Open Collections

UBC Undergraduate Research

The Law of 1905 in Question : Legislative Compromise and the Role of Moderate Catholics in Pacifying… Sarliève, Pierre 2021-05-03

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
52966-Sarlieve_Pierre_HIST_449_Law_1905_question_2021.pdf [ 556.24kB ]
Metadata
JSON: 52966-1.0397499.json
JSON-LD: 52966-1.0397499-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 52966-1.0397499-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 52966-1.0397499-rdf.json
Turtle: 52966-1.0397499-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 52966-1.0397499-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 52966-1.0397499-source.json
Full Text
52966-1.0397499-fulltext.txt
Citation
52966-1.0397499.ris

Full Text

  The Law of 1905 in Question: Legislative Compromise and the Role of Moderate Catholics in Pacifying the Law By Pierre Sarliève   Course: HIST 449, Honours Graduating Essay Instructor: Dr. Robert Brain   A graduating thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in  The Faculty of Arts Department of History    We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard Supervisor: Dr. Michael Lanthier Committee Members:  Dr. Robert Brain and Dr. Michel Ducharme   University of British Columbia May 3, 2021      ii Table of Contents Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................................ iii Introduction .................................................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 1 ...................................................................................................................................................... 12 A Law Situated in a Circumstance of Aggravated Political Tensions ........................................................ 13 The Disputed Leadership of the Separation Project (October 1904 - March 1905) .................................. 15 The Churches’ Reactions to Combes’ Project ........................................................................................... 18 The Chamber of Deputies Rejects Combes’ Bill and Briand Takes Over ................................................... 20 Final Parliamentary Debates and the Liberal Turn ................................................................................... 21 Chapter 2 ...................................................................................................................................................... 27 The Dioceses of Versailles and Alby at the Turn of the Century ............................................................... 30 Theoretically Condemning the Law of Separation: the Church Feels Persecuted ..................................... 31 Preparing a Political Narrative – a Law Forged by the Enemies of the Church ........................................ 35 Political Engagement Against the Law: The Law of Separation Goes Against National Will ................... 39 Catholic Engagement in the Legislative Elections of 1906 ....................................................................... 41 Chapter 3 ...................................................................................................................................................... 46 The Crisis of the Inventaires ..................................................................................................................... 47 The Actions of the Catholics Who Desired to Work with the Separation ................................................. 51 Briand’s Response to the Crisis ................................................................................................................. 56 The Spirit of Compromise Prevails for the Buildings of Worship .............................................................. 58 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................... 63 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................................. 69              iii Acknowledgements    This research project would never have been achieved without the assistance of scholars who pushed me to improve my work from beginning to end. Firstly, I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Michael Lanthier, for his breadth of knowledge on the Third Republic and his constant willingness to organize meetings to discuss my thesis. Your consistent and considerable efforts to proof-read my writing have given me a wonderful initiation into the world of scholarly writing and research.  I would also like to thank Dr. Robert Brain for his ability to offer me a clear picture about the essential contents of my thesis and his critical outlook on my sources. Furthermore, I am indebted to Maurice Gelbard for his digital archive containing all the different bills on the Law of Separation and key speeches, articles and reports which were not available in digital form at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. His collection of sources allowed me to complete this project in a time when travel to France was simply impossible.  Finally, thank you to my friends and family for your consistent support in hearing me pitch my ideas to you.            1 Introduction From the ardent debates of the French Revolution to each time an act of jihadist terrorism is committed on French soil, the country is thrown anew into a global debate about laïcité.  Laïcité, a term difficult to translate, is a form of secularism that is central to the France’s identity and its troubled history sheds light on today’s lively debates. In 1905 the French government passed a law stipulating “the separation of churches and the state,” which barred the state from officially recognizing, funding or endorsing religious groups, and represented a major shift in church-state relations in France. It is strongly associated with the guiding principle of laïcité, despite the term not being mentioned in the legal text, and has become an integral part of France’s contemporary political DNA.1 However, this principle has been a controversial source of debate for the past 115 years. Indeed, it is controversial both at the national level, where it is subject to increasingly contradictory debates regarding its original purpose and the ‘arrival’ of Islam in politics, and internationally, where France is often accused of being an intolerant and discriminatory country.2 These discourses, often overwrought and emotional, have led to a certain confusion about the significance of the original law and the context in which it emerged and was implemented.  As radical as it was, the Law of Separation between the Church and State, passed in December 1905 after months of discussion, demonstrated a real desire for pacification rather than further confrontation with French Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Even if its intransigent Catholic opponents would have been very surprised to hear it, its initiators  1 Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004, 13. 2 Colosimo, Anastasia. “Laïcité: Why French Secularism Is So Hard to Grasp.” Institut Montaigne, May 22, 2018.  2 wanted it to be a law of appeasement.3 This is not just a retrospective view: both laïques and moderate Catholics strived for appeasement during the deliberations, against the extremists in their camps. Some politicians of the Third Republic did indeed have anticlerical ambitions for the legal project, they wanted to use lawmaking to quicken the decline of a Church that was often feared by Republicans. During the Law’s inception, some bills envisaged the prohibition of worship, the revocation of religious freedoms, or the confiscation of church property. However, this anticlerical tendency was overcome at the time of the elaboration and the early application of the Law of 1905, making way for a much more tolerant version of the Separation. The main goal of this thesis is to provide a different understanding of the Law of Separation between the Churches and the State, otherwise known as the Law of 1905, and to oppose the idea that it was a definitive separation of the churches in France from the state, a final resolution of the complicated relationships between the Republic and religions, symbolizing the culmination of republican glory and freedom of thought. Not only was the elaboration of the Law of 1905 a process of gradual appeasement and compromise, its application between 1906 and 1907 was also a period of further concession and dilution due to the failures of the most anticlerical modalities in the Law’s harsher bills. Most importantly, it was the Church’s resistance on the most practical affairs of the Law – the inventories of the goods of the Church and the status of the buildings of worship – which proved to be most successful in constraining the state to modify its legislation.     3 Baubérot Jean. Vers Un Nouveau Pacte laïque? Paris: Ed. du Seuil, 1990.  3 First and foremost, this thesis intends to address the tendencies in the present political debate to spread confusion about the origins of the Law of 1905 and the French secular regime. In these debates, some politicians, and even some scholars, have tried to promote a narrative which holds that “at the beginning of the twentieth century, most political actors claimed above all a true religious freedom against the Catholic Church.”4 Furthermore, many continue to argue that the Law is the culmination of some sort of paradigm shift of modernity where the Republican state progressively surpassed the influence of conservative, “obscurantist” Catholic forces in the country.5 In a recently published article after the terror attack on Samuel Paty, the author recognizes that “of course, the Law of 1905, which serves as a benchmark in matters of secularism in France, is often seen as a law of appeasement, supported by believers, agnostics and atheists.” Nevertheless, he claims that it “was only the culmination of a process in which secularism had to be combative to impose itself and be accepted vis-à-vis a Church from which the Republic wished to emancipate itself.”6 This current of thought in French public discourse wrongly gives the impression that the clerical actors were submerged by the Republic itself – both politically and on the ground itself.  By returning to the origins of the Law of 1905, this thesis highlights how this now constitutional principle did not emerge from a simple political struggle opposing the victorious state and the doomed church. In fact, the Law of 1905 came about in a tense climate of opposition between members of the Chamber of Deputies on which vision of  4 Zuber, Valentine. “La Laïcité Française, Une Exception Historique, Des Principes Partagés.” Revue du droit des religions, no. 7 (2019): 193–205. 5 Prades, Jeanne. “Constructions and Uses of Laïcité (French Secularism) in French Public Discourses.” Mathematical Population Studies 27, no. 2 (2019): 115–37.  6 Brachet, Hadrien. “Embrasser Quelqu'un Plutôt Que Ses Croyances.” Le Délit, February 12, 2021.  4 “separation” to adopt and was significantly affected by events which occurred outside of the political realm, especially during the crisis of the Inventaires.   Likewise, this thesis highlights the role of the Catholic Church in shaping the provisions of the Law, both during its elaboration and the early stages of its application. Alain Boyer crafts a clear picture that is unique among historians by claiming that “the Law of Separation was [born in an atmosphere of conflict and] was gradually accepted by its fiercest opponents. Through its flexibility and its possibilities of adaptation, it has been a powerful factor in regulating religious and ideological conflicts and has made a profound contribution to national cohesion and access to citizenship.”7 While the moderation and the spirit of compromise of this law are fully confirmed by the research conducted for this thesis, Boyer’s perspective can be expanded upon by considering the role of the Church in amending the legal text. Even though the Law of Separation’s flexibility helped it become an acceptable principle in French society, it was above all the inapplicability of the anticlerical ideals present in the 1905 text which forced lawmakers to modify it into a functioning legal system. This account is supported by the government’s continuous concessions made to the Catholic Church, especially when faced with resistance from members of the clergy. Many historians argue that the Law was elaborated in a complicated political context which prevented the Republican and anticlerical politicians from pushing their version of the separation because there existed a large gap between the principles which  7 Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004.  