French nun refused retirement home space due to habit

Laura

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To be fair, Muslim hijabs and scarves, and Jewish beanies and funny top hats and long curls must also be banned, IMO.



A Catholic nun in France has been stopped from taking up her place in a retirement home after she refused to stop wearing her religious habit as a condition for living there.


The nun, who is over 70, had spent most of her life living in a convent in the Drôme (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), but decided to return to live out her older years in her original home town of Vesoul, in the department of Haute-Saône (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté).
She sought out a retirement home place through the local community authority, the Centre Communal d'Action Sociale (CCAS), and specifically chose a home that offers a communal dining space and a sense of community.
This was a priority for the nun, who had lived communally for decades.
After several months on the waiting list - during which time she had lived in the town’s local church vicarage - the woman was eventually informed that she had been granted a place in her chosen home.
But, the acceptance letter also said: “Residents may have preferences and convictions, and these must be respected. Out of respect for secularism, all ostentatious signs of belonging to a religious community cannot be accepted, with a view to maintaining the peace for everyone.”
In practice, this would mean that the nun would only be able to accept the offer of a place in the home if she agreed to remove her religious habit and accompanying nun’s outfit. She would only be able to wear a discreet cross necklace as a sign of her religion.
After decades of living in the habit, the nun refused the offer.


She eventually found accommodation through the local parish. Yet, the nun is not said to be happy with the arrangements, as she now lives alone and must shop and eat alone, after years of living and dining within a shared community.
In the local parish newsletter, the priest of Vesoul said the row was a sign of “Christianophobia”, and wrote: “They are beating us about the head with their secularist principles, which people do not understand.”
He continued: “I do not see how a habit or a hijab can be damaging, because it is not a sign of submission, but of consecration.”
But when questioned on the issue by local newspaper France Bleu Besançon, the CCAS said that the nun had only been refused a place because she “did not want to follow the housing rules, which are the same for everyone”.
Secularism, known as the principle of laïcité in France, denotes the separation of church and state.
In practice, it can often mean that obvious symbols of religion - especially clothing or religious symbols, such as the Christian habit or the Islamic hijab - are not permitted in public or government spaces, such as public swimming pools or schools.
 

Echo Blue

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I had an Aunt who was a nun. My Aunt was also used to wearing street clothes when she went out in public. (she was a rebel of sorts!!!) She did shed her "habit" completely when she retired. This poor lady probably does not feel comfortable in any other type of clothing. I totally agree with your statement above, Laura.
 

Mikkael

Padawan Learner
“I do not see how a habit or a hijab can be damaging, because it is not a sign of submission, but of consecration.”
That is such a good point. And another sign of attempt to hide from view the reality in order to satisfy narrow materialist worldview of masses.
 

Laura

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Could you explain why? I'm inclined to think it is good to allow people to follow their faith's precepts and traditions if they're not harming others.
My point was that if they are going to ban Christian customs, then they must also make sure that I never see a woman in a hijab in any gov office, public space, etc. Same for the beanies and weird side curls.
 

Debra

Padawan Learner
I found this article to be of interest. We here in Canada are seeing Quebec dealing with the law as well, and it will prove interesting if the Catholic Nuns start getting the same treatment as in France.
From the article:
  • The headscarf is, of course, just a symptom of a deeper problem: many perceive it as the symbol of an invasion by an outside culture into the public sphere.
  • This behavior seems to worry many French people, who see it as a direct attack on their culture and identity, and a desire to live separately from the rest of society and according to other values.
  • Behind those claims, they see the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood or religious ideologies, whose ultimate goal seems to be to propagate these values and impose them on the rest of society.
  • In the end, however, the commotion created by the growing presence of the Islamic headscarf hides the more fundamental issues of how to deal with the rapidly increasing presence of a foreign culture that seems to keep demanding an ever-larger space in its host society.

Here is a pic of other "Head gear" women wear:1574197328068.png
 
My point was that if they are going to ban Christian customs, then they must also make sure that I never see a woman in a hijab in any gov office, public space, etc. Same for the beanies and weird side curls.
Oh, certainly, I misread you as advocating for the bans.

I had an Aunt who was a nun. My Aunt was also used to wearing street clothes when she went out in public. (she was a rebel of sorts!!!) She did shed her "habit" completely when she retired.
One of my grand-aunts was a nun and wore her habit probably until the day she died, I never saw her without it. That woman amazed me, she could take care of herself and was active in her community almost into her nineties, when her mind began to wander. She passed away about three years later. Shockingly different from the decades-long decline that usually beset our elders. We didn't have that much contact but she might have been the closest I saw of someone who lived a life in service to others.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
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I don't see why authorities in Europe should treat all religions in the same manner when it comes to such issues, after all, Christianity has a longer tradtion within Europe than for instance Islam. So within the context of Europe it doesn't really make sense to level the playing field in such a manner, but then again I can understand that ultra-liberal ideologies would lead to such a thing.
 

