countries as Christian lands and they find it only natural to see signs of Christianity there. It is the left-wing secularists who cannot tolerate Christian symbols and who fight for their removal. The irony is that these are the people who lecture others on tolerance and love to accuse their opponents of ‘hate speech’.

  3. The roman catholic church originated as an intermediary between tptb and local culture with christian belief as main tenet, so its various positions throughout history are not surprising where they include a stronger sense of identity.

    The placing of crosses in public places underlines that reality, it is not just a question of public neutrality or bias but whether a renovation of that tradition is going to be accepted – that has nothing to do with other religions, only those people who hold secular political views need be affected. Those views are not a religion in the commonly understood sense and so neither should they be used to judge over one where its existence or presence is passive, even if it is a political decision to allow its symbolism to be present in public spaces.

    A politician may decide to place steampunk sculpture in all public spaces, if he is elected on that ticket. People who don’t appreciate it will complain.


    There need be no discrepancy between simple open Christian practice and RC, there is no hate or dislike implied by the cross, to the contrary it is disliked by some. That dislike is not due to the christian religion itself, but to past political misuse of it.

    So my thoughts are towards those who find the symbol oppressive in whatever way, in the sense that this perception is not its true meaning.

    Its true meaning is a reminder of the error of man sacrificing man.

    How could anyone be so presumptuous to think that we do not need reminding of this in today’s day and age.

  4. As an atheist, I’m somewhat uncomfortable at mandating the presence of a cross in every public place, although as long as there is no religious test for political office, as the US Constitution says, I don’t consider it an infringement of any rights.

    My observation on religion, though, is that as a system of belief that goes beyond the evidence, religion relies on inspiration, enthusiasm, and community. Once a religion partners with government for its support and maintenance, the religious representatives tend to focus on political, rather than inspirational, advantage. In other words, by becoming an arm of the state, religion is sowing the seeds of its own destruction.

    I’m not being anti-religious by stating that religion should have to fight a bit of an uphill battle, convincing people through work and communication, rather than through political influence. A well-functioning religious community should be able to promote its values simply by the presence of its members in public life. I actually see the transfer of religious observation to the state as more conducive to my viewpoint than to the viewpoint of the religion itself.

    • Paradoxically I agree with you there also, but neither is there any avoiding that western law and politics are much founded on Christian tradition and morals, for example

      from ’75 is premonitary as well as clear enough on what the church’s role has been.

      On the point of transfer of religious observation to the state, well the above pdf explains it quite well – traditionally as a contest between religious and secular law/politics. The two are capable of combining to create a better reality, sometimes.

      Christian faith though is much simpler than what we now term religion, it is that of following the good examples in practice, as you say. Till more recently that was pretty much the everyday status quo of behaviour of society, whether you see that as imposed by law or learnt by example being something besides the point maybe.

      In the future though…. just where would we be headed as format is the bigger question. It seems like a lot of new idea is being tested as opposed to simplifying the construct.

    • I’m not being anti-religious by stating that religion should have to fight a bit of an uphill battle, convincing people through work and communication, rather than through political influence. A well-functioning religious community should be able to promote its values simply by the presence of its members in public life. I actually see the transfer of religious observation to the state as more conducive to my viewpoint than to the viewpoint of the religion itself.

      Our Founding Fathers would agree with you. That’s why the separation of Church and State in our founding documents is a feature, not a bug. And they did this BEFORE the French Revolution (because they were inspired by the Scottish Enlightenment, not the bloody Frech version).

      The joining of a government with a particular denomination makes the latter freeze into concrete; Henry did it in England to get his way and to get hold of the Church’s wealth; the price his people paid echoes down the centuries.

      I’d differentiate between religion and belief, though. Christianity, like Judaism before it, enshrined the special status of the individual as moral being – from which followed much of the foundation, though not all of it, of Western culture.

      • Every civilisation is based on a religion.

        The Soviets tried to create a civilisation on the basis of atheism and failed. The Chinese tried the same. That lead to the bloody massacres of the Cultural Revolution and creation of an extremely repressive society. Now, they have adopted a much tolerant approach both to Chinese traditional religions and some forms of Christianity. Chinese society seems robust, but it is ageing and very soon will begin to decline. What will happen to China is not yet sure. The khmer rouge tried to build a society on an atheist ideology and turned their country into one huge concentration camp.

        The West is now trying to remove the Christian foundation from under its feet and replace it with the secular totalitarian cult of political correctness, multiculturalism and human rightism. It has not yet finished, but the results are worrying: the spreading generalised feeling that human life has no meaning, the rise of hedonism and of the culture of death, degeneration of arts, disintegration of the family, population ageing and subsequent decline and replacement of the indigenous white Christian population with (largely Muslim) immigrants from the third world.

        The process is still in its early stages, but, for the time being, the death (by suicide) of the West seems inevitable.

  5. Religious never sought power. Some atheists claim that there is an attempt to get closer to power. That never happened! What some conservative governments, such as Reagan, Thatcher, and Trump conceived, was not a question of religious who came into power improperly into the system, but rather because those leaders shared values ​​with society at the time.

    Although, in the latter case, I can say that there may have been a number of reasons beyond these. Religion has always been part of the cultural spectrum, and never of power. If someone who has been shaped by it rises to power then this is consequence. Just as an atheist can not force state atheism, he can be elected for multiple reasons: being an experienced administrator, being a good economist, or understanding international relations. They are worthy motives, which have nothing to do with their lack of faith. Or he could be elected through it, but for this he would have to affirm atheism as a value, something a society requires of it, and deserve specific policies. Obvious! This doesn `t happen.

    The notion of “discomfort” with religious symbols forms part of the action of Cultural Marxism. In Western societies this has never existed so exporadically. Only in France, which is a special case of a nation that lived several revolutions and lived under the aegis of a revolutionary moral that happened. Or totally communist countries.

    Trying to create a problem over religious symbols to the point of making faithless lay people “bother” is the consequence of a direct action on the minds of these people. If an atheist feels offended by a religious symbol, I will not blame him; he was a victim of this engineering.

    • Oh, dear.

      Mr. Peterson, I do hope you read some church history. Vying for power has been a part of religion and human life since Cain and Abel. Or read the Christian gospels, where the apostles are pushing and shoving to be the first in line at what we now call the Feast of the Transfiguration.

      Or maybe you could study how Paul and Peter jostled to have *their* interpretation of Christ’s life be paramount. Start with Acts Fifteen (Peter’s version of their meeting) and follow it with Galatians Two (Paul’s version).

      Why do you think it is that church congregations are so riven and divided? After reading the history of the early Church, I decided that what Christ ought to have said is, “where two or three are gathered in my name, at least two are vying for power”.

      None of that makes Peter, Paul, or the rest of us bad. We’re just human. Right now I’m reading a book on the cultural origins of the concept of Original Sin. It’s a much more helpful notion than Rousseau’s silly “blank slate” or “peaceful primitives”, or the progressive error of the perfectibility of human beings. We all come into the light wailing, and many of us leave the same way.

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