5 were proclaimed and the legislation which was actually passed in parliament.8 The course towards separation itself, the Parliamentary Commission, Aristide Briand's preliminary draft, Combes’ project, the final draft, parliamentary debates, reactions, in particular Catholic reactions, the aftermath of the Law are of course at the heart of most works.9 However, this approach tends to put more emphasis on the analysis of the Left Bloc’s anticlerical attitude, focusing on the Law of 1901 on religious associations and Combes’ politics, than the difficulties encountered during the Law of 1905 as the Catholic Church worked to amend the Law.10  This is largely due to the fact that many scholars see the Law of 1905 as the culmination of the movements to secularize France which originated in the French Revolution, profoundly changing the relationship between the state and the Catholic Church. For example, according to Maurice Barbier, the question of the buildings of worship which were nationalized on November 2, 1789, confiscated from the Church by the National Assembly, appears to be settled by Article 13 of the Law of Separation.11  Several authors focus on the anti-religious policy of the radical French Revolution and connect this to much later developments. Jean-Paul Scot deals at length with the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and its effects, focusing also on the dechristianization of  8 Cf. Larkin, Maurice, Patrick Cabanel, and Jean-Marie Mayeur. L'Eglise Et L'Etat En France: 1905: La Crise De La Séparation. Toulouse: Privat, 2004. Pena-Ruiz, Henri. Histoire De La laïcité: genèse d'un idéal. Paris: Gallimard, 2005. Robbers, Gerhard, and Brigitte Bas-Devant-Gaudemet. “State and Church in France.” Essay. In State and Church in the European Union, 157–86. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2019. 9 Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005. Chantin, Jean-Pierre. La séparation De 1905: Les Hommes Et Les Lieux. Paris: Les ed. de l'Atelier, 2005. Fabre, Rémi. “L’Élaboration De La Loi De 1905.” Politiques de la laïcité au XXe siècle, 2007, 45.  10 Baubérot Jean. La Loi De 1905 N'aura Pas Lieu: Histoire Politique Des séparations Des Églises Et De L'État (1902-1908). Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 2019. 11 Barbier, Maurice. La laïcité. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1995.  6 France.12 Patrick Cabanel even substantiates this claim in the concluding remarks of his book by stating “Does the Separation crown the work of the French Revolution?”13  This emphasis on the Law of 1905 as a key component of the secularization of France is largely due to historicization of state-building processes, or the construction of the French Republic as a nation-state ideal.14 The fact that these historians mainly focus on the role of Parisian sociopolitical actors in the elaboration of the Law of 1905 exhibits a propensity to craft a national narrative around the progressive dechristianization and democratization of France. Yet, this approach tends to perpetuate the representation of the Law of 1905’s emergence as a two-sided struggle between the conservative Catholic Church and the Republican Fathers like Jean Jaures, Aristide Briand or Georges Clemenceau.  Furthermore, this particular focus on the development of the French Republic and the culmination of a great project that supposedly dated from the Enlightenment tends to overlook the agency of the Catholic Church in shaping the Law of 1905. The very reason the government diluted its anticlerical ambitions for the Separation was because the Catholic Church remained a significant and influential power in French society at the turn of the century, resisting the government’s vision of Separation. This is why this thesis attributes a great importance to the Semaines Religieuses – the official news bulletin of French dioceses – as a source offering crucial insight into the clergy’s opinions and actions during this period.   12 Scot, Jean-Paul. "L'État Chez Lui, L'Église Chez Elle" Comprendre La Loi De 1905. Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 2005. 13 Cabanel, Patrick. La séparation Des Églises Et De L'État, 1905. La Crèche: Geste éd., 2005. 14 Peker, Efe. “Bringing the State Back in Secularization: The Development of Laïcité in the French Third Republic (1875–1905).” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58, no. 4 (2019): 815.  7 Finally, the much-cited work of Emile Poulat on the conflicts between opposing Republicans and Catholics uses the metaphorical expression “the war of the two Frances” which entrenches the idea that the Catholic Church was united in contending the Law.15 Patrick Weil, in his seminal article summarizing the development of the Law of 1905 to the end of the twentieth century, crafts a narrative where the opposing role of the Catholic Church is embodied by Pope Pius VII and the Crisis of the Inventories, placing the attention on the intransigent Catholics who refused to compromise with the French state.16 However, there is much more diversity present in the Catholic’s opinion on the Separation. By looking at the local level and using the examples of the departments of Tarn and Seine-et-Oise, we can better appreciate the divisions that existed within the Catholic Church, and it becomes obvious that moderate Catholics played an instrumental role in amending the Law of 1905.  In this view, the Law becomes more of an effort to create an imperfect treaty that would limit the ideological clashes between conservative Catholic forces and the anticlerical Republicans. This adaptation was initiated by Catholic dissent, which prompted the government to modify the project of Separation. As a result of these modifications, the Law provided an additional apparatus for the Republic to offer a sustainable model of governance between public and religious affairs in France. This is significant for two reasons. First, it shows that the Law of 1905 became a law of appeasement as the laïque politicians abandoned their most radical anticlerical provisions and accepted that the Catholic Church was an influential element of society which could  15 Poulat Émile. Liberté, laïcité: La Guerre Des Deux France Et Le Principe De La modernité. Paris: Ed. du Cerf, 1988. 16 Weil, Patrick. “La Loi De 1905 Et Son Application Depuis Un Siècle.” Politiques de la laïcité au XXe siècle, 2007, 9-44.  8 not be fully subdued by the state. Second, it places the Law of 1905 within a larger context of political negotiation inherent to the Third Republic, a compromise between the different families of the French bourgeoisie which were fighting for power through various enactments of their respective ideologies in a proper political sense.   The Third Republic was a confusing and paradoxical political regime. The original hope at the time of its establishment was that it would mark the advent of genuine representative democracy in France – a free, egalitarian society in which the discussion of common interests would lead to a higher sense of solidarity and justice to all classes. But there was an extraordinary gap between the principles which were proclaimed as guiding the politicians and the legislation actually passed.17 That is to say that, behind the regime’s idealised historical image and the stereotypes about Republican values, the Third Republic was also marked by a series of political scandals and a constant change of government that prevented ideals from being implemented in practice.  The narrative about how France became a consolidated democracy, during the Third republic, after its defeat and occupation in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 has not always received enough criticism from French scholars. It is difficult to understand why since the discrepancies in this story are of obvious historical significance. The Third Republic was the first stable electoral democracy with universal male suffrage on the European continent, and its example inspired republicans throughout Europe and beyond.18 Yet, the consolidation of French democracy from 1870 through 1940 was not  17 Fontaine, Marion. Une Contre-Histoire De La IIIe République. Paris: Dévouverte, 2013. 18 Hanson, Stephen E. “The Founding of the French Third Republic.” Post-Imperial Democracies, August 13, 2009, 87–122.  9 self-evident. It would have been hard to predicate the long-term success of democratic institutions in a country emerging from a century of political instability and violence, in a continent dominated by well-established monarchies, and with powerful economic and social elites staunchly opposed to democratic ideals.19  The Law of 1905 itself, enshrined as a founding myth, in fact only formally evokes such a separation in its title, and indeed, among its contents, certain measures concretely clash with the very separation placarded in the title.20 If one goes deeper, it soon becomes apparent that the history of laïcité by no means took its cue from a movement towards a complete separation of public authorities from religious matters. It was characterized from the start with a particular administrative mindset to legislate religions in France and, at the same time, by continued negotiations between the Catholic Church and the government to create an acceptable Law of Separation. In sum, the Separation of the Church and State was also remarkable for the very great difference between what it was intended to do and what it in fact achieved.  The first chapter of the thesis focuses on this divergence and explains how the project ended up being a far more liberal law than intended, creating a compromise between the discursive Republican project and the Catholic Church opposition. By analyzing the parliamentary deliberative process, it becomes clear that many of the Separation’s components designed to significantly reduce the power of the Church in  19 Dingle, Christopher Philip, and Delphone Mordey. “Critical Battlegrounds in the French Third Republic.” Essay. In The Cambridge History of Music Criticism, 344–70. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 20 Liogier, Raphael. “Laicite on the Edge in France : between the Theory of Church-State Separation and the Praxis of State-Church Confusion.” Macquarie Law Journal 9 (2009): 25–45.  10 France were abandoned during legislation, paving the way for a new relationship between the Church and State.  In the second chapter, the analysis of the position of the religious institution through the Semaines Religieuses demonstrates how the liberalization of the Law by Aristide Briand did not suffice to satisfy the French Catholic Church. Indeed, the Church became increasingly upset about the Law, making the compromise more difficult by the beginning of 1906 up until the legislative elections in May. It was only after an electoral defeat that the road was paved for the Law of 1905 to succeed as a law of compromise, the Church shifting its own attitude with regards to the legal project.  The third chapter demonstrates that the State’s pacification extended past the legislative process of the Separation. Because of the bitter opposition by the Catholic Church and the Pope to the Separation, the state – through Aristide Briand again, this time as minister for religions from 1906 to 1910 – had to compromise the Law of 1905 further. Effectively, the post-enaction of the provisions of the Law resembled far more an attempt to save much of Briand’s policy than a hard application of laïcité, by preventing the Church from feeling martyred.  All in all, the very actions of the state which followed the legislation of the law reinforced the compromise, through a willingness to avoid the persecution of Catholics in order to protect the idea of separation embodied through the Law of 1905. Furthermore, the analysis of the Semaines Religieuses demonstrates that, while expressing a certain counter-revolutionary ideology to the State, the French clergy did not to enter into a full-blown conflict with the government. Rather, the Church resisted in some regions during the inventories of the churches by the state, prompting the government to back down in  11 fear. In addition, moderate Catholics chose to protest the concrete propositions of the Law which involved the rental and confiscations of Church property. This selective resistance, which emanated from the more moderate members of the French clergy, allowed the Church to force the state to compromise and find a viable solution to these practical issues. Conclusively, this prompted the Church to reframe the Law of Separation as a new civil constitution of the clergy rather than an unacceptable attack from the State.                12 Chapter 1 From Article 2 of the Law of 1905, we too often retain the idea that by not “recognizing…any religion”, the French Republic is absolutely uninvolved in the religious question. The very word “separation” – which appears in the title of the Law but not in any of its articles – evokes the idea of a rupture, of a divorce, of a total dissociation between the public and religious domains, as if the two fields had no relation to each other and could evolve in an absolutely independent way, in a mutual ignorance that would be both the expression and the guarantee of laïcité.21  Looking at the debates that led to the elaboration of the Law, however, leads to a very different picture. Evoking a peaceful golden age of laïcité during the adoption of the Law of Separation would perpetuate a myth about this moment. The early twentieth century,  marked by the prohibition of congregations and conflicts between the Church and the Republic,  was a time of passion and struggle.22 Through the following study of the Official Journal of the French Republic, in which can be found the full accounts of parliamentary debates of the Third Republic, it becomes clear that many of the elements of the project which had the goal to significantly reduce the power of the Church in France didn’t come to fruition, paving the way for a liberal separation between the Church and State.23  21 Poulat Émile, and Maurice Gelbard. Scruter La Loi De 1905 La République française Et La Religion. Paris: Fayard, 2010, 15.  