Book I – The Leftist Infiltration in French Canada
Exclusive English Translation
By Kathleen Moore
All Rights Reserved © 2013, 2014 Tous droits réservés
Nota bene : I hold the copyright to my English translation of Rumilly. My English translation of any part of the works of Robert Rumilly may not be reproduced online, in print or by any means, other than for brief passages referenced in the course of discussion or blogging.
Please take note that wherever I have translated Rumilly’s own book, its covers and frontispiece, and I say, for example, “Published by the author” and give “Lazard Street”, etc., that is my translation of Rumilly’s own first publication details, which refers to himself and his own address in 1956.
The page-numbering in my English corresponds to the original page-numbering and page-breaks in French.
The “Catholics of the Left” in France
“Catholics of the left” and Communists
— The review Esprit — The result.
For a certain number of years now, there exist in France “Catholics of the Left” or “Christian progressives” who know no enemies on the Left. The large English Catholic weekly magazine, The Tablet, announced and studied this movement –- with some alarm in its issues of March 10th and March 17th, 1956.
The “Catholics of the Left” exhibit their fist to the right, the side where the vast majority of Catholics are, but shake hands with the Communists, towards whom they are all-accommodating. At their disposal is a real and powerful press trust, mainly controlled by Mrs. Ella-Blanche Sauvageot of periodicals such as Esprit* and Témoignage Chrétien**; and finally the support of the French Dominicans, who publish La Vie Intellectuelle***.
* Esprit can be taken to mean both “Mind” and “Spirit” in French. [KM]
** Témoignage Chrétien = “Christian Testimony”. [KM]
*** La Vie Intellectuelle = “The Intellectual Life”. [KM]
A leader of this group, The Dominican, Reverend Father Avril, is obliged to admit in Témoignage Chrétien on November 18th, 1955: “There is no doubt that the majority of Catholics are classified as politically on the right.” He might as well also write that men of the right are, in their very great majority, Catholics. However, the “Catholics of the Left” devote themselves exclusively to the fight against this majority of Catholics, whom they treat as enemies. Far from fighting the anti-catholic parties, they are combined with the radical party and with the socialist party — political expressions of freemasonry — and even with the Communist Party, which are systematically and violently anti-religious.
The “Catholics of the Left”, on the model of the Communists, readily treat men of the right as “fascists”. They furiously attack all French Catholics who followed marshal Pétain — all French Catholics who are not of their chapel. They thus seriously divide the Catholics -– despite calls by Pius XII for harmony among Catholics.
And they have the same adversaries –- the same enemies! -– as the Communists, which leads them into sympathy, even into strict alliance.
“Catholics of the Left” and Communists
The “Catholics of the Left” are all-indulgent, all-benevolent toward the Communists, who are considered as advanced little brothers,
as an avant-garde which it will undoubtedly be necessary to join before long. At most, they deplore some “regrettable excesses” of Communism -– and their attitude is in formal contradiction to that of Pius XI, who condemned Communism as “intrinsically perverse”. There might unfortunately be a small dose of error in Communism, but also excellent things which it is advisable to know and appropriate to adopt as a starting point.
This kind of Marxist philosophy is penetrating into certain Catholic milieux. The Supreme Congregation of the Holy Office decided, on July 1st, 1949, that it is not permitted to publish, distribute or read books, reviews, newspapers or loose leaves which support the doctrines or the action of the Communists, nor to write for these publications. Thus, Catholics have no direct means to know Communist propaganda and to absorb it. The leaders and the bodies of “Catholicism of the Left” fill this gap. They maintain an atmosphere of non-resistance. On September 14th, 1945, Témoignage Chrétien wrote: “The front of the anticommunist fight will not have us.” And non-resistance soon transforms itself into benevolence, an “understanding” which paves the way for collaboration, or worse still.
“Dialog” is advised with those they readily call “our Communist brothers”. The Reverend Father Bigo, one of the major inspirers of the movement, asks: “My Communist brother,
how do we come to you?” During “Catholic Intellectuals Week” held in Paris in November 1955, Mr. Michelet evokes a time when he lived “in the Nazi hell, shoulder to shoulder with Communists, a long de facto brotherhood”. Very well. But, Jean Madiran observes: “Why does hell always go with Nazi and brotherhood with Communist, and never the opposite?”* Why is dialog never recommended with the “fascists”? Why does one never ask: “My Nazi brother, how do we come to you?” Why does one recommend resistance to Nazism and non-resistance to Communism? “What Catholic reason does one have to so differently treat these two totalitarianisms condemned by the Popes?”
