Religion, Politics and Preferment in France Since 1890: La Belle Epoque and Its Legacy

Cambridge University Press, 22 ago. 2002 - 264 páginas
This book is the first to investigate the problems that committed Catholics allegedly faced if they sought careers in state employment under the French Republic in France. Using ministerial and Masonic archives, the book explores the broad divergence of practice between individual ministries and between particular governments, depending on the current climate of Church-State relations. It also examines the factors that underlay these discriminatory attitudes--notably the claims of Catholic involvement in the right-wing subversive activities of the late 1890s at the time of the Dreyfus affair, for which it draws extensively on evidence in the Jesuit and Assumptionist archives, as well as in the Archivio Segreto Vaticano and the personal papers of the monarchirst pretenders. It likewise investigates the increased difficulties that French Catholics faced after the change of pope in 1903. The administrative archives of the papal Segretaria di Stato confirm the view that if the Austrian intervention had not then prevented Cardinal Rampolla from becoming pope, Church-State might have evolved very differently in France. Later chapters explore the degree to which wariness towards committed Catholics in the public services evaporated under later regimes--despite the traumas of the Vichy years.

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