St. Louis Memorial: Bishop in Mauritius Highlights Importance of Church-State Partnership

Bishop Jean Michaël Durhône during the Memorial of St. Louis, the Patron Saint of Mauritius’ Port Louis Diocese. Credit: Port Louis Diocese

On the Memorial of St. Louis, the Patron Saint of Mauritius’ Port Louis Diocese, the Local Ordinary of the Indian Ocean Island nation Episcopal See has highlighted the importance of Church-State partnership.

In his homily on Friday, August 25, Bishop Jean Michaël Durhône highlighted the quality of service of the 13th century French Saint, saying that the Church and the State are “at the service of human dignity”.

“On this Feast of St. Louis, politician and king of France who loved Christ and followed him as a disciple, it is good for us to remind ourselves of the way in which the Church understands its relationship with the State and any government of today and tomorrow,” Bishop Durhône said during Holy Mass at St. Louis Cathedral of Port Louis Diocese.

The Mauritian Catholic Church leader who was ordained Bishop of Port Louis Diocese on August 20 added, “The Church, like the State, is at the service of the Mauritian people. St Louis made himself the servant of every human being.”

“The Church, like the State, is at the service of this human dignity, which reminds us of the equal value of every citizen in our society. Promoting the dignity of every citizen leads us to live out the partnership between Church and State,” Bishop Durhône said.


He continued, “The Church is committed to working with the State and all governments on social issues such as free education and poverty.”

“This fruitful collaboration was experienced during COVID-19 when Caritas services and state agencies were close to the poorest in our society,” the 50-year-old Mauritian Bishop recalled.

He highlighted the parameters of the collaboration, saying, “With mutual respect and responsibility, the Church and the State want to serve the people with whom we are attached. This responsible partnership helps us to discern signs of hope.”

“The Bishop puts himself under the authority of the Word of God to work for the betterment of people's lives on earth,” the Bishop of Port Louis said, and added, “The Church finds signs of hope in being happy to support a project on drug addiction in the name of the dignity of the person and families affected by evil.”

The Church in Mauritius, Bishop Durhône pledged, “is happy to support any educational project in partnership with the State to care for children and young people who are failing at school.”

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The Catholic Church leaders who succeeded Maurice Cardinal Piat as Bishop of Port Louis noted that “differences between Church and State can sometimes arise.”

“In any partnership, there are differences of opinion and point of view. But with respect for each other and in dialogue, we will build a Mauritian society that is more fraternal, more just and more supportive of the weakest,” the Mauritian Catholic Bishop said in his August 25 homily.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.