.- Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron, according to one of his biographers, embodies a new phenomenon in France known as “zombie Catholicism.”
Once among the most Catholic countries in the world, sometimes called the “eldest daughter of the Church,” France has seen serious decline in churchgoing numbers in modern times. While more than 50 percent of people still identify as Catholic, only 5 percent regularly attend Mass.
“Zombie Catholics” of France share certain characteristics, the sociologists noted. They typically come from regions of the country where resistance to the French Revolution was the strongest.
“Highly educated and meritocratic, they also privilege a traditional ordering of professional and domestic duties between husbands and wives; strong attachment to social, community, and family activities; and a general wariness over the role of the state in private and community affairs, including ‘free schools’ (Catholic private schools),” they wrote.
According to Marc Endeweld, a biographer of Emmanuel Macron, the new president embodies this “zombie Catholic” phenomenon. Although born into a secular family, Macron asked to be baptized at age 12. While not a regular churchgoer, Macron symbolizes “those territories of Christian tradition that benefit from social structures and economic systems capable of counterbalancing globalization, in contrast to the more Jacobin territories that have lost the protection of the state.”