Charles Maurras: anti-democratic atheist Catholic

in James Hastings Nichols, Democracy and the churches (Westminster: Philadelphia 1951) While its chief leader, Charles Maurras, was an atheist, L'Action française devoted most of its propaganda to Catholics. It occupied a position of extraordinary influence in the French hierarchy and among Catholic intellectuals--young Maritain began here--and at the Vatican was the most effective agency in securing the condemnation of Catholic democrats. Maurras supported Roman Catholicism as an instrument of social control, although personally he felt only contempt for Christian faith and morals. "Catholicism is an attenuated Christianity filtered through the happy genius of France," ...
Maurras hated the Reformation because it released the Christian gospel from the imperial organization, and had set it free over Europe. As an atheist Catholic, he took the imperial organization without the gospel and cultivated that large group of Frenchmen who, in the tradition of de Maistre and Veuillot, had praised the Church for the same reason. ...
For long, [Pope] Pius [X] forgave Maurras his atheism. He even called him a "fine defender of the faith." With such advisers Pius initiated his great purge of Catholic democrats [1903 - ].

After the war communists and their sympathizers gathered at the Bonaparte on Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, or in Marguerite Duras's flat on rue Saint-Benoît, while musicians showed preference for the Royal Saint-Germain (now replaced by the Drugstore Publicis).

If few connect the Flore with Sartre, fewer still are aware that several decades earlier it had been the sinister haunt of the promoters of political anti-semitism. Here in 1899, when the retrial of Alfred Dreyfus unleashed vehement passions throughout France, the virulent Jew-hater Charles Maurras, Léon Daudet, son of Alphonse, and others founded l'Action Française, a movement and a magazine of unspeakable virulence, which prepared the ground for what was to come four decades later. It is not insignificant that, in 1945, on being sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration and expelled from the Academie Française, Charles Maurras cried out: 'It is the revenge of Dreyfus!'

the forty kings who in a thousand years made France. / Reference to the motto heading the front page of the royalist organ Action Française, edited by Charles Maurras and Léon Daudet, before the war. 190
Action Française / militant royalists, convinced that the salvation of France depended on the overthrow of the Republic and its replacement by a monarchy, if necessary, by violence. 217
- note, the Simone Weil Reader, edited by George A. Panichas (David McKay Co. NY 1977) p 506-7

Around and About Paris, by Thirza Vallois: A Glimpse at the 6th Arrondissement

re. cultural/Catholic/Jewish/atheists, see Graham Greene, Miguel de Unamuno, Michael Harrington, Ahad Ha-Am,Mordecai Kaplan, and Sherwin Wine.

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