In France, there is nothing that is more sacred than the separation between the Church and the state. This seems toh ave been the motivation that yesterday led to a rather controversial sentence ruled out by the Administrative Court of Rennes. The cause of scandal this time was a statue of John Paul II, erected in the Breton town square of Ploermel, in the Department of Morbih. The statue – ruled the Court – shall be removed within six months, since it is in contrast to the law which prescribes the separation between the Church and state.
The statue of Pope John Paul II erected in a public square of the city in 2006 “is surrounded by an arch with a cross, symbol of the Christian religion which, because of its layout and its dimensions, has an ostentatious character”, said the judge, pointing out that the monument violates the provisions set forth by the Constitution and by the Act 1905.
According to sources of the news agency France Presse, demands for the removal of the statue dedicated to the Pope, came from the “National Federation on Free Thought” , who acclaimed this “new victory”. The association-which is atheist and militant secularism — is already known for taking such stances, in fact, end last year, it had managed , in the name of “unconditional defence” of the law of 1905, to obtain the withdrawal of the Christian Nativity scenes, or at better, Nativity scenes from public places. In Ploermel, in January 2010, the Administrative Court of Rennes had already expressed its unanimity with the secularists, ruling out that the use of public funds (4,500 Euros) to erect the monument, was illegitimate.