After the Revolution France developed a militant secularism, la laïcité, which insisted that the state was lay, that is clerics and religion had no role in any state activity or public life. In part this was a reaction to integrisme, the strain of Catholic thought that insisted that the state must be Catholic and that clerics should direct the affairs of state, directly or indirectly.
Francehas need of Catholics,” he affirmed, after having insisted on “the essentially Christian roots of France” and criticized a laicity that had tried “to cut off from its Christian roots.” France
When he was in
the equal importance that he accorded to the believers of different religions, to freemasons, and to atheists.
Freemasons and others are not happy with Sarkozy. The grand master of the Freemasons in
M. Sarkozy puts at the heart of society a religious dimension which we do not share. These remarks risk radicalizing positions and reviving a form of anticlericalism.