“Honestly, I don’t even want to move”

Sens (Yonne), Bondues (North), Aubagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Paris (Île-de-France)

From our special envoys

In a large room with parquet flooring, stained-glass windows on the walls, seven women are embroidering or knitting. Suddenly, one of them growls. “A woman in power would be nice, right? The world is so macho. » Eva (1) has a tight bun and a taste for contradiction. Before saying what she thinks, this 58-year-old Catholic commented in her beard on the banalities exchanged by her neighbors. “Politics doesn’t concern us too much…”Here, all the same, we are focused on solidarity…” Eva does not say that she will vote for Marine Le Pen on Sunday April 24, but around the table, in this local Secours Catholique de Sens (Yonne), the allusion makes people react.

Christiane, 79, has also dropped her embroidery. “- You have never worked in a company. You don’t realize that the world has changed, that equality between men and women is advancing… » « – Wait! I spent my whole life with my six children, retorts Eva, stung. It’s a job like any other. » At the other end of the table, Michèle, 67, wants to lighten the mood. “- No, but wait… Anyway, if it’s Marine Le Pen who passes, it will be civil war! », mocks this woman with short hair. General hilarity.

The argument makes Sens smile, but it is the one that Catholics preparing to vote for Emmanuel Macron (25% among practitioners in the first round according to an Ifop/The cross) most often put forward. “The international situation and the state of society, divided, command to elect someone who has a little more road than Marine Le Pen”loose Roseline Dupille, 72, while spinning along a luxury boutique at the corner of rue du Bac, in Paris.

Like this pensioner who says “not really voting according to your Catholic faith even if tolerance is important”, Thomas Faure, 56, comes out with his wife from the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, a place of pilgrimage where we come across all that Catholicism has today in terms of trends. He will vote for Marine Le Pen.

In the first round, this entrepreneur with a jacket with an embroidered collar chose Éric Zemmour (like 16% of practicing Catholics, according to the survey published in The cross April 12), because I am very attached to the respect of life, of the Christian history of Europe and of France “, details the man who lives between Paris, Italy and the United States and wishes “that we get out of the non-elected institutions of Brussels as soon as possible”. “Of course, welcoming the stranger is at the heart of the Gospel, he continues. But what is important is that people integrate. If they are just there to take advantage of the system, let them go home. France must not be conquered by Muslims. »

A few meters from him, Patrick, 52, passes in turn under the porch of the place of Marian apparitions. “It is anti-Catholic and anti-Republican to make distinctions between human beings, gets carried away this gendarme born in Benin, voter of Emmanuel Macron. And love of neighbour? And the command in the psalms of David to protect the widow and the orphan? »

Like other practitioners, Patrick says he regrets the absence of debates in the parishes. As if each part of the Catholic electorate lived in its bubble. “Today there is a white petty bourgeoisie in the city center who only votes according to bioethics, accuses the soldier. Respect for life is important. But the Republic is not just about that. They forget the requirement of fraternity, social issues and especially education “, ends this father of three daughters.

Bioethics has effectively become a sort of unique criterion for many Catholics who voted for the extreme right on April 10 (40% of practicing Catholics). “In my entourage, we are almost all on the same line”, confirms Xavier Poinsard, 47 years old. Hired for Éric Zemmour in Sens, he will vote for Marine Le Pen, as in the second round in 2017. “I think Macron is a big danger. He extended the duration of abortion, organized PMA without a father, introduced gender theory at school and plans to pass euthanasia.lists this father of nine children, now vice-president of the Associations of Catholic Families (AFC) of Yonne.

It’s horrible… “, resumes Claire N., speech therapist of 51 years, met at the exit of the church of Bondues (North), who advances the same arguments by adding that the outgoing president has “deprived Catholics of the Mass” in 2020, during confinement. “I have a friend who tells me that we have to vote white, but I tell her no: Macron is pursuing a policy against Catholics”, ends this woman wrapped up in a green puffer jacket. Sunday, April 24, some of the Catholics will therefore “dam to Emmanuel Macron”, while another will vote against Marine Le Pen. Between the two, there are still many who have not decided, or who are considering voting blank.

“Frankly, I don’t even want to move, but the problem is that we always go to the polling station as a family with my parents, after mass. I kinda have to… “Begins Romain F., 20 years old. In the first round, the choice of this Parisian student fell on Jean-Luc Mélenchon after having read the appeal of the economist and Jesuit Gaël Giraud, on social networks, to “putting ecology in the second round”.

“When we read the latest IPCC report and Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology (Laudato si’), it hurts to vote for the ultraliberal right », Estimates the young man who does not believe in the ecological transformation of the outgoing president, and would like “barrier to both”. Between 2017 and this year, the vote of practicing Catholics for Jean-Luc Mélenchon rose from 8% to 19%.

Bernadette Saivet, self-employed in training in Aubagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) stuck up posters for the candidate of the Insoumis before the first round. One evening, this 42-year-old Franco-Senegalese ran into her choirmaster from Saint-Sauveur parish. “ He stuck to (Valerie) Pécresse, I said to him: why are you covering our posters? Among Catholics, we can help each other. But he really didn’t like Mélenchon. Between the two parishioners, the tone is always cordial, fraternal.

Bernadette, who will vote for Emmanuel Macron, is pleased to have “a priest who invites debate with respect for everyone’s ideas: this happens naturally, without shame or morality, but with consideration for the opinions of others. At the parish, I know that there are bound to be RN voters. The most important thing for me is that we are invited to take our place. That too is being a Catholic. »


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