22 Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004, 5.  23 By “liberal”, we are referring to a law based on the principles of Liberalism which considers the protection and enhancement of individual freedom to be the role of government, and which ensures that legal constitutional boundaries prevent politics from encroaching upon these rights within determined limits.  13 This chapter illustrates how the Law of 1905 was largely inspired by the report of the Parliamentary Commission on the bill on the Law of Separation. The commission managed to provide a bill acceptable for the members of the Chamber thanks to the achievements of Aristide Briand, a deputy at the beginning of a brilliant political career who turned out to be a man of conciliation. Going against the majority in the Chamber of Deputies’ political agenda, he proposed a law of pacification. It was elaborated against the conservative Right, which wanted to maintain the preponderance of the Catholic Church in society, but also against those in the Left who wanted to control it by imposing a system of rules autonomous from the pope, or even those who wanted to eradicate religion through its disorganization. In this context, it took a lot of conviction and talent for Briand to adopt a law acceptable to all.   A Law Situated in a Circumstance of Aggravated Political Tensions  After the reestablishment of the Republic, the great movement of secularization of the State took place: the abolition of compulsory Sunday rest (1879), the dissolution and expulsion of the Jesuits, secularization of cemeteries (1881), abolition of public prayers provided for by constitutional laws, the Divorce Act (1884), the secularization of hospitals (1885), the removal of religious emblems from courts and the liberalization of funeral ceremonies (1887).24 In the meantime, the Law of June 16, 1881 established free public primary schools; that of March 28, 1882, compulsory and secular primary education. The Law of July 1, 1901 on religious associations subjected all congregations  24 Cf. Poulat Émile. Liberté, laïcité: La Guerre Des Deux France Et Le Principe De La modernité. Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1988, 208-210.  14 to legislative authorization and their establishments to a decree issued by the Council of State.25  The Left Bloc won the legislative elections of 1902 and an escalation of tensions between the French State and the Vatican occurred. Significantly, the new President of the Council, Émile Combes, closed 2,500 Catholic education establishments founded before the Law of 1901 by authorized congregations. In 1903, five of the six bishops proposed for appointment by the French government were rejected by Pope Pius X.26 Then, the Chamber refused the authorization of teaching congregations and the Law of July 17, 1904 prohibited teaching to any congregation within ten years. During the summer of 1904, relations with the Holy See were severed after a visit of the French President to Rome during which he did not request an audience with the Pope.27 The French Catholic church thus experienced a shift in identity which culminated in the removal of the Holy See from government affairs and catalyzed during the legislation of the Law of 1905, when the Church related to the process as a victim.  It was in this context that the ad hoc parliamentary commission on the Law of Separation of the Churches and State was set up, on June 11, 1903, after much resistance notably from the President of the Council, in view of the Separation.28 Composed of thirty-three members, the commission worked behind closed doors, meeting almost every day, twice during the plenary debate. Eight different bills were submitted to it. Some  25 In French, ‘association cultuelle’. ‘Cultuelle’ means here the practical part of a religion (its rituals in particular) independently from its dogmatic system, which is not supposed to be taken into consideration by the Conseil d’État to grant this status. 26 Bellon, Christophe. “La Loi De Séparation Des Églises Et De L'État.” Parlement[s], Revue d'histoire politique n°3, no. 1 (2005): 197. 27 Cf. Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005, 34. 28 “Projet de loi relatif à la séparation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, June 12, 1903.  15 emanated from the right-leaning opposition, such as that of the Nationalist deputy for Paris, Ernest Roche, or the former Director of Religions Émile Flourens; but the majority of the projects came from the Left, of which the two most important, that of the Radical Eugène Réveillaud and of the Protestant Socialist Francis de Pressensé, deposited on April 7, 1903 with the signature of fifty-six Socialist and Radical-Socialist deputies.29 During this time and under Briand's leadership, cooperation developed between the separatist Left and the progressive minority. At the end of the summer of 1904, the commission’s plan was more or less fixed, ready to be presented to the deputies. It is at this point, however, that the parliament got carried away with its autonomy from the Vatican and Émiles Combes attempted to overthrow the conciliatory efforts made in the commission’ initial draft.  The Disputed Leadership of the Separation Project (October 1904 - March 1905) Combes’ legislative coup d’état After diplomatic relations with the Vatican were severed on July 30, 1904, Émile Combes decided in a speech at Auxerre on September 4, 1904 to personally intervene in the work of the parliamentary commission. He claimed that “separation that had become inevitable” and believed his intervention was needed to ensure it would go through in parliament.30 Indeed, in the face of political urgency as civil and religious society were increasingly obsessed with the Separation project, he decided to submit his own text in  29 Gelbard, Maurice. “La Séparation Des Églises Et De L'État Par Les Textes,” Eglise-Etat.org, 2005. All proposals of the law made in the Chamber of Deputies were read and analyzed from this online database created by Maurice Gelbard, who kindly transcribed them from the archives of the National Assembly.  30 “Discours pour le trente-quatrième anniversaire de la proclamation de la République”, Archives d’Auxerre, September 4, 1904.   16 early November 1904.31 As mentioned, Combes had already demonstrated a strong anticlericalism in his Law of 1901 on the right of associations and in 1904 when he forbade religious congregations from teaching in schools. Thus, the contents of his bill offer an insight into the Republican objectives behind the Law of 1905 and, at the same time, highlight the reasons which prevented the radical separation from succeeding in practice.  The bill was essentially a state interventionist proposal which suppressed the state’s budget allocated to religions, prohibited religious associations from gathering beyond the limit of their department, and provided for a system of ten-year building leases with an obligation for the associations to report on their management to the public authorities. On the one hand, Combes had embraced a realistic reaction to the impasse in which the relations between the Vatican and the State, established since the Concordat, had ended; the separation had now become inevitable since further negotiations with Rome were made impossible. On the other, this also reflected Combes’ own anticlerical opinions. He placed the responsibility for the split on the Church alone: Religious power ostensibly tore the Concordat apart. It is not my intention to patch it up. (...) It is obvious that the only way left open to the two conflicting powers is the way open to mismatched spouses: divorce, and preferably divorce by mutual consent. I am not adding, mind you, outbursts of irritation and bad humor. This is a much more serious and grave matter; this is a radical incompatibility of principles.32   Combes’ bill clearly wanted to renovate the Concordat, by writing a new legal apparatus to manage the relationship between the public and religious domains. As Louis  31 “Projet de loi relatif à la séparation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, November 10, 1904. 32 “Discours pour le trente-quatrième anniversaire de la proclamation de la République”, Archives d’Auxerre, September 4, 1904.  17 Méjan underlined, this proposal “had the consequences of perpetuating the interference of the State in the administration of ecclesiastical matters”.33 Moreover, this project locked the management of worship within the limits of the department which would essentially impose on the Churches an arbitrary bureaucratic compartmentalization. This could create serious difficulties by forcing them to modify the structure of the Church’s internal organization. In other words, the concordataires conceived of a separation which prohibited the Churches from meddling in state affairs, but which authorized the State to supervise the affairs of the Churches. It was a model of separation which aimed to dismantle the ecclesial apparatus, and, above all, which separated the Catholic Church from Rome – creating a schism. This anticlerical conception followed the spirit of the civil constitution of the clergy of the French Revolution. Despite the bill’s undisclosed anticlericalism, far removed from Briand’s work in the commission, Combes thought this would succeed in a peaceful fashion: The Republican Party, fully enlightened by the experience of the last two years, will accept the idea of divorce without repugnance, and I also believe, let us say better, I am sure that it will accept it, not in a feeling of hostility against the Christian conscience, but in a feeling of social peace and religious freedom. It is important that the Republicans show, in this debate, a breadth of ideas and a benevolence towards the people who disarm the mistrust and make acceptable the transition from the current order of things to the order of things to come.34  But contrary to Combes’ wishful thinking, his bill – a form of legislative coup d’état – profoundly disturbed the commission’s conciliatory efforts.    33 Méjan L. V. La séparation Des églises Et De L'état: L'oeuvre De Louis Méjan, Dernier Directeur De L'Administration Autonome Des Cultes. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1959. 34 “Discours pour le trente-quatrième anniversaire de la proclamation de la République”, Archives d’Auxerre, September 4, 1904.  18 The Churches’ Reactions to Combes’ Project Scrapping the Briand project, after a year of hard work, was perhaps the best way to ensure that the Separation remained an ideal which would be inapplicable in French law. The project was rejected by the public, which raised “an almost general outcry”.35 A series of articles written by the professor of philosophy Raoul Allier, composed of forty-six articles published from November 6, 1904 to September 10, 1905 incorporating interviews giving the point of view of many Protestant personalities and of several bishops, led a campaign against the Combes project in Le Siècle. Raoul Allier’s intervention in the public debate on the Separation is of great importance considering his close relationships with Protestant members of parliament like Eugène Réveillaud and more broadly with the French political elite. Moreover, at the time of the Dreyfus Affair, Raoul Allier made extensive contributions to the struggle for Dreyfus’ rehabilitation in the press. He devoted a “historical critical study”, which appeared in Le Siècle as well, to the legend of the bordereau annotated by the hand of the Emperor of Germany.36 As such, both the author and Le Siècle are reputable sources which were at the heart of the Third Republic’s political crises and of their commentary.   The newspaper was unanimous against the Combes project. Temporary leases, subject to the arbitrariness of state officials, are rejected. Article 8 prohibiting the regrouping of associations beyond the limits of a department was perceived as a death  35 Allier, Raoul. “Une Negation De l’Histoire.” Le Siècle. November 6, 1904. Articles reproduced in two issues of the Cahiers de la Quinzaine: that of April 1905 which contains the first 22 articles, that of November 1905 where we find the last 24. 36 Reivax, Daniel. “Raoul Allier (1862-1939): Un Protestant Engagé.” Thesis, Centre d'Histoire des Sociétés, des Sciences et des Conflits, 2015, 20.  19 warrant by Protestants, their small dispersed and restricted groups not being able to survive in most departments without support from other regions’ donations.37  Critics also focused on the “derisory” nature of the authorized reserve funds (one third of annual revenue) in contrast to the obligation imposed on tenants to provide for repairs to buildings, a clause which was judged by all to be scandalously contrary to the Civil Code.38 In addition, a series of converging criticisms focused on state ownership of buildings and the obligation to rent them, criticisms not only of the Combes project but also of the commission. It was the Catholics who were the most categorical: these buildings belong to the Church, they were returned to her by the Concordat as “partial compensation for the theft that the Church had suffered in 1789”.39 Several bishops declared that they preferred to give mass in barns and catacombs.40 If they were less categorical, the Jews and a number of Protestants also protested against the principle of tenancy.41 The three religious groups were unanimous in protesting against the idea that buildings built since 1802 would be given to the state or to the municipalities if their construction benefited from public funds. As for the attribution of property, the Combes system of temporary concessions and interference by civil servants in their use seemed scandalous to all.42 The indignant tone of the reactions of the bishops questioned reflected their overall feeling of persecution by the Combes government. This barrage lifted against Combes’ anticlericalism brought down the Combes ministry a few months later (January  37 Allier, Raoul. “Un amendement malheureux.” Le Siècle. November 20, 1904. 