Laura

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I don't see why authorities in Europe should treat all religions in the same manner when it comes to such issues, after all, Christianity has a longer tradtion within Europe than for instance Islam. So within the context of Europe it doesn't really make sense to level the playing field in such a manner, but then again I can understand that ultra-liberal ideologies would lead to such a thing.
I agree completely.

In the case of nuns, priests, etc, they are people who have a particular VOCATION and wear a "uniform" so to say, like policemen and firemen. Most Christians just wear a bit of jewelry, if that.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This little nun is too stubborn. "L'habit ne fait pas le moine" says a proverbe. (the clothes don't make the man)


It is a complicated question. I can understand that in that residence there are some laws very strict about this subject but the subject of wearing or not religious symbols is the real one. To make of our world something like the world of Huxley and Orwell.

And we see that in Occident they want to erase all kind of religious symbols, not just Muslim symbols, but of any religion.

In Quebec workers for the government are prohibited to wear any kind of religious symbols, like a crucifix, medal, etc. This is I think so a too strict law. What is their purpose to put a law so strict? How a crucifix o a medal can be dangerous for the society? We are not talking about fanatics Muslims, or fanatic Jews, but normal people that for any reason like to wear this type of jewellery for any reason.

The bill 21 refers to this law in Quebec:

Bill 21, “An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State,” was one of the first laws passed by the government of Quebec premier François Legault, the founding leader of the popular, centre-right Coalition Action Démocratique (CAQ) party. It sets out a long list of government-affiliated jobs—certain members of the legislature, police, prosecutors, teachers and others—whose holders are henceforth banned from wearing “religious symbols” on the job.

The law defines a “religious symbol” as “any object, including clothing, a symbol, jewellery, an adornment, an accessory or headwear” that is “worn in connection with a religious conviction or belief” or that is “reasonably considered as referring to a religious affiliation.” That’s really broad, but in practice it will most often be a device to keep female Muslim clerks, cops and teachers from wearing headscarves or veils at work.
Source


So is not so easy to answer about this subject. About the nun, I can understand that for her the habit was part of herself, of her belief and of her life. And being old it is too hard to change her vision of the habit. Surely without her nun clothes she feels nude. I can understand her.
 
How I would like a "world" where every "person" was important.
Where every rule had its exception, putting respect and love ahead.

I will simplify a lot, knowledge and "common sense" should adjust the following sentence to the correct extent. It is about the "childish" saying:

"Forbidden to forbid!":-)
 

Echo Blue

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
The more I think about this Nun who refused to discard her habit in order to take up residence in a retirement home, the more I began thinking about myself and MY retirement.

If you have worked your entire life in a particular setting, in a Vocation, you don't realize until you leave that work or vocation, or take off your uniform, how it changes (or can change) your perception of yourself.

When I finally stopped working, the most unsettling feeling for me was the feeling of being a nobody. I had lost my identity, so to speak. Now intellectually, I knew I was not a nobody. BUT, when meeting people or talking to someone about yourself, you have a frame of reference of who you have been/were.....and that just goes away, disappears overnight. It is/was a strange feeling for me at least. And I am sure that this woman, being told she could not wear her habit at this residence, possibly gave her, for the first time in her life, a sense of profound loss of self.

Now maybe I am wrong in my assumption, and the Nun was just being stubborn. But, I have felt the absolute need to continue my life in service/work in some capacity that gives me purpose and identity. Otherwise, it would have very much affected how I felt about myself. There was never any worry about being banned from somewhere or something for me. But I do feel for the Nun and her dilema. The world is not an easy place to live anymore.

Don't know if what I have written make any sense to anyone else. But that's just my 2 cents.
 

Maat

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Read some developments today. The mayor of the town took defense of the nun :

Alain Chretien: "A nun is a citizen like the others"
She wanted to leave her monastery of Drôme to return to her hometown, Vesoul, Haute-Saone. The nun had therefore requested an apartment at the Residences autonomies, a structure for the elderly managed by the communal center of social action (CCAS). His application was accepted in July, but the CCAS asked him to remove his veil and coat, "out of respect for other residents and not to bother them". The case of this nun made controversy. The mayor of Vesoul, Alain Chretien (Agir), confided in Point.
Point : Can you tell us exactly what happened?

