Friday, 15 July 2011
Bastille Day: not a lot to celebrate
A priest friend of ours in France says that he thinks the root of all that is wrong with his country lies in the French Revolution. Apart from a few years of respite during the first restoration, the country has gone - almost literally - to Hell in a handbasket since then.
Being an ornery sort, I had to disagree. I felt that things had started going awry a couple of hundred years earlier with the wars of Religion and the various Protestant uprisings, but that the '89 Revolution had cemented the damage. Either way, France has ended up a viciously secular country with a deeply ingrained anti-clericism that I imagine Richard Dawkins and his ilk can only envy.
There's a forceful and thought provoking passage from Joseph de Maistre on the French Revolution ("essentially Satanic...") worth reading at Rorate Caeli, and Richard Collins at Linen On The Hedgerow remembers the many Catholics martyred during the French Revolution, particularly those from the Vendee. Today I thought of our local martyr Charles François de Saint Simon Sandricourt,the last Bishop of Agde and one of the last victims of The Terror, guillotined in Paris on July 26, 1794 as well as the 17 Carmelite nuns who went to the guilletine singing the Veni Creator Spiritus.