I would add: “Why does the sentiment of brotherhood felt towards the Communists not extend to the French, the great majority of whom are Catholics, and who venerated and followed marshal Pétain?
“Catholics of the Left”, invited by the Soviet government, went behind the iron curtain. They brought back and propagated skillfully refined impressions, suited to clear the way for Communist propaganda. I take the case of Jacques Madaule, because this eminent “Catholic of the Left” gave courses and lectures in Canada. Jacques Madaule went to Soviet Russia and into the satellite countries. He benefited from a session on Radio-Budapest (Hungarian radio under Soviet control). You
* Translator’s notes: I would suspect that the “bridge” being built toward Communism versus Nazism is based on the difference between globalism and nationalism. Communism is globalism.
would be right to think he did not disparage Communism while he was there. He described the U.S.S.R. as “an immense school” and “a vast construction site”. And also “a formidable camp”, but because the Soviet Union, deeply attached to peace, fears attack by the “capitalist powers” it must consequently be ready to “defend the school and the construction site”.
Returned to France, Jacques Madaule developed this theme. He went rather far to elicit reactions. He had to defend himself. He did so in an article, the text of which follows:
Essentially, I affirmed four things:
1 -– From the economic point of view, the Soviet experiment constitutes a success, especially if one wants to take good account that over thirty-five years, the U.S.S.R. has had to support two wars: one from 1918 to 1922 and the second from 1941 to 1945.
2 -– The Soviet Union exerts very great efforts to spread culture among its people, and these efforts are crowned with success. This does not imply that Soviet culture, in itself, is satisfactory.
3 -– It appears that the Soviet people are behind their government and one does not see, moreover, how it could be otherwise with the system of education and propaganda which functions over there.
4 -– The desire for peace of the Soviet people and of the Soviet government does not seem to be
in doubt. In support of this assertion, the seriousness of which I do not disguise, I could advance numerous proofs or presumptions. This appears to me the strongest: in current circumstances, the desire for war can only exist among people who find themselves in a situation without an exit. Thus, the situation of the Soviet Union would have to be without an exit…
Proportioning is seen: one teaspoonful of reservation to three soup-spoons of praise. Certainly not a straight-out apology for the Soviet mode, but an accent adroitly and constantly placed on the achievements, the successes. Overall, a very sympathetic, very favorable impression. Marcel Clément can write (in Notre Temps *, February 14th, 1953):
“This letter of Mr. Madaule, it is, in a very precise sense, the Trojan Horse in the precinct of the Church. At the time of this writing, it has begun to inject the poi son it contains into thousands of minds….”
And Marcel Poimbœuf, in L’Homme Nouveau**, can call Jacques Madaule “a voluntary agent of Soviet propaganda”.
Other “Catholics of the Left” take attitudes even clearer. Mrs. Ella-Blanche Sauvageot openly executes pro-Communist gestures: the signature of the Stockholm Appeal in 1950; the vice-presidency of the very communizing Association pour la défense de la liberté et de la diffusion de la presse in 1951; a protestation in L’Humanité , organ of the Communist
* Notre Temps = “Our Times” in English. [KM]
** L’Homme Nouveau = “ The New Man”, with “ man” in the sense of “human being”. [KM]
*** L’Humanité = “Humanity”. [KM]
**** “Association pour la défense de la liberté et de la diffusion de la presse” = “Association for the defense of press and broadcasting freedom”. The irony being, of course, that if you let the Communists use your “ freedoms “ of the press and broadcasting, and speech and communication, to get their regime in; once they are in, they will abolish all these “freedoms” for you. If you object, then you go to the Gulag. Essentially, they are conducting a war, using your constitution as the tool to undermine you. Which is to say, if you are foolish enough to believe that totalitarianism is entitled to the “freedom” to destroy your freedom, then you allow your freedoms to become the instrument of a tyranny, which has no intention of giving you the same “freedom” to overthrow it. [KM]
party, against the prohibition of a communist demonstration in 1952. And so on. Mrs. Sauvageot is not the only one. Along with her, Mrs. Genevieve Clairvoix (La Quinzaine), Georges Montaron (Témoignage Chrétien) and Jean-Marie Domenach (Esprit) signed the protestation, published in L’Humanité, against the prohibition of a communist demonstration. Neither Mrs. Sauvageot nor her colleagues, signatories of several proclamations inspired by the Communist party and inserted in L’Humanité, ever once affixed their signatures to the bottom of a petition rejected by the Communist Party. The “Catholics of the Left” raised their voice in favor of the Rosenberg spies, condemned to death in the United States. They declared odious the wait of several weeks which was inflicted upon them (pending news of) grace or the electric chair. However, at that same time, two anti-communist militants of the Pétain regime, condemned to death on November 18th, 1949, were locked up in the cell on death row at Fort Hâ. They were also awaiting grace or execution. The militiamen were shot in Bordeaux on June 2nd, 1953, after a wait of not a few weeks, but forty months -– which by no means moved the “Catholics of the Left” or the “Christian progressives”.
