beneath a politic carapace of Catholicism


Senior Member
Hi everyone
What is your interpretation for "beneath a politic carapace of Catholicism" in the following context from "Elizabeth Finch" by Julian Barnes:
The first modern, independent thinker to apply his judgement to the Apostate was Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) in his essay ‘On the Freedom of Conscience’. The Frenchman was a Stoic, sceptic, Epicurean, and tolerant deist beneath a politic carapace of Catholicism.
  • Politic: in his judgement it was best to do this. It was convenient and would avoid awkwardness and other problems like being burned at the stake. He declared in favour of Catholicism, as protection (carapace), but actually wrote effectively in favour of other beliefs.