“I do not share the political positions of Emmanuel Macron, but I think I am confident with him”, underlines the mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan. Theo Giacometti/Hans Lucas
STORY – The prospect of the municipal elections of 2026 is already on everyone’s mind.
Benoît Payan is enthusiastic about the prospect of receiving pope francis, on September 23. “Do you realize, this is the first visit by a pope since Clement VII, in 1533! Five centuries without a pope is a long time. The event will be huge…The mayor could spend an entire evening talking about it, with a very Marseille emphasis, detailing all the meetings planned during the twenty-four hours of the presence of the sovereign pontiff in his city.
In addition to the diplomatic importance of the arrival of a head of state, this visit takes on a particular meaning for this socialist from an immigrant background, brought up by his grandmother in the Catholic religion, with fervor. The pope is said to have told some of those close to him: “I’m not going to France, I’m going to Marseille.” At these words, we hear Payan burst out laughing, ready to hug the Jesuit, agreeing with him on the special status of this capital, a gateway to the Mediterranean.
When we mention the much closer arrival of Emmanuel…