Cardinal Salièges was able to declare:
“All occurs as if there were an action orchestrated by a certain press, more or less periodic, in certain more or less secret meetings, tending to prepare within Catholi-
cism — a movement of reception to Communism.”
And Mr. Julien Brunhes, independent senator of the Seine, could deplore that in the municipal elections of 1953 “unexpected support was brought to the Communists by Catholics and even by priests who encouraged voting Communist rather than for militant Catholics, considered as reactionaries”.
The review Esprit
An organ of the “Catholics of the Left”, the review Esprit deserves specific examination because of the influence which it has exerted in French Canada, as we will see further on. This examination will moreover constitute an excellent illustration of all that precedes.
Esprit was founded by Emmanuel Mounier in October 1932. In its first issue, an account is published of a voyage in Russia, all to the advantage of the Soviets. In Soviet Russia, one breathes “much better than elsewhere”. Even the faces of the citizens do not appear to be “uninteresting, stunned, idiotic like the majority of our own”, but alive, animated by an interior fire. It emanates “a dominant feeling of freedom”.
The Catholic organ so favorable to Communism musters surprising resources from the outset. In no time, the review appears in three languages; it organizes 33 centers in France and 27 abroad. Who could facilitate, who could finance
Translator’s note: THIS CHAPTER ON ESPRIT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because Trudeau’s CITE LIBRE modeled itself on ESPRIT. CITE LIBRE calls itself the “little sister” of ESPRIT. ESPRIT is crypto-communist, claiming to be “Catholic socialist”. ESPRIT, as it turns out, is mentioned in a PDF file inside Rockefeller’s TRILATERAL COMMISSION web site. Trilateral’s Peter Sutherland refers favorably to ESPRIT and its “Catholic socialists”.
this growth while the oldest and best established reviews have a hard time surviving? As of November 1934, Les Études, a review of the Jesuit Fathers, puts Catholics on guard against the doctrines followed and propagated by Esprit. It is moreover sufficient to thumb through the Esprit collection to see just how far its desire goes for collaboration with the most extreme Left. Let’s begin with the issues published after the war’s eclipse and the occupation.
We saw that in September 1945, Témoignage Chrétien refused to take part in a potential anticommunist front. Esprit had preceded its fellow-member by writing in June:
“Let us say it plainly. In no case and under no pretext will we participate in any kind of anticommunist front: anticommunism is treason, declared or virtual.”
And the pétainists and other adversaries of Communism are, effectively, treated like traitors. Esprit deplores that Charles Maurras is simply sent to the penal colony, and not shot. And it reproaches the bishops for having followed the Pétain government and regrets that the Church of France did not purify itself -– in other words, that she did not seek the revocation or the condemnation of the bishops and the Pétainist priests.
And do not believe that it is enough not to fight against the Communists. The hand must be extended, to collaborate with them: “There is no question of
Translator’s note: “anticommunism is treason” -– Sounds like Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the April 1962 issue of Cité Libre. He makes it clear from the outset of his article, “The New Treason of the Clerics” that fidelity to the nation is “treason”. In other words, a total inversion of values. It also would seem to be a tactic. I have noted that when Marxist-Machiavellian Trudeau tells you to do something to preserve yourself, and you do it, you will instead destroy yourself. But he will tell you that whatever you are to do, it is essential to your survival. I therefore believe that when confronted by Marxists, one must mentally reverse their declarations in order to understand what they really are saying and doing.
doing anything in France against or without the Communists.” No doubt, in this collaboration, one will be subject to some influence of the Communists. Esprit only hopes that the Communists will want to allow themselves to be influenced as well, to arrive at “a humanistic Communism to which we all will subscribe”.
