CNA Newsroom, Sep 29, 2022 / 01:30 am (CNA).
After a French court confirmed the removal of a statue of St. Michael from a seaside town, supporters have vowed to continue their struggle.
On Friday, Sep. 16, the Court of Appeal in Nantes ruled in favor of removing a statue of St. Michael in the town of Les Sables-d’Olonne in the Vendée.
The court decision was made against the wishes of more than 90% of participants in a consultation held by the town’s mayor, Yannick Moreau, last March.
On Sept. 29, the feast day of the archangel, one supporter posted an image of the statue on social media, writing “A thought for the statue of Saint-Michel in Les Sables D’Olonne in Vendée which, according to the court of Nantes, must be removed in the name of ‘secularism’ while the people of Sablais in a popular referendum have voted to maintain.”
29 septembre, fête de Saint-Michel l’Archange.
Une pensée pour la statue de Saint-Michel aux Sables d’Olonne en Vendée qui selon le tribunal de Nantes doit être retiré au nom de la « laïcité » alors que les Sablais dans un référendum populaire ont votés son maintien à 97.5%. pic.twitter.com/xJaPgWxkLc
— Florian (@Florian_ROUI) September 29, 2022
According to a report in Le Figaro, the municipality will now take the legal fight to the Conseil d’État. The Council of State is the supreme court for administrative justice in France.
The statue was installed in 2018 opposite the church of St Michael. It was initially at a school of the same name from 1935 until 2017.
In 2021, a complaint was filed by the “Libre Pensée de Vendée,” a group that advocates secularism and “free thought,” and initially opposed the statue’s installation.
The concept of secularism – laïcité – has been a fixture of French law since 1905. At that time, the Third Republic officially established state secularism, causing a subsequent wave of anti-Catholicism, which included the end of government funding for religious schools, mandatory civil marriage, and the removal of chaplains from the army.
The group cited a 1905 law on the separation of church and state. Article 28 prohibits the display of religious images in public spaces, except for places of worship, cemeteries, monuments, or museums.
On Dec. 16, 2021, a hearing at the Court Appeal in Nantes decided that the statue must be unbolted within six months.
According to the ruling, although the statue is in the forecourt of a church, ‘the square on which the statue was installed is not a building used for worship,’ and the statue must therefore be removed in accordance with 1905 laws.
Demonstrations have been held to protest the removal of the statue, according to local media reports.
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!
Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.
A symbolic battle. Les Sables-d’Olonne in the Vendée, where saint Louis-Marie de Montfort joined combatants defending the faith against French revolutionaries. Saint Michael, God’s Prince of the heavenly host. Symbolic of the Final Battle v the Antichrist.
Michael’s prayer has been revived in many parishes, those that are faithful largely due to faithful priests serving them. Written for the Church by Leo XIII after a terrible vision presaging the Final contest between Christ and the Evil One, Satan. I’m reminded of the image of Pazuzu [see British Museum bronze effigy], the Mesopotamian daemon of the air author Peter Blatty likely convinced director of The Exorcist William Friedkin to insert, howling, raging dogs and all to evoke the horror.
Indeed, the Apostle refers to the daemonic Spirit of the Air, possibly Jewish knowledge acquired during the Babylonian captivity. Now the daemonic assumes many forms. From the most benign to the indigenous seemingly innocent artifact. Pachamama.
If a statue of St. Michael the Archangel is ordered removed, replace it with a sign that has the St. Michael the Archangel prayer on it!