38 Allier, Raoul. “La question des synodes.” Le Siècle. November 13, 1904. 39 Allier, Raoul. “Une correction à préciser.” Le Siècle. December 11, 1904. 40 Allier, Raoul. “Chez les évêques : enquête.” Le Siècle. November 29, 1904. 41 Allier, Raoul. “Chez les évêques : enquête.” Le Siècle. December 18, 1904. 42 Allier, Raoul. “Résultats et conclusions.” Le Siècle. January 1, 1905.  20 1905) with an escalation of political scandals against him. This was when Briand, hostile to the Combes project, took the opportunity to put forward the commission's project which, in December 1905, became “the Law of Separation of Churches and State”.   The Chamber of Deputies Rejects Combes’ Bill and Briand Takes Over Briand’s takeover came about fairly quickly after the fall of Combes’ government. The presentation of the Combes project caused a rupture in the commissioners’ procedure. The right refused to examine Combes’ proposal and, by chance, having the attendance majority on November 28, passed a motion giving priority to the commission’s project.43 The Left, which returned in force the next day, decided to give priority to the government project, the only way to have the separation voted before the end of the legislature. On December 2, Briand clearly expressed his dissatisfaction and refused to continue as the commission’s rapporteur: “[i]f the government maintains its text, I will not take charge of the report: I do not want to be opposed to legal provisions that would not be mine”.44  With the end of the Combes government on January 24th, 1905, the process of liberalizing the Law suddenly accelerated with an impetus from deputy Bienvenu-Martin. Less interventionist than Combes’, Jean-Baptiste Bienvenu-Martin originally still foresaw that religious associations could not extend over more than ten departments and could not have a central administration with legal personality. At the request of Briand  43 “Scrutin sur le projet de resolution de M. Lasies”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, November 28, 1904. 44 “Règlement de l’ordre du jour”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, December 2, 1904.  21 and the majority of the commission, Bienvenu-Martin, although “frightened” by the power that a unified Church would risk acquiring, easily gave in and accepted to remove this geographical limitation.45 Aristide Briand had succeeded in returning the decision-making power to the parliamentary commission, seizing it from Combes who, falling from power, did not achieve what he set out to do. This led to a major liberal correction.  Final Parliamentary Debates and the Liberal Turn The debate in the Chamber on the proposal that would become the Law of 1905 has long been the best known and most analyzed part of the Separation process.46 Nevertheless, it is striking to note that if historians have tended to focus on the episode of Article 4 accompanied by the “correction” of Article 8 of the Law, they have paid relatively little attention to the end of the debate where the liberal concessions were undoubtedly greater, with, in particular, the decision to make the buildings of worship available to religious associations free of charge.47 Indeed, it defused what had been perhaps the point on which the accusations of theft by the Catholic Church had been most focused in Le Siècle’s investigation. The initiative came from the proposal of Etienne Flandin of the Democratic Union which took over the Réveillaud system of emphyteutic leases for a symbolic rent of one Franc. Despite Briand’s arguments which defended a fully paid rent by the Church, the Radicals rallied to this solution and even proposed free  45 “Suite de la discussion du budget de l’exercice”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, February 14, 1905. 46 Ognier, Pierre. “Les Approches Historiques De La Laïcité En France, 1990-1993. Étude Critique.” Histoire de l'éducation 65, no. 1 (1995): 74. 47 “1re Délibération sur le projet et les propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, March 21, 1905.  22 rent (against which ultimately voted only thirty-seven die-hard anticlericals).48 The debate on the rental of Church property constituted the only moment when Briand, without losing control of operations, saw a majority of measures he had not planned or wanted imposed on the project.  During the spring of 1905, deputies also focused on the question of schisms. One of the biggest stones brought to the edifice of the separation was the acceptance of the article 4 of the Law. The article proclaimed to whom belonged the property of the Church in the new system of religious law that was the Separation. It was raised at the start of the general debate on April 3, 1905 by Alexandre Ribot, the main figure of the moderate opposition, who strongly warned Briand against what would be received by the Church as a declaration of war.49 Some anticlericals had in fact wished for such schisms within the French Catholic Church, so that the separation also occurred between itself and Rome. But other supporters of schisms claimed them in the name of freedom of conscience and worship.50 The idea that, thanks to religious associations, the faithful would have a say in the decisions of the Catholic Church was attractive to deputies like Eugène Réveillaud. They believed in the development of a kind of Republican Catholicism. This hope echoed very clearly in Raoul Allier's series of articles; even if the latter denied asking the state to  48 “Suite de la discussion du projet et des diverses propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, June 8, 1905. 49 “Suite de la discussion du projet et des diverses propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, April 3, 1905. 50 “Suite de la discussion du projet et des diverses propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, April 4, 1905.  23 organize schisms in its law, he insisted on the duty of legislators to do nothing to hinder them.51  Hardly reassured by the abandonment of the brutal interventionism of the Combes project, a number of Catholics saw in the organization of schisms a more subtle operation to weaken the Church. It was to respond to these concerns that Article 4 was amended in order for the Church hierarchy to be maintained. This is how the famous formula on associations “conforming to the rules of general organization of the worship of which they propose to ensure the exercise” was taken into account by the commission on April 12, 1905. It was Francis de Préssensé who found the article through a rhetorical exercise which involved acting as anticlerical as possible until the final moments of his speech when he stipulates that religious associations provided for by law would conform “to the general rules of organization of worship which they propose to exercise”.52 In other words, Pressensé’s intervention added a precision which would allow church property to be rented in accordance to Church hierarchy.  Furthermore, the terms of this phrase made it possible to reassure the Church without naming priests, bishops and Pope. The great debate in the Chamber of Deputies of April 20, 21 and 22 where a good part of the Radicals and the extreme anticlericals fought with force the amendment which “would hand over French democracy hand and foot linked to the Roman hierarchy”, demonstrated the discontent which this new provision created.53 The amendment passed due to Pressensé’s rhetorical twist which had  51 Allier, Raoul. “Sur le seuil.” Le Siècle. March 21, 1905. 52 “Suite de la discussion du projet et des diverses propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, April 11, 1905. 53 “Suite de la discussion du projet et des diverses propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, April 20, 1905.  24 the virtue of remaining vague enough to convince the more moderate anticlericals, as well as offering a working compromise to a parliament which was ready to move on to other political matters. During the debate which followed the amendment, the socialist Gabriel Deville remarked that Jaurès already supported this formula in the corridors of the Chamber. A formula that a member of the minority, Boucher, considered “quite happy”, and that Briand considered the only point to remember from Pressensé's hearing.54 Finally, and despite fairly strong differences in the Chamber, the Law was voted on July 3, 1905 by 341 votes against 233 in the House, and on December 6, 1905 by 181 votes in favor against 102 in the Senate.  The final project of law which arose on December 9, 1905 was characterized by three main ideas. In the first place, it affirmed two essential principles: a double freedom of conscience and of worship from the Article 1 on the one hand – “The Republic ensures freedom of conscience. It guarantees the free exercise of worship” – and, on the other hand, the reciprocal independence of the State and the Churches indicated in Article 2 – “The Republic does not recognize, pay or subsidize any religion”. This did not mean that the State would ignore them, it meant that it recognized them all and privileged none, which implied its neutrality with regard to individual convictions.  At the same time, the Law implied that the state refrained from any interference in religious matters. Had the legal text resembled Combes’ bill, the Church would have lost  54 “Suite de la discussion du projet et des diverses propositions de loi concernant la separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, April 20, 1905.  25 privileges and control on the State while also losing its hierarchical unity. After long debates between the republicans, the Law clearly chose the freedom for the Churches to organize themselves as they wished by indicating, in particular in Article 4, that the religious associations would conform to the rules of the religion of which they propose to ensure the exercise. Furthermore, Church buildings would continue to be available to the faithful, but provided that in each parish a religious association was formed to take over the responsibilities of their upkeep. The third key idea is found in Title Five, entitled “Religion Police”: the Law defined freedom of worship as a public freedom to be exercised with respect for public order and for people. It prohibited the holding of political meetings in places of worship, either giving a speech or posting a document tending to resist public authority, and subjected religious gatherings to the approval and surveillance of the police. It is also in this title that we find Article 28 which forbids religious symbols from being exposed in public spaces.   We conclude by saying that in this complex process of elaboration, which took place over two years, there was undoubtedly a gradual liberalization of the Law. There were two great moments of inflection: first, the creation of the commission and the selection of Aristide Briand as its rapporteur, who became a proponent of the liberal vision of the separation. The second moment of increased liberalization came in the spring of 1905. It was the plenary deliberation of the deputies which introduced substantial modifications which changed the meaning of the Law. The most important  26 points of the final project were the free provision of worship buildings and the recognition by Article 4 of the Church hierarchy.  Undoubtedly, the arguments and the constructive strategy of part of the opposition contributed to these inflections. The positions taken by civil society and the grievances of religious organizations were also present in the background. But the liberal inflections were also the fruit of the realism of the rapporteur and of the deputies of the majority who followed him for the most part. The objective was to make the Law succeed at the same time as the elections of 1906, to cater to Catholics while essentially satisfying the dreams of the militant Republic with the magic word of separation. The Republicans of the Bloc believed they were defusing the two main possibilities that the Church would have had of crying out for persecution, by making worship buildings and most of the property available to it free of charge, and by implicitly accepting to recognize the legitimacy of its hierarchical organization without seeking to transform it or prevent it from functioning. These concessions were obviously not enough, but few deputies thought in the spring of 1905 that the Inventories could constitute a time bomb. Due to this, The Law of 1905 was a law of compromise, and this compromise undoubtedly contained the seeds of the future progress of consensus even though this spirit that Briand demonstrated was not yet sufficient to silence the fears and protests of Catholics.      