An article of August 1945 discusses the “current necessity for Communism”. In October 1946, even the director of the review writes that a Christian can adopt the majority of the political positions of Communism and conclude alliances with it. It is enough to be vigilant “on threatened points”. The article reproaches a clergyman for his anticommunist judgments, which derive from “the most contestable philosophy of history and undoubtedly the most clearly outdated by the dominant perspectives of the post-war world.” It is the Communist theory, according to which the world moves fatally -– and happily -– towards the Soviet regime, so that while placing oneself on the Left one acts “in the direction of history”.
In October 1947, another collaborator studies the crisis of the French Communist party, which seems in regression. He asks the Catholics to help the Communist party to solve this crisis, in order to “revalorize freedom”! Another article in the same issue, signed Jean-Louis Levy, represents Communism as an “harmonious and constructive” system.
And always, also, as the party of the future:
Capitalism is condemned to death and well knows it… Triumphant American capitalism has a guilty conscience, the bourgeoisie throughout the whole world has a guilty conscience and is afraid. Communism does not need war to develop, because time works for it.
…The struggle of capitalism, a system now chaotic and which is devouring itself — and of Communism, an harmonious and constructive system, is not an even match, and non-Communists of good faith should carefully reflect that they cannot oppose growing Communism with declining capitalism, the poor deprived wretches of paternalism or bourgeois legality…
While the Communists merit such fraternal attention, Catholics of the right continue to be mistreated, even hunted down. Esprit unceasingly warns against any alliance with the right. To the extent that affinities exist between Esprit and Communism, to that extent incompatibility exists between that review and the right. An article of December 1947 again criticizes the French episcopate, which rallied to marshal Pétain. You might object that the government of marshal Pétain had restored the crucifix to the school rooms, and purposed to teach the catechism in the schools. But Esprit precisely indicates this plan as a fault (the March-April issue of 1949, page 352). The other government leaders supposedly of “the
right”, including and above all the most Catholic, are ensconced in the same aversion, not to mention the same hatred. An article of March 1948 ridicules the Alphonsian book store of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, which published a brochure favorable to Franco.
And Salazar is in no way spared. The following month Esprit denounces reports in the anticommunist press and “to console ourselves” points to the “courageous campaign” of the communist paper, Franc-Tireur.
The reader must not be mistaken. It is not only that Communists are eminently sympathetic “brothers”. It is not only that certain Soviet achievements merit admiration. It is Marxist doctrine, itself, which it is advisable to assimilate…
If you think I exaggerate, get the May-June 1948 issue of Esprit out of the library. A Dominican, the Reverend Father Henri-Charles Desroches, has published an article entitled “Marxism and Religion”, containing this phrase, which summarizes the thesis: “It is possible for believers to benefit from Marxism.” Another writer demands that Christians “assimilate what there is of truth in Marxist views”. The whole issue develops this theme. It reproduces texts of the Communist dogmatists, Engels and Marx, on dialectical materialism and historical materialism, under color of giving to the public “an accurate vision of the contents of Marxist thought”, with the pretext of setting aside anticommunist prejudices. Finally, this issue contains
interviews with mostly Communists, one of whom, Claude Roy, terminates his statement with these sentences: “Marxism is also a discipline of clarity. It must prepare singing tomorrows with todays which speak clearly, straight and true. It is a program on which I think that we can also find ourselves, my dear Emmanuel Mounier, with you, with friends”. The February 1949 issue protests against city councillors in Paris who are considering de-baptizing the “Stalingrad” subway station. (This was before the de-stalinization undertaken in Moscow!)
In July of 1949, a decree of the Holy See forbids adhering to Communism and collaborating with Communists. To do so could contribute to bringing about the advent of a “materialistic and atheistic” Communist regime. Esprit felt itself implicated. Emmanuel Mounier published an explanation — to tell the truth, a daring reaffirmation of its hypocritical tactic. We do not adhere to Communism, he said, “and we have always refused all forms of collaboration with the Communists which were not fully above-board and free from exploitation. However, let us play the game frankly. We are not politically opposed and we will unceasingly oppose this policy of anticommunism which shores up social self-righteousness and ripens war, both civil and international. We have said, and we say again, that Communism, aside from that
Translator’s note: “singing tomorrows” -– That is the phrase used by one of the Canadian Reds fingered by American author Alan Stang in his 1971 article in American Opinion, “CANADA -– How The Communists Took Control”.
which we reject in it, contains a number of political, economic, social and human truths, and that our duty as Christians, at the same time as our political duty, is to recognize the truth wherever it be found…”
Mounier recalls that his friends and the Communists collaborated in the Resistance. And he quibbles:
“Nothing is more radically false than to represent a decree such as that of the Holy See, in Catholic theology, as an imperial edict inviting passive obedience…”
“Communism, for the moment, in the scheme of forces, represents the only serious threat to the capitalist disorder…”
All in all, according to Mounier, the Church only condemns the exaggerations, the deformations of Communism — of Communism which, as he lets it be known contrary to Pius XI, is intrinsically good.
