Former French P.M.: “This Pope is becoming a real problem”

A great story.  I think it defines the sides pretty well.

I reproduce this from Rorate:

Former Prime Minister of France speaks his mind to France Culture about Benedict XVI

Former Prime Minister Alain Juppé (UMP), interviewed Wednesday by France Culture concerning the words of Benedict XVI denouncing condoms, said that "this pope is becoming a real problem" because he is living “in a situation of total autism."

The current mayor of Bordeaux who says he is Catholic "because I was born into it" and because "I am committed to Christian values" assured that, “This pope is becoming a real problem." He cited the reinstatement of Bishops "one of which is the apostle – dare I say – of negationism." Juppé also commented on the excommunication in Brazil and the question of condoms.

In Brazil, "that a nine year old girl who was raped, whose life is in danger, should be – if not herself, then at least her parents and the doctor who helped her abort – excommunicated; that is an extraordinary lack of Christian charity" continued the former head of government.

"To go say in Africa that condoms increase the danger of AIDS is, first of all an untruth and it is inacceptable for the African people and for everyone else," he continued. "There is a real problem, I feel a profound sense of uneasiness all around me" said Mr. Juppe, who has "the impression" that the pope "lives in a situation of total autism.”



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  1. stgemma0411 says:

    Wow…this must be former leaders month, or something. First Clinton says that embryo’s aren’t fertilized eggs and now a former French PM talks about what charity entails. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the pendulum is swinging in a direction that politicians feel uneasy about and they are frantically trying to keep public opinion swayed in their favour.

    I’m just waiting for the research study that shows condoms and birth control keep down global warming by our favourite speaker of the house.

  2. RANCHER says:

    Like many he doesn’t get the fact that moral laws must always be upheld even if they run counter to personal convenience, selfishness, or political correctness. That is the essential difference between the Vicar of Christ on earth and those whose morality and political positions vacillate in the winds of popularity.

  3. Immaculatae says:

    Please consider offering Holy Masses for the Holy Father.

  4. saintinthemaking says:

    Yes, the Holy Father is completely self-absorbed. It’s all ME, ME, ME with that guy.

  5. dc says:

    The other day some colleagues of mine were sitting around the table congratulating Angela Merkel – in absentia – for “putting the Pope in his place.” They will now surely add M Juppe to their list of heroes. (*sigh*) It’s a good thing frustration is not one of the seven deadly sins or I’d be in big trouble…

    Oremus et pro…

  6. RBrown says:

    JRatzinger has done it again!

    The phrase “smoking out the rats” comes to mind.

  7. Nathan says:

    RBrown: The phrase “smoking out the rats” comes to mind.

    Many years ago, I was discussing the problems in the Curia with a dear, very trad friend of mine. I mentinioned what (then) Cardinal Ratzinger said, and she replied, “Well, I hope Ratzinger zings some rats.”

    God bless our Holy Father–an example for us all, living the Beatitudes–“Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.” (St Matthew 5, 11-12)

    In Christ,

  8. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Sounds like M. Juppe is chanelling King Henry II of “will no one rid me of this troublesome priest” fame. And does he mean “problem” in a relative or objective sense? Because, for me, all things being relative :-), Pope Benedict isn’t a problem.

    Moreover, I thought France was into a particularly extreme version of Church-State separation. So remind me why M. Juppe feels the need to comment on something clearly not pertaining to the state?

  9. Deo volente says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    Damian Thompson is reporting that the Holy Father was misquoted to begin with:

    Se non c’è l’anima, se gli africani non si aiutano, non si può risolvere il flagello con la distribuzione di preservativi: al contrario, il rischio è di aumentare il problema.

    His Holiness needs our prayers!


  10. momoften says:

    Gosh,another cafeteria Catholic….

  11. Paul Haley says:

    La belle France has given birth to many fine intellectuals and defenders of the Faith. Unfortunately, Juppé is not one of them. It seems in recent years that France has more than its share of dimwits.

  12. He was accused by Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Pres. of European Greens) of ‘almost premeditative murder’.

  13. shadrach says:

    Juppé is no stranger to ethnical problems, if his criminal conviction tells us anything.

  14. Ken says:

    This would seem to be a good sign that the Holy Father is doing things right. And that the Holy Father is pointing out that condoms aren’t the public health panacea they are touted to be rattles the cages of people like Juppé, for whom such a perspective approaches near religious conviction. One is also reminded of what the Holy Father had to say about certain groups whom society gives no quarter, who may simply be hated and attacked without any concern for tolerance. While the reference in the letter to the bishops was to the SSPX, it takes on a much wider applicability.