27 Chapter 2 If the Law of 1905 is often presented as the Law of Separation of the Church and the State, rather than the Churches, this is simply because Catholicism was by far the most widespread religion in France; this also explains why the Law created a profound symbolic rupture for French Catholicism.55 Between the vote on the principle of separation by the House, on January 14, 1905, and the expiration of the legal deadline for the application of the Law, on December 11, 1906, there were almost two years of development and implementation of the Law of Separation, during which the Catholic world was gradually led to reject the legislative text.56 The year 1905 was a year of expectation for the Catholic Church. While the bill was being discussed in the House, Catholics were trying to amend it in a liberal sense which resembled the efforts made by Briand. However, after its adoption by the Chamber of Deputies, we observe a hardening of Catholic positions.57 1906 was the year when the Law elaborated in parliament would be put into practice. During this time, the Catholic Church’s hostility against the Law of Separation increased. On the one hand, the French episcopate met twice to discuss possible adaptations to the Law while, on the other, two pontifical encyclicals resolutely condemned the very idea of separation, forbidding the Church of France to accept it.58 At the end of the year 1906, because of these opposite methods within the Catholic institution, the Church of France was in an exceptional situation and the study of the evolution of its attitude to the Law of 1905 demonstrates  55 Le Goff, Jacques, and Rémond René. “Société Sécularisée Et Renouveaux Religieux.” Essay. In Histoire De La France Religieuse. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2001, 7. 56 Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004, 61. 57 Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005, 69. 58 Mayeur, La séparation des églises et de l’état, 91.  28 how Briand’s efforts in parliament had not been enough to calm Catholic fears. Indeed, the Church became increasingly upset about the Law, making compromise most difficult by the beginning of 1906 up until the legislative elections of May 1906. It was only after an electoral defeat that the road was paved for the Law of 1905 to succeed as a law of compromise, the Church shifting its own attitude with regards to the legal project.59 From 1905 onwards, the Semaines Religieuses, weekly organ of communication between the bishop and the diocesan clergy, became the official bulletin of each diocese. The Semaines Religieuses contain many professionally written articles which make them veritable newspapers of information and opinion of the Catholic Church intended for the faithful. They actively participated in the development of the clergy’s “quality press”, the Semaines Religieuses wanting to become an official instrument of communication and conversation for the French clergy.60 Hence, they played an influential role in shaping the actions of the Catholic institution in France through the relay of the Pope or Bishops’ statements, particularly during the Separation process.  There is a style specific to Semaines Religieuses: the recurrence of certain stereotypes reveals the subjective perception that Catholics had of their situation in the beginning of the century and the feeling that the Church was persecuted by the Law of Separation.61 Furthermore, it reflects a specific writing style and mode of expression from the educated intellectual class of turn-of-the-century France, containing flowery and emotionally charged language that may appear at times violent in translation. But behind  59 Poulat Émile, and Maurice Gelbard. Scruter La Loi De 1905: La République française Et La Religion. Paris: Fayard, 2010. 60 La Semaine Religieuse De La Ville Et Du Diocèse De Versailles, January 14, 1906. 61 Poulat Émile. Les Semaines Religieuses Approche Socio-Historique Et Bibliographique Des Bulletins diocésains Francais. Lyon: Centre d'histoire du catholisme, 1972, 3.  29 the dramatized rhetoric, the analysis of Semaines Religieuses allows us to understand the debates that crossed the Catholic world as the Law was being constructed and applied.62 The objective of this analysis is to offer a glimpse inside the halls of French cathedrals and get a sense of the conversations that took place within the Catholic institution during the years 1905-1906. This period coincided with the elaboration of the Law of 1905, the legislative process which we have examined in the previous chapter, and its first year in application. Moving to the Church’s reaction to the Law’s political and legal objectives – which remained highly theoretical at this point –highlights the obstacles which presented themselves to the Separation project.  Firstly, this chapter identifies the fears and hopes of the clergy regarding the Law of 1905 and how the Catholic opinion treated the legal project as it was being elaborated in parliament. Then, we analyze how the Semaines Religieuses progressively began to politicize their discourse, encouraging the faithful to engage themselves against anticlerical action and the “enemies of the Church”. Finally, we discuss the failure of the Church to mobilize the faithful against the Left during the 1906 legislative elections, marking the shift from a largely theoretical condemnation of the Law to a more practical attitude of acceptance from the Church, prompting it to reflect upon ways to maintain power against the state.63      62 Cf. Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005, 207-245. The “Green Cardinals” were a body of 23 secular catholics who defended the acceptance of the worship associations who wrote a defense to the French bishops on March 13, 1906. 63 “On sait que tous les projets de loi”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, January 15, 1905.  30 The Dioceses of Versailles and Alby at the Turn of the Century This chapter is concerned with an analysis of weekly editions for two dioceses in France, the dioceses of Versailles and Alby. Of different size and regional location, both influenced by the dechristianization of the Paris region and of the Midi-Pyrenees, they were nevertheless two deeply dissimilar dioceses. Versailles is located in the former department of Seine-et-Oise – a department being a level of administrative division of France – had progressively been won over by industrialization and urbanization. This is explained by its proximity to Paris as it encircled the capital. Despite significant disparities, it was a region overall quite attached to Catholicism and was politically conservative – of the ten deputies of the department, eight voted against the Law of Separation. Vacant since 1904, the diocese was headed by two energetic vicar capitular, former vicar general of Mgr Goux, a combative bishop who fought against the expulsion from the congregations after 1901. In March 1906, a few weeks after the adoption of the Law, the pope placed at the head of this diocese Mgr Gibier, a dynamic bishop described as a “precursor of the Action catholique”, a movement attempting to encourage Catholic influence in French society.64 In South-West of France, the Tarn department, of which Alby is the prefecture, is an essentially rural group. The revolutionary dechristianization left lasting traces there and, symbolically, two of the principal elaborators of the Law of Separation – Emile Combes and Jean Jaurès – were born in the department, giving the administrative zone a particular approach to the Separation. Here, the religious disaffection of the people ran deeper than in Versailles. In the debate on the Separation, the Tarn was almost perfectly  64 Mgr Millot, Mgr Gibier, évêque de Versailles, Paris: Pierre Téqui, 1932, VII-VIII.  31 divided in two; on July 3, 1905, Andrieu, Gouzy and Jaures voted in favour of the Law, and three others against, although one of the dissenters was a radical upset against his own camp, voting more out of spite for his party than against the Law itself. 65 Mgr Mignot, bishop of Alby since 1865, was characterized as an intellectual and a progressive who was both exceptional and determining for his role in the Separation crisis.66 He is essential in understanding the liberal side of the French clergy, a group of clergymen which proved fundamental in pushing the state to compromise more on the application of the Law.   Theoretically Condemning the Law of Separation: the Church Feels Persecuted The beginning of 1905 saw the intensification of the parliamentary debates described in the previous chapter, but the Semaines Religieuses did not pay much attention to the various bills at first. The stages of the legislative process and its numerous amendments were not met with any echo in the two bulletins. However, they focused on the general question of Separation, condemning the ideological values implied by the process but not on the concrete modalities of the various bills elaborated in the Chamber of Deputies.  The Law of 1905 first reminded Catholics of the period of the Revolution. Catholics already had the feeling of being oppressed by Concordat’s organic articles, added by Napoleon to the convention signed with Rome in 1801. However, the Law of  65 Mgr Mignot, Protestation adressée à Monsieur l’Inspecteur des Domaines à l’occasion de l’inventaire de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d’Albi, February 14 1906.  66 Faury, Jean. “Le Tarn Et La Loi De Séparation.” Cahiers Jaurès N° 175-176, no. 1 (2005): 34.  32 Separation itself was considered to be a concordat “ten times worse than the old”. Indeed, the Semaine Religieuse feared that the current state of the Church in France would be made worse by new legal items.67 Faced with the threat represented by the Law of Separation, the members of the Conseil de Fabrique of Notre-Dame de Versailles, a council nominated to manage the funds necessary to renovate and maintain religious buildings, were ready to beg “the Chamber (...) to maintain the Concordat” which was perceived as a protection for Catholics and a tool necessary for national reconciliation. By abolishing the religious budget, considered by Catholics as a form of state debt owed to them, the Law of Separation would tear apart the fragile consensus that had been established around the painful question of Church property which was nationalized during the Revolution.68  The two bulletins shared the feeling that the France of 1905 had not abandoned the revolutionary ideals. According to them, the Church’s persecution was repeating itself and in a worse form: the government used a “dry terror”, “more effective [...] in removing all civic courage than the bloody terror of the Jacobins, in the face of which so much heroism was revealed.”69 Thus, as a whole, the Law of Separation was perceived as a threat. Also, faced by this potential existential shift, Catholics would have to know how to go to martyrdom, showing themselves worthy of their ancestors who perished during the revolution.   67 “Le petit concordat”, Semaine Religieuse De Versailles, October 1st, 1905. 68 “La loi de separation”, La Semaine Religieuse De La Ville Et Du Diocèse D’Alby, November 26, 1905. “Protestation des membres du conseil de fabrique de la paroisse Notre Dame de Versailles”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, July 9, 1905. 69 “La petition contre la separation dans le diocese”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, July 16, 1905.  33 An anti-religious separation During this time, the Semaines Religieuses wanted to play a leadership role and give a line of conduct to the Separation process. This was central both to their ability to influence political decisions but, by the very leadership they took on, also to their collaboration with the Republican regime. Diocesan bulletins expressed that they would admit the principle of separation, provided it was carried out from a truly neutral perspective, for example on the highlighted model of American separation.70 It was especially during the first part of the year 1905 that they were interested in the status of the Church abroad, because they still had the feeling of “observing the Separation being done” and of being able to influence its course. This concern highlights the initial intention of the Church to participate in the construction of new relationships with the State, but also with the faithful.71 According to diocesan bulletins, the situation of Catholics in various countries, in Brazil, in Germany, in Canada, in the United States, served as an example for a successful separation and contrasted with the “constant capitulation” of French Catholics to anticlericalism.72 The bulletins recognized that a large number of Catholics were ready to accept the Law: but these “good people”, “true friends of freedom”, must not be “taken in”.73 After the passage of the Law, foreign examples were rarer but their presence still gave hope by showing, for example, that the Catholics of Geneva had been able to resist persecution.74   70 “Ce qu’est la séparation aux Etats-Unis”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 31, 1905. 71 “La petition en faveur du concordat”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, May 20, 1905. 72 “Hier et aujourd’hui”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, November 4, 1905. 73 “Le petit concordat”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, October 1, 1905. “Le protectorat catholique”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, October 7, 1905. 