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French Jesuits and Action Française

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights some important dimensions of the relationship of French Jesuits with Action Française (AF). First, it reviews some of the background necessary for understanding the attraction that AF had on French Jesuits and, more generally, French Catholics. Secondly, the chapter summarizes one French Jesuit's qualified apologia for Catholic collaboration with AF. It then offers some observations about the French Jesuits and anti-Semitism and the larger significance of the condemnation of Catholic collaboration with AF. The book Le Dilemme de Marc Sangnier was largely a compilation of Charles Maurras's journalistic essays that attacked the democratic notions of Marc Sangnier and his recently launched national political movement of "the greater Sillon". The restoration of altar and throne, with a program of decentralization, was the antidote to France's predicament. Maurras's antiliberal and counterrevolutionary views resonated with the Roman Catholic church's dominant restorationist, intransigently antimodernist mentality.

Keywords: Action Française (AF); anti-Semitism; Catholic collaboration; Charles Maurras; French Jesuits; Le Dilemme de Marc Sangnier



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