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Emmanuel Macron: Catholique zombie?

Catholic News Agency asked whether France’s new president Emmanuel Macron could be considered a “zombie Catholic”. The term was invented by two French sociologists, Emmanuel Todd and Hervé Le Bras, to describe an important and emerging political constituency.

Todd and Le Bras describe the average “Catholique zombie” as “Highly educated and meritocratic”, and characterised by “a traditional ordering of professional and domestic duties between husbands and wives; strong attachment to social, community, and family ctivities; and a general wariness over the role of the state in private and community affairs.”

Does Macron fit the description? In the final round of the elections, he won three out of four votes in the “zombie Catholic” stronghold of Brittany. And, intriguingly, “Although born into a secular family, Macron asked to be baptised at age 12.”

There is at least one reason to doubt the designation, however: Macron has stated that “When one enters the public realm, the laws of the Republic must prevail over religious law.”

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