74 “Comment à Genève les catholiques se sont organisés”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, March 26, 1905.  34 The bulletins showed themselves very attached to the great modern freedoms: freedom of conscience, despite being condemned by the Syllabus, was used by Catholics as an attack against their adversaries. The anticlerical spirit which inspired some of the bills in the Chamber was emphasized to prove that the neutrality claimed by the promoters of the Law was no more than an illusion, poorly concealing the dechristianizing aim of the Law of Separation which wanted to enshrine “compulsory irreligion”.75 The fear of the total dechristianization of France, even of a form of paganization, was expressed with force in particular with regard to the use of churches which would be abandoned and become “ballrooms [and] lodges, Masonic, anticlerical conference rooms”.76 Society itself was threatened, since “the examples of the past sufficiently show that religious persecution leads to the overthrow of social order.”77 The possibility of a “civil war” caused by the Left was presented as a very concrete threat.78 Thus, throughout 1905, there was a shift from defense of religion to the defense of social order within the diocesan bulletins’ discourse. The impression that French Separation would cause a disaffection of the Catholic Church progressively caused an upsurge of anxiety in the Church’s ranks and led the clergy to increasingly perceive the Law of 1905 as an existential threat.    75 “L’Église et l’État laïque”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, April 15, 1905. 76 “Le concordat et la separation de l’Eglise et de l’Etat”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, April 29, 1905. 77 “Protestation des membres du conseil de fabrique de la paroisse Notre Dame de Versailles”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, July 9, 1905. 78 “Lettre circulaire”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 24, 1905.  35 Preparing a Political Narrative – a Law Forged by the Enemies of the Church Now, we observe a recurrence of the warlike lexicon within the Semaines. The use of the term “enemies of the Church” reveals the feeling of persecution which pervaded Catholics. The analysis of all the articles on this theme shows that it overlapped with the denunciation, among other enemies, of the “Four Confederate States” despised by the Action Française.79 As such, a narrative is created posing the Catholic church against Freemasons, Protestants and non-Catholics, the laïcistes, and the political Left. In the first row was anti-Masonry: the history of the 19th century was interpreted as that of a struggle between two spiritual forces, the Catholic Church and Freemasonry.80 In this supposed fight, the latter hoped for the destruction of the Church, and the transformation of churches into lodges and temples.81 The Law of Separation was the symbol of Masonic victory. In Versailles as in Alby, it is impossible to identify all the recurrent allusions to the perversity of the Freemasons and their desire to destroy Catholicism as there are so many. The vicar capitular themselves, in an official address, supported the thesis of a Masonic conspiracy.82 Secondly, Protestant proselytism was a source of great concern. Anti-Protestantism was more virulent in Alby than in Versailles. Geography and history show a juxtaposition of very diverse areas within the department of Tarn: the eastern half is mountainous, poor and attached to religious traditions. In Mazamet, woolen workers, mostly Catholic, voted for the Baron Reille, and opposed Protestant factory owners  79 Zeldin, Theodore. France 1848 - 1945. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1980, 393. 80 Cf. Jarrig, Michel. L’Antimaçonnerie en France à la Belle Époque (1899-1914), Milan: Archè Lumina, 2006, Chapter III. 81 “On sait que tous les projets de loi”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, January 15, 1905.  82 “À propos de la nouvelle loi sur le monopole des inhumations”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, January 22, 1905.  36 voting Republican. While most of the northern parts of the region showed little sign of devotion for the cause of the Catholic church during the nineteenth century, Protestants were numerous and, by consequence, Catholics had shown themselves quickly hostile to the Revolution and anticlerical movements.83 In the Semaine Religieuse, the past was recalled by the diocese of Alby in the tone of the struggle between orthodoxy and heresy, and the contemporary situation was read in a warrior mode: an “the Protestant community is an organized force which has an interest in the reduction of Catholicism, which serves Masonry against us. The lodges were only an effect and a motive of the Separation: the cause, the motor, it must be sought in the temples. The Protestant spirit [and] the nation of French Protestants are actively working to destroy, to expropriate for their benefit, traditional Catholicism.”84  The third enemy of Catholicism was constituted by the proponents of the laïc spirit. Despite the role of the Free Thought movement in this issue, it was rare that the Semaines Religieuses made explicit reference to free thinkers. They targeted the “laïcistes” in preference, whose plan to secularize society “from the cradle to the grave” was primarily carried out against the Catholics.85 The bulletins argued that the laïc spirit, which sought to establish itself as a religion, denied Catholics freedom of consciousness. The rivalry between the Church and the laïc spirit reinforced the rivalry between the Church and Freemasonry, like another struggle between spiritual forces. In a context of very strong polarization of political life around the religious question, it was finally the entire Left and left-wing that was vilified by the Semaines  83 Faury, Jean. “Le Tarn Et La Loi De Séparation.” Cahiers Jaurès N° 175-176, no. 1 (2005): 33. 84 “La brochure à répandre”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, July 30, 1905. 85 “La fête des arbres”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 17, 1905.   37 Religieuses. Besides denouncing Radicalism, there were frequent attacks on Socialism.86 The two bulletins understood that the separation of the Church and State was not a priority for Socialism, but they show that it was a step forward, a prelude to the abolition of the right to property. “If the state, says Karl Marx, imagined that it had the right to strip the Church and its communities of their property, how will we go about rejecting our school’s theory which consists in declaring the State sole owner of the land?”87 In the Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, this political concern sometimes even seemed to precede the strictly religious defense. Even though the bulletin was primarily intended for the clergy, it was also used by the priests to compose their sermons and certain political articles were likely to touch the faithful as a result. When the Socialists would attack “property in general, mines and factories, fields and houses, then, but too late, the bourgeoisie will understand that all rights are equal, that all property is united, and that what is done in hatred of the Christian name, by virtue of the Laws of Association and Separation, is done against the very order of a society founded on property, an order which socialism wants to destroy.”88 More broadly, it was non-Catholics who also appeared to be the beneficiaries of the Law. The de facto maintenance of the Concordat in Algeria, for Muslims, outraged the Versailles bulletin: the government “seems to prefer Mahomet to Christ”.89 The bulletins thus promoted and intensified the impression that the Law of 1905 was a political project to attack the Catholic Church specifically. On the other hand, anti-Semitic arguments, which generally came from extracts from the national press – such as  86 Zeldin, Theodore. France 1848 - 1945. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1980, 393. 87 “D’après le patriarche du socialisme contemporain”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, May 14, 1905. 88 “Où s’arrêtera l’expropriation?’, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, September 24, 1905.  89 “Ne touches pas au Concordat des musulman”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, May 28, 1905.  38 this denunciation of Jewish merchants seeking to buy objects of worship from priests – were quite rare. After identifying the elements who wanted the Catholic Church weakened, the discourse shifted towards rallying cries to the faithful. The four groups were merged into one body of anticlerical who would stop at nothing to bring about the Separation. According to the Semaines Religieuses, those responsible for the Separation belonged to the main categories of people hated by the traditionalist, conservative, neo-monarchist right of the 1900s, and these opponents were all brought under the same umbrella by the Church: Three hundred million for the red school! By stealing from the clergy 80 million per year which is a sacred debt of France, we are made to pay 250 and soon 300  more to salary the army of teachers, who are the Laïc clergy of the goddess of reason, who must replace the Catholic Faith through a Masonic State religion, to teach all our children that there is no God, that man is descended from the monkey, that, for men as for dogs, divorce and free union must replace marriage, that individual property is an abuse to be destroyed, that we must put our flag on the dung; 300 million a year to train socialists and unbelievers, bad fathers and bad soldiers, it's a bit expensive.90  The final episode of the passage of the Law by the Senate was reported in a dramatic tone by the two bulletins, with remarkable insistence on the role of Freemasonry: the Law was a “decree of the Grand Orient”, voted “under pressure from the Lodges”; as such, the real country is muzzled by a minority and the Law of Separation made against the national will.9192 Hence, the Semaines Religieuses’ narratives had created clearly identifiable enemies which the Catholic Church could now rally  90 “Trois cent millions pour l’école rouge!”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 31, 1905. 91 “Vote de la Séparation”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, December 9, 1905.  92 “Sous la pression des Loges”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 10, 1905.  39 against. It is clear that the tone set by the bulletins demonstrate a will to enter the political debate and abandon some of the earlier ideas of amending the Law of 1905.   Political Engagement Against the Law: The Law of Separation Goes Against National Will Catholicism at the turn of the century had become “overwhelmingly nationalist”, and for the Semaines Religieuses, the interests of the Church and those of France converged, to the point that the separation of Church and State “would consume a real national suicide”.93 Both bulletins denounced the legislative process of separation. They accused political leaders of “de-Christianizing France by going against the feelings of the populations”.94 The deputies elected in 1902 had deceived their voters, since of the 341 deputies who voted for the Law, only 180 had included this question in their electoral program.95 On this crucial issue, it was considered that the French were not consulted. “The separation of Church and State [...] was not in the wishes of the country, it was not demanded by the electorate in the last elections, it is a coup against the sovereignty of universal suffrage”.96 The vote itself was contested: the Law would have been voted reluctantly by the deputies, “of which three quarters cursed in the bottom of their hearts this detestable adventure”.97 But then, asked the Versailles bulletin, “what is this regime of national sovereignty where deputies lie to their electors, vote against their wishes,  93 Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004, 56. “L’Église et l’État laïque”, Semaines Religieuse d’Alby, April 15, 1905. 94 “C’est par de vraies trahisons”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, Octover 22, 1905. 95 “Ce qu’ils ont fait”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, September 3, 1905. 96 “Une tare originelle”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, November 5, 1905. 97 “Un jugement sur le clergé et les catholiques français”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, December 9, 1905.  40 where a parliamentary majority which disregards the national will is itself oppressed and votes against its own conscience?”98  In this series of contestations, the clergy was challenging the operation and the very legitimacy of the regime, dominated by the Left Bloc, whose policies have weakened and divided France for the Catholic Church. In Versailles, to summarize the process of drafting and passing the Law, the Semaine Religieuse showed that the government was seeking to mislead public opinion on the issue of the separation of Church and State: They want to steal the church budget; above all, they want to close the churches; they also want, after having driven out the Catholics, to profane them; they don't want the country to understand these things before the election; they want the country to find itself in the presence of a fait-accompli after the elections. We hope that all Catholics will realize this odious maneuver.99  From this indignation arose the will to be politically engaged, as Catholics, against the forces in France trying to tear the country apart. The bishop of Alby encouraged an increased collaboration between dioceses of France “against separation”, and the launching of a petition, to be signed by all Catholics, including women, whose quality of “citizens” were particularly underlined.100 The bishopric proceeded to mobilize Tarn’s Jeunesse Catholique, through a published letter at the beginning of 1906, arguing that “at a time when the promulgation of a hypocritical and plundering law attempts to throw disorder and confusion into our ranks, it is important that we unite more closely  98 “Compte-rendu de la conference du 30 avril contre la separation”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, May 7, 1905. 