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Macron encourages French bishops to speak out on bioethics

Sunday, April 29, 2018

In a speech beginning April 2018 that garnered both criticism and praise, French President Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of Catholic bishops that they should not be afraid to contribute to public debate, saying

that Christians bring a valuable perspective on the human person to otherwise secular political discussions. Macron said that “the relationship between Church and State [in France] has deteriorated”, and that he wished to “repair it”. He said that the French doctrine oflaïcité did not have the function of “denying the spiritual”, and that it was important that people of faith remind society of the transcendent. Macron praised the Church for its consistent defence of the vulnerable in society, ranging from the unborn and the elderly to migrants and the poor. The speech appears to be an invitation for the Church to express its opposition to impending bioethics legislation due to be introduced in French parliament by the end of the year. The legislation will seek to make single women and lesbian couples eligible for assisted reproduction, which currently only is available to infertile heterosexual couples in France. It would also reconsider legalizing euthanasia, which is now banned. (from BioEdge, 14 April 2018)

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