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Catholicism, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century France$
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Kay Chadwick

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239741

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312779

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Ralliés and résistants: Catholics in Vichy France, 1940–441

Ralliés and résistants: Catholics in Vichy France, 1940–441

(p.97) 5 Ralliés and résistants: Catholics in Vichy France, 1940–441
Catholicism, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century France

Nicholas Atkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the support of Catholics to the Vichy regime in France during the period 1940–1944. It first considers Vichy's appeal for French Catholics and the Catholic Church, particularly its programme with its slogan travail, famille, patrie that placed emphasis on an ordered society based on traditional and stable family, property, and gender roles. This programme was embraced by a majority of bishops, who acknowledged Vichy as the legitimate power and viewed Marshal Pétain as France's providential man. These bishops, along with most ordinary Catholics, believed that Vichy would enable a spiritual revival and a reconversion of France to Catholicism. The chapter looks at the decline of Catholic influence at Vichy, paying particular attention to the Church's failure to obtain the ultimate concession to which it aspired since no definitive religious settlement was offered by Vichy.

Keywords:   family, Catholics, Vichy regime, France, Catholic Church, property, gender, bishops, Marshal Pétain, Catholicism

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