Civitas: Catholic Movement Turmoil in France

Threatened with dissolution by Gérald Darmanin because of comments deemed anti-Semitic, Civitas, a fundamentalist Catholic movement born in France, has also existed in Switzerland since 2021. Based in Valais, its manager gives his position on the French controversy and explains his action.
While Civitas is currently in turmoil in France, how is the Swiss section of the fundamentalist Catholic movement, created in 2021, positioned? As a reminder, the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Monday that he wanted to dissolve the organization. In particular, the words of the essayist Pierre Hillard, pronounced during the last summer university of Civitas in Pontmain on July 30, according to which “the naturalization of the Jews in 1791 opens the way to immigration”. The speaker, whose speech was filmed, then clearly seems to hope for a backtracking from the French authorities on the issue.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our country”, expressed the minister on X (ex-Twitter), confirming moreover that a long list of “grievances” would soon be sent by mail to Civitas in order to justify the dissolution of the association. But while in France, Civitas campaigns for a return of Catholicism as the state religion, opposes “gender theory” and demonstrates against concerts of secular music in churches, what missions does Civitas give itself in Swiss? Its manager Alain Späth explains the presence of the movement on Swiss soil. Interview.

Does the Swiss section of Civitas endorse the words of Pierre Hillard?

It is obvious that Civitas Switzerland in no way endorses anti-Semitic ideas or remarks, in any form. The words of Pierre Hillard, historian, doctor of political science and certainly one of the greatest specialists in globalism, must be placed in the context of the theme of the conference (namely naturalism, editor’s note.) which has been removed from YouTube since.

However, an anti-Semitic hint seems manifest…

Civitas is neither far-right nor anti-Semitic. Civitas is simply Catholic, that is to say faithful to the teaching and the faith taught by the Roman Catholic Church for almost two thousand years, from its foundation until the Second Vatican Council. All the other qualifiers attributed to us are sophistry used by our enemies to disqualify us. Indeed, what normal person could still take “fachos” seriously?

Do you understand the decision taken by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin to dissolve Civitas in France?

Since his appointment, Gérald Darmanin has presented no less than nineteen dissolution procedures in the Council of Ministers against various associations, all sides combined. It is obviously easier to attack a party whose members are essentially fathers and mothers of Catholic families who pay their taxes and who have never broken anything during demonstrations, than to attack to the real problems suffered by millions of French people (declining purchasing power, poverty, urban violence, Islamization, etc.)

Civitas Switzerland is less heard than in France in the media. The last time was about Zep’s RTS comedy series about Jesus, which Civitas deemed blasphemous. What are your struggles?

We are a Catholic Defense League, in the sense that we defend the principles and values of Christian Civilization (God, Family, Fatherland) against all the persecutions to which our compatriots and fellow citizens are subjected. This is why we can also periodically collaborate with nationalist or Protestant groups, such as during votes on marriage for all.

Is your existence in Switzerland also threatened by the authorities?

Civitas Switzerland is at the service of the nation and the fatherland, therefore indirectly of the Roman Catholic Church and… of the State. All our members are volunteers and devote a large part of their free time to the service of the Common Good, through history courses (of the Townships), training workshops in political philosophy, public prayers, the apostolate, but also charitable works (visits to the elderly, to people in great difficulty, etc.). None of our actions is contrary to the legislation in force and we submit to the rule of law. Today, we have no reason to feel threatened by the authorities.

Are you subject to other threats?

Each public demonstration of Civitas Switzerland is accompanied by its share of physical threats, especially by small groups of the extreme left, type antifa. But they have so far never been implemented: it must be said that we always prepare ourselves accordingly and also receive support in these situations from friendly groups, such as the Resistance Helvétique (extreme right-wing organization which militates for the “survival” of Switzerland, editor’s note.). But it is above all moral attacks that we are the object of. If you knew how many insults we receive, you would be terrified.

You are located in Valais, a Catholic canton, in a country that is nevertheless mainly influenced by the Reformation. How do you relate to Reformed Protestantism?

Valais has not been a Catholic canton since 1972. Today it is only culturally, the separation of Church and State being unfortunately, through the fault of the Second Vatican Council, a de facto state. . Regarding our relationship to Reformed Protestantism, I can only comment on it as an individual. Protestantism resting on the principle of free examination, there are as many Protestantisms as Protestants… I have many Protestant friends. I love them and pray for their conversion.

Is religious freedom an issue for you?

The Roman Catholic Church has always claimed to be the only true Church and that the Catholic religion was the only true religion. However, by accepting the principle of religious freedom, a Catholic would recognize that there would be other true religions in which one could save oneself, which is an error, unless the principle of non-contradiction is blown up.

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