99 ‘They want’ was translated into English from ‘on veut’ – repeated each time. “La Séparation, le fond de la question”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, April 9, 1905. 100 “Réunion à l’archevêché”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, January 6, 1906.  41 than ever”.101 In this rallying cry, the Semaines made clear that any dissidence or discord between members would be severely punished and that the only orders that were to be followed would come from the pope or the president of the Jeunesse Catholique d’Alby. The main objective was to send to Paris a signal of unity amongst members of the Catholic faith but also the message that they “would not resign themselves to perish with what disappears” in the Law of 1905.102  Catholic Engagement in the Legislative Elections of 1906 After 1905, the elections of spring 1906 occupied people's minds. The Semaines Religieuses expressed that they were convinced that these elections would sanction the disavowal of the parliamentary majority, and therefore the condemnation of the Law of Separation.103 Versailles pushed for the moral duty that there was for a Christian citizen to vote; it insisted on “electoral duty” in the context of separation, and abstention was equated with desertion.104 Catholics were invited to take part in the voting organization and the counting of the ballots, to avoid fraud. Women and young girls, who could not vote, could nevertheless “help the voters with their prayers”, by a “croisade de chemin de croix”, that is to say a continuous prayer on polling day.105 This was a defensive vote against the enemies of the Church: May all good citizens, without exception, walk to the polls, hand in hand, to shake off the Masonic yoke and defend: The homeland and the army against the internationalists Inner peace against civil war mongers  101 “Jeunesse catholique: union départementale du Tarn”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, January 13, 1905. 102 “L’action catholique”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, January 13, 1905. 103 Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005, 170. 104 “Le memento de l’électeur chrétien”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, April 29, 1906. 105 “Aux femmes et aux jeunes filles”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, April 29, 1906.  42 Religion against sectarians and informers Public money against squanderers Property versus Socialists and Collectivists The people, finally, against the politicians who exploit it.106  In the two dioceses, the bulletins insisted that the primacy of religious defense transcended partisan divisions, that “religious beliefs and political opinions” had to be separated.107 In the emergency situation of Separation, the question of the regime itself was secondary: “It is not about this or that form of government; it is about snatching France away from the Freemasons and the Jews, who want to destroy religion, from the bad socialists and the anarchists, who want to provoke a universal upheaval, and propose insane and impractical projects”. However, this was not a call to vote for the Monarchists. Defending himself from being anti-Republican, Bishop Gibier dispassionately affirmed his “respect” for “the political regime that the French have given themselves”.108 The Semaines Religieuses, while not supporting one party in particular, thus encouraged to vote for an alliance of the conservative right composed mainly of deputies from the Republican Federation and Popular Liberal Action parties. However, the large victory of the Left Bloc in the elections of 1906 was a snub to the Church: evoking the real spirits of the French people ended in failure. While these elections proved that the majority of French people approved of the Republican Left’s policy, both bulletins persisted in believing that the French did not realize the gravity of the situation.109 In Alby, “the victory of the Bloc surprised us in full illusion. We learned  106 “Haut les coeurs”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, May 6, 1906. 107 “Une lettre du cardinal Richard”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, May 5, 1906. 108 “Lettre sur la persecution religieuse”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 23, 1906. 109 “Point de découragement”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, May 27, 1906.  43 once again that the French willingly vote for the one who governs [...] France has fallen very low”.110 It seemed impossible that the French really wanted the victory of the Bloc and, by extension, the approval of the Separation. This Catholic failure discredited the regime in the eyes of the Semaines Religieuses, which stigmatized “the parliament which has just met at the Palais Bourbon”.111 Abstention, which was in fact the lowest since 1877, incited them to challenge the legitimacy of the Chamber of deputies which, representing only a portion of the people, did “not represent the country and therefore has no right to speak on behalf of France”.112 In addition to the parliamentary system, it was democracy based on universal male suffrage, which was denounced. Universal suffrage was a lure for the popular classes, it left the worker “a piece of paper, a ballot paper, whose artifice of electoral laws paralyzes incessantly use and virtue in its hand”.113 A more fundamental criticism targeted the democratic system itself and its universal suffrage favoring the division of the national community: “since 1848 that it operates in France, it has led it to the absolute intransigence of the majorities, to the return of quarrels of religion [...]. Universal suffrage seems to have succeeded only in turning the old regime upside down, in favor of beneficiaries with an otherwise cruel tooth”.114  Opposing these divisions of the national community, Bishop Gibier assigned to the Catholics and the clergy the task of reconciling the two Frances at war: “Let us work for the work of reconciliation. [...] You especially, beloved priests of this dear diocese of  110 “Une protestation de Mgr Schoepfer”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, May 26, 1906. 111 “La chambre qui vient de se réunir”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, June 17, 1906. 112 “Mgr Fallières”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, May 19, 1906. 113 “Ouvriers, prenez garde!”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, August 1, 1906. 114 “Le bulletin de M. Salefranque”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, June 17, 1906.  44 Versailles, do not be the men of a party, of a caste, of any condition, of a certain social classification, be the men of all and the mediators between all”.115 By writing so, the new bishop of Versailles inscribed himself in the complex lineage of social Catholicism, both heir to the uncompromising tradition and open to Christian democracy, but which absolutely excluded liberal ideology.116 In any case, after this electoral defeat, the two bulletins no longer evoked political commitment. This date of May 1906 marked the passage from the theoretical condemnation of the Law to more practical questions for the Catholic Church. In practice, the clergy adopted an attitude of passive resistance which combined two positions: moderation during inventories – refusal to revolt, the desire to take advantage of possible benefits (pensions, allowances, supplements) – and a firmness on key practical points which resulted in the rejection of religious associations and the procedure for declaring masses.  Throughout 1905 and 1906, the question of the Separation divided the clergy and the Catholic world, something we can plainly see in the pages of the Semaine Religieuse. While the Semaines claimed to approve the principle of the separation between Church and State based on the model of foreign countries, they affirmed that the French version was a persecuting law because it intervened far too much on religious affairs. Even though the French Revolution was condemned as representing absolute Evil, the bulletins demanded the benefit of the great revolutionary values: equality before the law, freedom of consciousness, freedom of worship. Likewise, the intransigent rhetoric which called  115 “Lettre sur la persecution religieuse”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 23, 1906. 116 Cf. Mayeur, Jean Marie, Catholicisme social et démocratie chrétienne, Paris: Le Cerf, 1986.  45 for martyrdom and continued resistance to the Law was found next to numerous articles showing a real will to anticipate the Law and, therefore, to accept its application. Thus, parish associations were being prepared and explicitly dedicated to becoming religious associations. We find the same tension at the political level. The call to the “real nation”, to which the “electoral duty” is presented as a moral obligation, was relayed by a challenge to the democratic and parliamentary regime. These ideological contrasts are the reflection of two traditions which ran through the Catholic world and the clergy of France. The counter-revolutionary, unparliamentary tradition, which is illustrated by the intellectual prestige of the Action Française, is opposed by a rallying Catholicism, imbued with democratic political culture, which wanted to recognize itself in the Action libérale Populaire, a political party representing Catholic supporters of the Republic. They illustrate the complexity of the relationship of French Catholicism to the republican and laïc state. At the beginning of 1905, many Catholics were already doing their best to fight the Law, at least according to the Semaines Religieuses, but the reticence to work with government grew over 1905. Conciliation became impossible in 1906, with the failure of the elections and the encyclical Gravissimo officii, pronounced by the Pope on August 10, 1906 and durably entrenching Rome’s opposition to the creation of religious associations. At this time, the Church resolved internal disagreements by submitting bishoprics to pontifical directives and hardened their tone in the face of the State. It was then the government that gave in, entering into compromise with a series of adaptations to the Law of 1905.   46 Chapter 3 As we have seen, the Law of 1905 was largely inspired by the report of the Parliamentary Commission appointed specifically for the legal bill. Contrary to the general trend, Aristide Briand proposed a law of pacification against those who wanted a more interventionist mode of governance between the Churches and the State. This decision was also made in large part due to fears of civil and religious opposition which were stirred by the debates in the Chamber of Deputies, and the general liberalization of the Separation project was an attempt to compromise with all the various actors which manifested themselves during the legislative process.  Despite these efforts to create a more acceptable final draft of the Law, it still aroused a strong opposition from Catholics. In 1905, the Semaines Religieuses of the dioceses of Alby and Versailles presented the project relating to separation as a much too restrictive “alliance” for the Church. These two diocesan bulletins, which we examined in length in the previous chapter, warned their readers against the dangers of a “neutral” separation conferring freedom on the Church, and “freeing it from the bonds of concordat”.117 Indeed, the liberalism of Briand’s Law came at a price: Pope Pius X did not wish to participate in the tradition of compromise between the Catholic Church and the French state.118 In two separate encyclicals, he condemned both the government’s religious associations and those devised by the bishops who were willing to make compromises with the state. The Law was thus effectively put in jeopardy from the very beginning of its application.  117 “Le petit concordat”, Semaine Religieuse De Versailles, October 1st, 1905. 118 Poulat Émile, and Maurice Gelbard. Scruter La Loi De 1905: La République française Et La Religion. Paris: Fayard, 2010, 37.  