Biblical prophecy indicates that the religion of the end times just before the Lord Jesus Christ's return to Earth will not be secular humanism, but rather a false form of Christianity. It's therefore interesting to see the President of France, a country that seems to be as secular as one can find, calling for better relations between church and state. As reported by Henry Samuel of the London Daily Telegraph, April 10, 2018 (links in original):
Emmanuel Macron faced today accusations of undermining French secularism for telling French Catholic leaders that “relations between Church and State have been damaged” and must be “repaired”.
Under a landmark 1905 law, France observes a strict separation between Church and State.
In an unprecedented speech to French bishops on Monday night in Paris, the French president said: “We share in a confused way that relations between the Church and State have been damaged and it is up to you, as much as us, to repair them”.
This, he said, would be done through a "dialogue of truth".
"A French president who takes no interest in the Church and its Catholics would be failing in his duty," added Mr Macron, who called on Catholics to “engage once again with the French and European political scene”.
The remarks infuriated Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, who slammed them as "irresponsible".
"Macron in full-blown metaphysical delirium. Outrageous. One expects a president, one gets a sub-priest," Mr Melenchon said in a tweet.
"Secularism is the jewel in our crown. That is what a president of the republic should be defending," new Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure said in a tweet.
Regarding his call for Catholics to get involved in political debate, former family and women’s rights minister Laurence Rossignol, responded with sarcasm that they were “already very politically involved”.
L’église catholique est déjà très engagée politiquement.
Contre: le préservatif, la contraception d’urgence, l’IVG, la PMA, le droit de mourir dans la dignité...#whatelse? https://t.co/Hz3VWFiITZ
— Laurence Rossignol (@laurossignol) April 9, 2018
Catholics were, she wrote, “against condoms, emergency contraception, IVF, assisted reproductive technology, the right to die with dignity...”
The Macron camp said that there was no suggestion the president was tampering with secularism if you read the speech in its entirety.
At one point, the president said: “My role is to ensure that the citizen has the absolute freedom to believe or not believe but I ask him in the same way to absolutely respect without any compromise, the laws of the French republic.”
Interior minister Gérard Collomb, in charge of government relations with religious groups, said there was no cause for controversy.
"What he is saying is that for human beings, there is not only the material world but also the search for absolute values, for spirituality, to find meaning in life," he said. "It is perhaps a new tone but in no way does it break with the great tradition of secularism."