‘Hands off Joan of Arc’, French Catholics tell Socialist women’s minister


France’s Catholic extremists are up in arms again, this time over gutsy Women’s Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (right), who has been described as “an agent of Satan” after she was invited to speak at a ceremony commemorating the death of Joan of Arc.

The young Socialist minister, who embodies her party’s diversity pledge – she is a woman, young, foreign-born – has long been targeted by radical Catholics as a dangerous advocate of LGBT rights and marriage equality.

But her invitation to speak at a ceremony commemorating 15th century resistance fighter, Joan of Arc, has provoked a nasty outpouring of vitriol from extremist Catholics, forcing the Archbishop of Rouen to issue a semi-apology.

“We’re pinching ourselves... checking it’s not April Fools’ Day,” Catholic news website Chretiente.info stuttered on Sunday. “The Minister for Women’s Rights will speak in favour of our national heroine,” website Riposte Catholique warned. “It would be shocking for this person, who has seriously undermined the law of nature and Catholic morals, to be allowed to speak in a Catholic church. We must take action!”

In response to that call, some readers suggesting “physically barring” Vallaud-Belkacem from the church, while others called for a boycott of the event. The determined Manif Pour Tous movement, which has orchestrated massive protests against the government’s marriage equality bill over the past few months, suggested “greeting the minister as she should be, with a noisy demonstration”.

'Satanic Moroccan Muslim Socialist'

The comments are likely to cause embarrassment for the Catholic Church, which has been trying to distance itself from the increasingly radical fringes of the anti gay-marriage movement since protests became violent ahead of the law being passed.

Referring to Vallaud-Belkacem as “foreign”, “Moroccan”, “imposter” and “Muslim” (she has never spoken of her religious beliefs), some of the readers even went as far as calling her “Satanic”. Others pointed out that Vallaud-Belkacem “advocates teaching the concept of ‘gender’ in schools”.

The concept of gender?

Jesus, this woman is dangerous.

In response to the uproar, Archbishop of Rouen Jean-Charles Descubes was forced to issue a statement acknowledging that he had received hundreds of angry emails but would not be taking any action. “Of course people have the right to express themselves, but that doesn’t mean they are right,” he said.

Rouen Mayor Yvon Robert, who invited Vallaud-Belkacem to the ceremony, denounced the uproar. “I don’t understand,” he said. “This is a sign of intolerance.”

Vallaud-Belkacem, who is also the Socilaist government spokesperson, ignored her critics in an interview with BFM TV on Thursday, praising Joan of Arc as a symbol for all French people. 


“The main reason I accepted to go to Rouen on Saturday is because I feel that Joan of Arc must not be monopolised by anyone,” she said. “This is a woman who confounded expectations. She belongs to all of us.”

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hello this is Jehanne d'arc Matthew 19:11, what is the second greatest commandment? what does from the womb I knew you mean? he turned to Peter and said Get Behind Me Satan you are an offense to Me you are mindful of the things of men and not of the things of YHWH, who was Augustus? the high priest the first pontif maximus? the emperor of the holy roman empire the first pope----what is the ark of the promise? DNA with the promise being ever lasting LIFE---humans pass on to the next LIFE---where is Judah? any other question? try reading YHWH Holy Bible there is no catholic church Peter exited the palace of the high priest ---what you all have is servant francis---we will dismantle your organization.yes.j
Yet another instance illustrating that you can always rely on those "extremist" French Catholics -- the same ones who claim to be devout followers of the gentlest teacher of all -- to show love, kindness and compassion to their supposed enemies...NOT! This isn't about faith. It's about a group of people who have so confused their ideology with their egos that they've lost sight of the very principles underpinning their faith. Instead of advocating physical action against those with whom you disagree, perhaps you might take a lesson from the one you identify as your savior and try leading by example. You've been trying to browbeat (or physically beat) others into seeing things your way for two millennia, and it's still not working. Take the hint. Believe what you wish -- but try being as inclusive as savior wanted you to be. Try becoming living individual examples of Catholicism's highest ideals. Then -- just maybe -- you'll get somewhere with those don't share your views currently.
This article does not give any impression of journalistic objectivity. Only the most extremely conservative of Catholics would not want to hear a woman who's views are borderline anti-Catholic talking about Joan of Ark
If U think Najat is such a wonderful politician and thinker, why can't she invite the Catholic church representative to appear on her public speeches. I 'd thought this is called equality of returns. Do not confuse yourself, this is a famous throw away line of John Travolta in Hollywood movies. By the way, I am not Catholic, but I respect them
It is provocateurs like Najat Vallaud-Belkacem who are the extremists, not the Catholics. Extremists are those who not only disrespect the fact that others choose to believe differently, but that they must also vandalize the memory of an icon to put their childish points across. The Communists must be so proud of her.
The French nation is in some ways symbolic of the Catholic Church, it clings to the past, nervous, even scared of change, and sensitive to attacks on it's bastions like the language and its agricultural industry. The Church yearns for it's days of undeserved power and wealth, and the nation to the times when the peasants kept out of the way and quiet whilst the elite lived off their backs in an oligarchic manner. Both need to catch up on reality.
I'm wrong if I say: the "Catholic" sent her to the stake?
I'm a Christian (Episcopal) myself and I want nothing to do with these extremists (much less have them share the name Christian, for they follow their own bigotry rather than the path of Jesus)! God bless this Najat Vallaud-Belkacem for being brave in standing for whats right and for honouring Saint Joan!
So just because they criticise the opportunistic misuse of a Catholic hero and the PC social consensus they are dangerous extremists. Give me break. By the way gender is a social construct which doesn't exist outside the soft sciences. A great many find flaw in the theory of gender.
Probs about J D'Arc are a doddle compared to the Anglo-Saxon side of the pond. Re: Fried Chicken and Coloured: So the Race Police have their heads up their fundament again. “Don’t offer a Coloured Gent fried chicken, nor call him Coloured” - it is racist. I take it that Gent is allowable. So, Fried Chicken cannot be offered to any Coloured Gent, not even a Black Gent, nor can a Black Gent be called a Coloured Gent. What about Hominy Grits? Noooo, Lawdy, lawdy, you can bet your cotton picking (oops) socks Hominy Grits is a niet. So I take it that the expression High Yellow, used by the Black Gents will also be a no, no - if the White Gent uses it. Life is going to get very challenging, linguistically speaking. So I take it that offering a White Gent: Jellied Eels, or Mushy Peas, or Eel, mash and pie, tripe and onions, or Pea soup, or any ethnic food that the working class have eaten in the dim and distant past can be construed as Racist as it will bring us out in hives or cause us to have a heart attack. Lawdy, Lawdy, they, is a no, no - shades of uncle Tom (a double whammy with this one) ruminating on his corn cob pipe. And if you have got an Uncle Tom, say uncle Thomas, or if you want to be sly and cause offence on the QT certainly use Uncle Thomas - nudge, nudge, wink, wink. But if you don’t want to offend don’t mention him at all until after you have banished him to the catholic church to be confirmed with the Saints name Paul, hereinafter called Paul, formerly known as Tom, my uncle. So give me probs about Joan any day of the week.

Less is more, more or less