January 18, 2022

In Rome, Emmanuel Macron “listening” to the Pope

Emmanuel Macron confided it shortly before his exchange with Pope Francis, Friday, November 26. With the sovereign pontiff, there are subjects which concern the intimate, things “That I do not tell you”. The Head of State, who arrived in the pouring rain at the Apostolic Palace, spoke for an hour with Pope Francis. A rare duration, a sign of the closeness maintained by the two men, who talk to each other and have already exchanged five times by phone.

Five months before the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron is aware that his visit to the Vatican, after that of 2018, will be interpreted as a political gesture. A hand extended to the Catholics of France to whom he took care to remind that he was not ” personally “ favorable to the bill to extend the duration of abortion from twelve to fourteen weeks, presented by its parliamentary majority, while ensuring that the subject of the end of life would not be put on the table before the end of the five-year term.

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This visit is also part of the desire to remind certain faithful of the humanist values ​​of the Catholic religion in a country shaken, according to the Head of State, by the “Bad winds” nationalism and withdrawal into oneself. It does not matter, basically, that politics is invited to the Vatican. See the pope is “At any time useful and this time is useful », Assumed the President of the Republic, shortly before meeting with the Holy Father.

Came “To listen to it”, the French President has, with the Pope, made the overview “Of a world in crisis”. A world destabilized by conflicts, climate change and the health crisis. While the fifth wave of the pandemic is sweeping through Europe, Pope Francis has not failed to recall the importance of giving free access to the vaccine to the poorest countries. The author of the ecological encyclical Laudato si (also addressed the consequences of the COP26 while elaborating at length on the fate of Lebanon but also of Venezuela, Ethiopia and Poland, heckled by the migratory pressure orchestrated at its border by the Belarusian dictator, Lukashenko. There was also talk of the European Union, of course, of which France will take the presidency on 1is January.

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“A humanism with rules”

Less than forty-eight hours after the tragedy in Calais, where a makeshift boat carrying migrants capsized leaving 27 dead, the question of the fate of migrants, dear to the Pope, served as a backdrop to many of these trades. Convergence of views? Shortly after the tragedy, the President of the Republic assured that the Channel would not become a “Cemetery”. A word that echoed the words of the sovereign pontiff. During his Angelus prayer in June, Francis spoke of a Mediterranean sea that had become “The largest cemetery in Europe”, wishing to pay tribute to the hundreds of migrants who died in the 2015 crisis.

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