Alain Chretien:
This summer, a Catholic sister asked for a place in the shelter home managed by the municipal center of social action (CCAS), therefore dependent on the municipality. The CCAS accepted. But, no doubt after hearing the 120 residents of the house, he went back to his position and asked the nun to remove her habit. It was explained that she could discreetly keep a mark of her faith, but not her outfit. The services argued that ostentatious signs were not accepted in the house. The nun wished to keep her habit, and thus left the residence.
This case is provided black and white by the regulation?

Yes, focusing primarily on ostentatious signs. This regulation was contrary to the law of 1905. But when I was told that this sister had found housing elsewhere, with the help of a real estate agent friend sitting on the municipal council, I admit that I do not am not worried. Then the controversy was reactivated by the priest of Vesoul. So I took the case.

What did you decide?

It should not have been necessary for this nun to remove her habit. The law is clear: the principle of neutrality applies to public servants, but not to residents. But there is also the problem of a municipal public building: in this residence, there is on one side a public domain where everyone finds himself, and a private part, therefore a duality of function that can generate uncertainty. Certainly. But every citizen, it is the law, has the right to wear religious clothes. Including in a municipal building. And a nun is a citizen like the others.

As an elected person, what lessons do you draw from this case?

That we must train our agents more on what is allowed and what is not to avoid vexatious situations especially on a subject as flammable. There may have been someone who told the house officials, "I do not want to have a good sister sitting next to me at breakfast. We always try to find compromises, but on such a subject, it is impossible. If this sister wants to be dressed as she wants, she has the right to do it.

But tell us, your name, Alain Chretien, has nothing to do with this affair

(laughs) Suspecting the mayor of Vesoul of Christianophobia would be paradoxical given my name. In fact, there was a great clumsiness of service. The subject is so flammable that the services are paralyzed. There is a tension in society on this subject because secularism and secularism are confused. Secularism guarantees the equality of religions; Secularism is the absence of religious facts in society. The subject is not consensual because everyone has their own definition. The 1905 law is very clear, but society needs a unique vision, shared on this subject. A good sister, an imam or a rabbi is quite entitled to wear religious clothes in a public space. Like any citizen.

 
I don't see why authorities in Europe should treat all religions in the same manner when it comes to such issues, after all, Christianity has a longer tradtion within Europe than for instance Islam.
That is likely true of most western countries. In Brazil there's a long dispute about removing religious symbols from state offices, government, judiciary etc, basically referring to crucifixes and other Christian symbols. The State is supposed to be secular but the vast majority of people are Christians and there's a long tradition, probably centuries older than the current Constitution (1988), of having these symbols displayed. In some places there's even a small chapel. The minority of non-Christians and their Christian allies have been gaining space in the last two decades, with symbols removed and chapels turned ecumenical, supported by the Workers' Party governments. The Bolsonaro government, which is explicitly Christian, is now defending the use of Christian symbols.

So within the context of Europe it doesn't really make sense to level the playing field in such a manner, but then again I can understand that ultra-liberal ideologies would lead to such a thing.
I'm inclined to be in favor of freedom of religion in general, which I think implies "leveling the playing field" in terms of what ordinary citizens can do and wear. As for the state, it's more complicated but I agree that one cannot/should not dismiss the history/tradition of a country or civilization. IMHO, the notion of a secular state when the people that compose it and make it work are religious is at best a legal fiction. The Cs' mention of a plan to destroy Christianity gives a much more nefarious perspective though.
 

Goemon_

Jedi Master
What happend, as far as I understand:

Once upon a time some muslims where invited to come to France because the country needed workers. They became french citizens.
Where they badly treated by the other french ? Certainly, at least by some. But to wish extent it is hard for me to know.

A couple of generation passed.

Then came the islamic attacks, and at about the same time more and more muslim ladies started to where the hijab.
And, in some parts of France where there are a lot of muslims, ladies who where wearing short dresses and the like started to be arrassed by some muslim guys. That was part of what created the world famous 'no-go zones'.

The French empowered guys started to pass some laws to limite this new muslim lady habit of beeing well covered. Those laws as to be in accord to the "grand law" of laicity and so we end up with the French nun incident, as a byproduct.

The laws that as been passed forbid the burkini completely and the hijab in some places like schools and administrative buildings.

We are in a Cornelian situation because we let the new comer do how they fit. And now it will cetainly be seen as unfair to ban completely the hijab that has become so popular. Especially if the other religions are not "treated egual".

That is the jist of how I see it for now.
 
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