We could continue. Let us continue. Albert Béguin succeeded to Emmanuel Mounier, and Jean-Marie Domenach was later the assistant to Albert Béguin, director of the review Esprit. Béguin was as far to the left as was Mounier; and Domenach even further, if that is possible.
The present work, intended to analyze a Canadian situation, aims at no more of an incursion into the political and intellectual life of France than necessary, by way of prologue. I would protract it to excess by peeling through all the issues of Esprit. It will suffice for me to send those readers espe-
cially interested to the collection of this review, and to say to the others that Esprit has not ceased to invite “Catholics of the Left” to hatred, but a svelte, refined, polished hatred against the Pétainists, the traditionalists and other men of the right, and to a sympathy, even to collaboration with respect to Communism, which contains, does it not, “numerous political, economic, social and human truths”. Let’s take a recent issue. In March, 1956, an editor of Esprit writes that we must “far better come to terms with the discoveries of Marxism than condemn them”. Must not “the truth be recognized everywhere it is found” — provided it is found to the Left!
Over and above the texts, moreover, it is the spirit which counts. And the spirit of Esprit is such that France Réelle was able to write, on November 5th, 1954:
“Jean-Marie Domenach, Director of the Review Esprit, has become the inspiration for all the crypto-Communist stances.”
The Osservatore Romano, official mouthpiece of the Vatican, wrote on March 5th, 1949:
“Christian-progressives risk involvement with a doctrine condemned by the Church and contributing to the success of a party which is systematically anti-Christian and aggressive.”
And that is just what has happened. The French government — a government of radicals and socialists, however far to the Left! — had to disallow
Témoignage Chrétien in the barracks in October 1955, so much had it undermined the morale of recruits. An eminent Dominican, Father Vincent Ducatillon, who himself had played with fire but had regained his hold on himself, came to acknowledge in La Croix (May 29th, 1956) that there exists a crisis of patriotism within French Catholicism, that this crisis is one of the most acute and the most serious of the present time, and that it is due to the influence of trends such as Marxism, working on those “who like to consider themselves the activist/militant wing of the Church”.
The crisis has not only changed patriotism. One does not flirt for years without risk, with a doctrine and a party that are essentially materialist. One has not imbibed Marxism with impunity all these years. Gustave Thibon puts it this way in the Itinéraires of July-August 1956:
“It will be said that all progressives are not atheists. That is certain. But even those who believe in God think and act in the manner of atheism.”
Monsignor Charles Lemaire, General superior of the Foreign missions, issues the same warning:
“In France, you cannot be unaware of it, that clear-sighted men are anxious. The modern heresy of Communism wishes to penetrate into Catholic hearts, and it succeeds, and many are already the victims of a propaganda whose immoral methods and remarkable skill are truly diabolical. What is
more serious still is that these victims become, in the very heart of the Church, the accomplices of the Adversary. A part of the press is visibly tainted by the poison. Were we not devastated to see with what alacrity, with what contempt for the truth, certain papers or reviews which purport to be Catholic spoke about the persecution in China? The Church is always wrong; only the “Marxist truth” on events behind the Iron Curtain is worthy of credit.
“Can we remain indifferent or content ourselves with sterile moanings? No. We will not be ‘dumb dogs’”.
Let us go on to precise examples. In the student movement studied, in France, the members of the J.O.C. (Catholic Student Youth), openly treat Catholics of the right as enemies and the Communists as allies. They systematically adopt all the positions of the Communist party. So much so that one can regard the Catholic Student Youth as the auxiliary, almost the appendage, of the Communist Student Youth. The leaders of the J.E.C refused to join the protests against persecutions of priests prevailing behind the Iron Curtain. The result is that no Communist student converts to Catholicism, whereas Catholic students slide into Communism.