  15. R&R says:

    Benedict XVI has it absolutely right. The problem of passing out condoms is that it basically sends the message that sexual promiscuity is a fact of modern life to be accepted just like the airplane and the computer. Moreover, passing them out materially subsidizes this cultural attitude. This attitude is the single biggest contributor to the spread of AIDS. If it becomes fully accepted that promiscuity is normal and should be expected, women lose a lot of ability to say no to their boyfriend (or philandering husband). A culture of promiscuity plus where 50% of the sexual acts include a condom is going to be a greenhouse for STDs.

    Likewise, condoms aggravate the problem because the guy can tell the girl, hey look, I have a condom so why not express our love and such? Huge pressure to have sex then—what’s the risk right? But the frank reality is that once the relationship becomes sexual, 100% condom use is not going to happen. The dirty secret here is that guys don’t like them. It’s like trying to have a hug with a raincoat on. You can do it, but it’s not the same thing. So, the guy spends a few weeks with the raincoat, but then once sex is a fact of the relationship, he is going to say, look, I am faithful to you, I want to feel the love, let’s do it without the condom. Anyone who thinks this does not happen on a regular basis is deluding themselves.

    Or, of course, the variant in the heat of the moment known as “oh sheesh, I forgot to bring one, it will be safe just this once, I am clean.” Once you let the passion genie out of the bottle, it ain’t going back in.

    Adding in the times when they are improperly used or defective just exacerbates the problem (and are deadly dangerous times), but Benedict’s point can be made well enough even without pointing out those issues.

    This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Benedict implying that the virus goes through the latex. Anyone who implies that is not telling the truth. That is not his point. Of course, many in the media will spin it as such.

  16. The Astronomer says:

    In an age that places so little value on life, I wonder what the exact distance is from Former Prime Minister Alain Juppé’s comment “this pope is becoming a real problem” to a not-too-dissimilar quote uttered by King Henry II in 1170 A.D. about St. Thomas Becket: “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

    The beastly scream of the Ancient Enemy grows closer and more distinct.

  17. RBrown says:

    I’m glad Papa Ratzinger is “becoming a real problem”. The pope as the Catholic version of the UN Secretary General didn’t do much for the inner life of the Church.


  18. mrsmontoya says:

    Just saw on my Google News page that the Washington Post has an article headed “Impeach the Pope.” Clearly no one can be bothered to understand how the Catholic Church is organized, let alone what we stand for.

    Saying prayers now for our Pope.

  19. DocJim says:

    I’m no AIDS expert, but I learned about 5-6 years ago that epidemiological studies done in Africa showed that condoms were rather poor at preventing AIDS transmission. Now that doesn’t mean they were useless, just almost useless. About 50-60% useful in preventing AIDS. Though I have no expertise in “pore size” in sheets of rubber, this was the explanation for the failure rate. (Tiny holes or “pores” in the sheet of latex allowed the tiny AIDS virus to pass through.)

    Thus, providing a false sense of security, one might say that condom usage encourages more illicit sexual activity by reducing fear and thus results in spreading AIDS.

    It is probably true in the USA, too, not just in Africa.

  20. a catechist says:

    “a real problem.”–Wonder how many Polish Communist officials said these very words about JPII every day?! Good company. May God give him the strength to be “a real problem” for many years to come!

  21. mrsmontoya says:

    Astronomer – your comment makes me wonder how far it is from “this Pope is a real problem” to “Catholics are a real problem” to “let’s do something about these Catholics.” – some sort of final solution…

  22. AnAnonymousSeminarian says:

    The former P.M. fails to understand that condoning evil, allowing ignorance to persist, and teaching falsehood is gravely uncharitable.

    May God preserve the faith of the eldest daughter of the Church!

  23. joe says:

    As the father of a child with autism, I can only pray he turns out to closer to the Holy Father than to ex-PM Juppé.


  24. R&R says:

    Make no mistake, this is 100% ground zero in the fight of secular humanism v. Catholic Tradition.

    There are two fronts: (1) in the media, which is poking at the Pope in this kind of way, and (2) the “inside strategy” for the secular humanists. This is not a friendly game of parlor bridge for the secular humanists, let there be no doubt.

