Alphonse de Chateaubriant. Catholic collaborator by Kay Chadwick

Alphonse de Chateaubriant. Catholic collaborator by Kay Chadwick

By Kay Chadwick

The second one global struggle spawned notorious collaborators resembling Brasillach and Drieu l. a. Rochelle, males who betrayed France through the profession. between their quantity stands the Catholic author Alphonse de Châteaubriant. writer of the prize-winning novels Monsieur des Lourdines and La Brière, he grew to become his literary skills to the propagation of a collaborationist message within the pages of the notorious essay La Gerbe des forces and the both ignominious newspaper La Gerbe. even though not anything predisposes a Catholic to be a collaborator, Châteaubriant’s dedication to the National-Socialist reason arose from an idiosyncratic studying of Christian doctrine which justified racism and elitism within the identify of non secular regeneration. He considered his stumble upon with nationwide Socialism as a long-awaited assembly of minds, and championed its representatives as males of imaginative and prescient who may re-evangelise the area. After the battle, Châteaubriant fled to Austria. Condemned as a traitor in his absence, he indulged in an test at self-revision and fulminated opposed to his judges till his death day. This e-book explores the harmful pathways down which lost idealism can lead. It demanding situations those that could imprecise the correct telling of Châteaubriant’s involvement, or hinder a becoming narrative of the Vichy years.

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In Châteaubriant’s opinion, spiritual vitality and the potential for spiritual regeneration do not reside in what he considers to be the mediocre, sterile, rigidly structured and tightly controlled institutional Catholic Church. He evidently does not share the enthusiasm of those working for a New Christendom through neo-Thomism, as the Church had upheld since Aeterni patris, while his willingness to question the Church’s structures and systems suggests a tendency to heterodoxy. Certainly, his rejection of papal infallibility does not make him a Gallican, for his criticisms applied equally to Rome and to the French Catholic Church; nor does it permit his classification alongside other unorthodox Catholic writers whose acceptance of papal authority conditioned their response.

His right-hand man, Célestin, is not only his employee but also ‘son vieil ami’ (p. 19), and each evening he spends time in the kitchen with the estate’s workers. But the modern world invades this traditional, stable society in the form of the Des Lourdines’s son, Anthime. Two years before the story takes place, Anthime had left the family home for Paris following a quarrel with his parents over his racing and gambling debts, which his father had been forced to settle. His parents hope that he will return to take up his rightful place at Petit-Fougeray.

The nation must be defended from non-French elements such as Jews, Freemasons, Protestants and ‘foreigners’, in other words, all those considered to lack the ancestral roots of the true French (in Barresian terms, the non-moi or the barbare). Catholicism was reconciled to this brand of patriotism: France, Barrès and Maurras declared, should remain Catholic, for Catholicism had always been the religion of the majority. But both allocated a primarily social role to the Catholic Church, seeing it principally as an instrument of social order and discipline, and therefore of institutional rather than religious importance.

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