The first article of faith in the Marxist breviary is class struggle. That is the law which sums up the whole
history of human society, according to the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels. Catholics of the left adopt it. Marcel Clément indicates in Nos Cours, organ of the Pius XI Institute (January 8th, 1955), that the Marxist philosophy of history penetrates into certain Catholic milieux. He shows how the acceptance of this philosophy leads to the rejection of all morals (in the sense of a code of conduct in accordance with a higher authority). And Jean Madiran can begin a chapter of his book, They do not know what they do, with these considerations:
“The review Esprit has done much in recent years to credit a fairly Marxist concept of class struggle… If there exists disorder in hearts today, Esprit has a considerable share of responsibility for it…” All of that clarifies the unhappy affair of the worker-priests.
I summarize. Young priests became workers, hired themselves out in factories, in the hope of impressing the workmen by this example of solidarity — and of converting them. The idea, debatable, might have begun in a spirit of generosity. Unhappily, these young priests, whose doctrine was not yet quite solid, were infected with the leftist virus, which prepared them to accept what the founder of Esprit calls “the multiple truths” contained in Marxism. The same phenomenon occurred in this environment as among the students.
The worker priests did not convert the Communists to Catholicism, then
an inordinate number of them slipped into Communism. Some defrocked. The episcopate, then the Holy See, intervened to stop an experiment which had turned to disaster.
However, the Roman decisions were not at all well received by the “left” Catholic press. As of the first warning statement from the Holy See, which resembled a judgment, a Dominican, Father Yves Cougar, published in Témoignage Chrétien an apology by the organization of worker-priests which resembled a protest — oh, so eruditely shrouded — against the Roman decisions.
Take note of this passage: The worker-priests showed that they were with the working class (which implies that the Holy See, halting their experiment, is against the working class; the Communists did not fail to draw this conclusion).
“From there, the commitment of numerous worker-priests, called upon by the circumstances to take a more or less active role in the struggle of the proletariat for its liberation, and who had thought to betray the working class and with it to betray the human demands of the apostolic mission itself had they not gone so far as to espouse certain ideas and assume certain actions; these very ones against whom grievance is made…”
It is known that 73 worker-priests went as far as open revolt against the decisions of the Holy See. Who would dare to claim that the encouragement of the “left Catholic” press did not call forth, did not provoke this rebellion?
The Dominicans of Paris are great gal-
vanizers of the leftist movement, as we have said. There are, in the Order of Saint-Dominique in France, what would be called in the United States, “fellow travellers” of Communism. One finds the communist vocabulary in their texts. (See above: “the struggle of the proletariat for its liberation”.) Father Chenu, for example, collaborated in bodies with communist sympathies, adhered to communist organizations, signed proclamations and took part in communist demonstrations. In one case, communists who had provoked bloody brawls in the nationalized factories of Renault were laid off. The Party organized a protest in their behalf. Father Chenu went and spoke: “I come with joy to bear witness before you of my active sympathy…” (L’Humanité, 14 March 1952). One may say of him, as of Madame Sauvageot, as of all the leaders of “Catholicism of the left”, that he never signed a text or took part in a protest disagreeable to the communists.
The Holy See had to prevail. Dominican Fathers, among them Father Chenu, were struck with a measure of distancing, at the beginning of 1954. More exceptional precautions and sanctions followed. In the eyes of Albert Béguin, director of Esprit, the decisions of the Holy See in the Dominican affair, as in the matter of the worker-priests, constitute “a scandal to the mind and heart of Christians”. The article in Témoignage Chrétien during the suppression of the
worker-priests tends, also, to give the impression that Rome is always wrong.
The “Catholics of the left” thus became the habitual allies of all that is anticlerical, of everything materialistic, of all that is Masonic or Freemasonic in France. They joined with the worst of the anticlericals to fight the Barangé bill, which endeavoured to grant a minimum of educational justice to the Catholics. A special issue of Esprit served as an effective weapon for the adversaries of this Bill.
La Vie Intellectuelle, mouthpiece of the French Dominicans, published an issue in 1954 under a cover title which sums up the general tendency of the articles: “Watch out for clericalism!”
It is a fashion in these milieux to strike an attitude of anticlericalism. The Reverend Dominican Fathers, on the whole, on their own account, take up the old war cry of the Freemasons: “Clericalism, here is the enemy.” Isn’t that clever of the monks?
La Vie Intellectuelle has never cried, “Watch out for communism!”