  25. V says:

    In 1988, Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris, indicated that a man or a woman carrying the Aids virus ahd the absolute duty ” if abstinence was above their strength” should “use the means proposed to them to prevent them from passing on death to others.”
    ( everybody in France knew he meant condoms!)

    In 1996, the bishop conference added “may competent doctors affirm that a condom of good quality is currently the only method of prevention. In that respect it is necessary.” AIDS: Society in Question,” a 235-page report.
    “”The use of condoms is understandable in the case where sexual activity is already part of the person’s behavior and there is a need to avoid a grave risk,” the report said. ”
    This is the state of my country!

  26. Dominic H says:

    Monsieur Juppé is actually that rare example of a high-ranking French politician who has actually been charged and found guilty of corruption charges, and even barred from holding public office for a time (had that not been so, I think it is fairly likely he might be President now: I think it is generally accepted that he would have been the preferred successor of Chirac – who of course constantly wriggled out of some rather interesting court cases about dodgy deals and dowright dishonesty – , certainly over Sarkozy, and probably also over de Villepin).

    But, yes, long may the Holy Father continue to “cause real problems” for those whose morals are strictly situational (if that), and whose principles are solely relativistic and self-seeking.

    If part of JPII’s genius as Pope was to challenge the totalitarian regimes of Central and Eastern Europe under which he had grown up, it seems increasingly so that Benedict XVI’s great skill is to identify and unambigiously challenge the (perhaps far greater, because more superficially attractive) dictatorship of relativism in the West in which he has lived

  27. Paul says:

    We should all rejoice that ‘the Pope is becoming a problem’ – if it were otherwise we would all have cause for lament.

    The fact that someone is troubled by the Pope’s words is an opportunity for conversion. Meely Mouthed watered down Catholicism or plain silence converts no-one.

  28. Chris M says:

    Exactly, Paul! If only all our Bishops had the courage and faith of our Holy Faher! Angry secularists are a good indication that you’re doing something right!

  29. peregrinus says:

    The ex-PM must have been living a life devoid of God’s grace. For without grace, it is impossible for anything good to last in man. But the Pope is not offering Africa a human solution, a political compromise or pragmatism that is sure to be the biggest letdown in the world, but a divine solution: that God loves them and calls them to the truth, and that he is able to supply all the grace and power.

    We live among brothers who think they know God, but do not believe that he has the power to act. And they think that Successor of St Peter who do problematic? It doesn’t take a lot of common sense to figure out who is the real problem for the world today.

  30. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Deo volente,

    The Vatican Information Service and Vatican website are not giving the exact words of the Holy Father on the flight. The VIS changed, “aumentano il problema,” into, “il rischio e di aumentare il problema.” The video of the interview is widely available on the web. Am rather disappointed with the VIS. [Link, please.]

  31. Ioannes Andreades says:

    My apologies for not providing the link. Seems as though you found it.

  32. Jane says:

    The pope is not autistic. He is a terrific well rounded person. My children and my late brother are autistic though and I run a novena to St Philomena for autistic people and their parents and carers. It is at:

    Autistic people and their families have many trials and need prayers. They don’t need the comments of French politicans who are crazy.

    Autistic people are terrific and are children of God and don’t need to be rubbished by others.

  33. Jane says:

    This post has upset me as you can see from my previous posting. I will qualify my statement. My late brother is not autistic anymore, because he died at the age of 24. Despite being a firm believer and promoter of devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, it is probable that my brother being the innocent child that he appears to have been, is a saint in heaven, however I never take that for granted.

    Here is a link to learn about devotion to the Holy Souls:

    and their powerful intercession for their benefactors.

  34. Jane says:

    Anyone involved in abortion is instantly excommunicated. It does not require a formal decree. This happens if the person knows that there is an excommunication attached to abortion.

    Any priest can remove it and then the person can go to Confession and have the sin forgiven.
    Regarding the nine year old girl. Yes she was abused, but the twin babies she carried were murdered which is a great deal worse!

    The nine year old girl probably had no real say in the matter. Others are culpable though.

    When will people get it. Abortion is the worse form of murder.

  35. matt says:


    Any priest can remove it

    that power belongs to the bishop, however in most diocese it is granted to pastors, and other priests, but it should not be assumed to be the case.

  36. Jane says:

    Hi Matt,
    Thank you for that clarification regarding the excommunications and the authority to remove them.

Comments are closed.