47 Because of this bitter opposition by the Catholic Church and the Pope to the Separation, the state – through Aristide Briand again – had to dilute the Law of 1905 further. This chapter will demonstrate that, through further analysis of the Semaines Religieuses of Alby and Versailles, the French Church’s opposition to the Law of 1905 proved instrumental in encouraging further concessions from the state, in particular the scare caused by the Inventaires of the Churches. Crucially, it was the Church’s resistance on the most practical aspects of the Law – the inventories of the goods of the Church and the status of the buildings of worship – which proved to be most successful in forcing the state to modify its legislation. Finally, the study of the government’s response to the Church’s actions showcases how Briand, as Minister of Worship from 1906 to 1910, was able to save much of his policy by preventing the Church from feeling martyred. Effectively, the state’s efforts to enact the provisions of the Law resembled far more an attempt to save Briand’s policy than a hard application of laïcité.   The Crisis of the Inventaires Because the text of the Law made its application so obscure and unclear, the Catholics had to wait and see what would happen during its application. Opposition first manifested itself on the occasion of the inventories of the goods of the Churches – referred to as the Inventaires – before their attribution to religious associations. Title I of the Law and its first two articles made it possible to lay down the “principles” of the new system of worship and to give content to the concept of Separation. With Title II, it was a  48 question of moving on to the concrete consequences of the new legislation.119 The thorny question of the devolution of property that belonged to the Catholic Church had to be settled since the churches, bishoprics, and presbyteries had been nationalized under the Revolution but were made available to the churches under the Concordat.120 Since the property would now belong to the state, it was necessary to identify exactly what the Church owned in order to integrate it into public administration archives. Deputies from the moderate right, like Deschanel and Barthou, and “separatists” like Francis de Pressensé, wanted to avoid a new trial in spoliation of the Catholic Church by the State.121 To this end, they promoted the need for a prior inventory of property and goods, church after church, in order to avoid any subsequent dispute of who owned what. The public administration decree concerning the Inventory was published on December 29, 1905.122 The text instructed the Estates’ administration to proceed with the operations in consultation with the prefects of each department. The procedure would be as follow: a convocation of the legal representatives of ecclesiastical establishments five days before the date fixed by the inventory would be established, the Director of Estates would then be notified and, finally, the mayors would be notified of the day and time of operations so that they could attend then. In the event of resistance, the Estate Agent had to refer the matter to the Prefect. If the conciliatory attempts of the prefect proved to be unsuccessful, the latter could then set a new date and issue an order requiring the legal representatives to entrust the keys of their church to the registrar on the scheduled day. In case of refusal,  119 Poulat Émile, and Maurice Gelbard. Scruter La Loi De 1905: La République française Et La Religion. Paris: Fayard, 2010, 32. 120 Bellon, Christophe. “La Loi De Séparation Des Églises Et De L'État.” Parlement[s], Revue d'histoire politique n°3, no. 1 (2005): 189. 121 “Projet de loi relatif à la séparation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, December 24, 1905. 122 “Circulaire du ministère des Cultes”, 30 décembre 1905.  49 the prefect could finally request the assistance of a judicial police officer to force open the doors.123 On paper, the parliamentarians believed they had foreseen all negative eventualities and that the Inventaires would be considered a bureaucratic formality. But in January of 1906, the publication of an awkward circular from the Directorate General of Registration precipitated events by arousing the indignation of the most radical Catholic activists.124 Dated January 2, the circular prescribed the Registration agents to require priests to open the tabernacles, small cabinets which hold the ciborium, during the inventory operations.  As a result, far from just being an administrative obligation, the opening of the churches to the state unleashed violent passions in the Catholic press and the Semaines Religieuses. The most virulent opponents of the Law called for refusing “this desecration of the sacred place where the body of Christ resides” and organized numerous demonstrations.125 All “friends of freedom should not let themselves be taken in”, said the Semaines Religieuses: the Law envisaged is “abominable”.126 Indeed, the clergy of the most traditionalist regions, supported by the anti-republican right, then launched the “battle of the inventories”. The unrest spread from February 1906, and soon two people were killed in clashes in Allier and in the North.127 On February 11, Pope Pius X’s encyclical Vehementer nos condemned the Law of 1905. The Pope's words were received as a call for resistance in Catholic circles and the protest movement spread to the regions  123 “Lettre type pour la conduite des opérations d’inventaires des biens de l’Église”, Archives d’Indre-et-Loire, December 29, 1905.  124 “Circulaire de la Direction Générale de l’Enregistrement”, January 2, 1906. 125 Faury, Jean. “Le Tarn Et La Loi De Séparation.” Cahiers Jaurès N° 175-176, no. 1 (2005): 35. 126 “Impossible…”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, January 8, 1906. 127 “Les Inventaires dans La Haute-Loire”, L'Illustration, N. 3289, 10 mars 1906.  50 with a strong Catholic tradition. It was an alliance “of the counter-revolutionary right and of popular Catholicism, rural and traditional clericalism. […] a well-characterized manifestation of the will to maintain a ‘Christian civilization’” according to Jean-Marie Mayeur.128 The regions most affected were the West of Brittany and Vendée, the south-east of the Massif Central, the North, the Basque Country and part of the Alps.129  If elsewhere the Inventory operations went smoothly, in these regions the disturbances increased: there were cases of barricaded churches, insults towards the agents of the Domains, some of whom were even beaten and injured. In Haute-Loire, on February 27, several demonstrators armed with pitchforks and sticks chased the public officials away: during this “Champels shootings” a man was killed, and the news deplored several injured.130  Thus, what was supposed to be a banal administrative procedure threatened to degenerate into a low-level civil war.131 In total, the inventories had caused the death of two men, caused numerous injuries, brought legal proceedings against the arrested demonstrators, disciplinary proceedings against several officers who had disobeyed the orders received, and led to the resignation of some officers, but also of some Registration agents or tax collectors who, for reasons of conscience, refused to fulfill the mission entrusted to them.132 The fear of civil war, however, was largely overblown and did not illustrate itself in the events which marked the relationship between the state and the Church in 1906. Nonetheless, some members of the French clergy were instrumental in  128 Mayeur, Jean-Marie. “Religion Et Politique: Géographie De La Résistance Aux Inventaires (Février-Mars 1906).” Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 21, no. 6 (1966): 1260. 129 Mayeur. “Religion Et Politique: Géographie De La Résistance Aux Inventaires (Février-Mars 1906).” 1262. 130 “Les Inventaires dans La Haute-Loire”, L'Illustration, N. 3289, 10 mars 1906. 131 Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005, 242. 132 Lalouette, Jacqueline. L'État Et Les Cultes: 1789-1905-2005. Paris: La Découverte, 2005, 74.  51 using this threat as leverage against the state, and ultimately forced the government to compromise even further on the application of the Law of Separation. Returning to the department of Tarn, Alby’s Archbishop is a prime example of how these representatives of the Church were able to convey enough dissent to the state to satisfy the Pope while also accepting the Inventaires and using the Law of 1905 to the benefit of the clergy.  The Actions of the Catholics Who Desired to Work with the Separation However, while the conservative and Catholic regions fought the Inventaires, other Catholic officials took a different approach. Archbishop Mignot was undoubtedly one of the great figures of the French episcopate at the turn of the century who attempted to pacify the crisis which emerged between the Church and State with the politics of Separation. During the events, Mgr Mignot’s words and actions carried well beyond the borders of his diocese. He did not have the ambition or the temerity to claim the role of leader but, he was for many Catholics a guide and a support because of his status in the French episcopate. To understand the significance of these events, it is useful to specify how significant Mgr Mignot was to the implementation of the Law of 1905. As seen in the previous chapter, Archbishop Mignot was a moderate, anxious to act legally. He tried to appease the clergy in order to avoid any violence and thought that Catholics must adapt to the Law of 1905 and participate in the societal movement in order to be its moderators. On February 11, 1906, Pope Pius X condemned the Law through the Encyclical Vehementer Nos and decided to assemble a commission of the French episcopate with the cardinals, two archbishops and two bishops.133 One of the two  133 “L’encyclique ‘Vehementer Nos’ du 11 février”, La Croix, February 18, 1906.  52 archbishops was Mgr Mignot. At the same time, in Paris, he was elected secretary general of the Plenary Assemblies of the French Episcopate, the collective decision-making body of the French Catholic Church, by seventy-four French bishops.134 These events were of importance because with the end of the Concordat, the Church of France wished to avoid isolating bishops in France and create an episcopate capable of taking charge of the future of the post-concordat Church in the agonizing hours of the Separation.135  The trust placed in Mignot from both the French bishops and the Pope highlights his ability to negotiate between different Church positions, between those who accepted the compromise with the state and those who refused the Separation. In favour of the system of religious associations, he wrote a 36-page memoir that was brought to Rome in an attempt to convince the Pope of their potential to function for the French clergy.136 But Pius X decided otherwise and his encyclical Gravissimi Officii prohibited the creation of religious associations on August 10, 1906. Although Mgr Mignot wanted another solution, he accepted the papal decision and left the Palais de la Berbie, the archbishop’s residence, since the religious buildings were now in the hands of the State.137 This episode in the life of Mgr Mignot is enough to show that he had an influence on the Separation which extended far beyond the diocese of Alby. Returning to the Inventaires, Archbishop Mignot wrote a protest for the inventory of the Sainte-Cécile d’Alby Cathedral which demonstrate a very different method of  134Lacger, Louis de, and Louis Birot. Monseigneur Mignot. Paris (3, rue Garancière): Libr. Bloud et Gay, 1934, 88. 135 Basdevant-Gaudemet, Brigitte. Le Jeu Concordataire Dans La France Du XIXe siècle: Le clergé Devant Le Conseil D'État. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1988, 110. 136 Lacger, Monseigneur Mignot, 93. 137 “Chronique Tarnaise”, Journal de Tarn, August 14, 1906.  53 resistance to the state’s actions compared to the more intransigent Catholics.138 In the first paragraph, he showed that the protest of the clergy was inevitable; he could not accept the principle of inventory. When the Directorate General of Registration ordered to ask the priests to open the tabernacles, the document mentioned earlier which was a source of angry dispute, the clergy in Alby tried to appease the spirits by urging the faithful to adopt a passive attitude while reading a protest.139 Mgr Mignot reminded them that he controlled all the ecclesiastical establishments of the diocese and that his decisions depended on the Pope. However, the Archbishop also reminded that he had authorized the inventory in order to respect the law, but then explicitly declined all responsibility “both for the very act you [the Domain Inspector] are going to perform and for its consequences”. He considered it vital that all protests had to be passive and peaceful; thus, in the Semaine Religieuse, he congratulated the faithful on their behavior during this inventory but condemned the excesses of a few firebrands.140 The archbishop's protest was ambiguous; he declined all responsibility when the inventory began but he acted in compliance with the Law, recommending impassivity over protest. This attitude is consequential since it allowed for members of the Church to keep a foot in Rome, so to speak, while maintaining enough of a moderate attitude to negotiate with the state, and even put pressure on it with regards to other issues as we will see later. Other clergymen acted in similar ways in their parishes. As a matter of fact, many priests wrote protests but then left or shut themselves up in the church with the  138 Protestation adressée à Monsieur l'Inspecteur des Domaines à l'occasion de l'inventaire de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Alby, February 14, 1906 139 “Circulaire du Ministre de l'Instruction publique est des cultes aux préfets précisant l'organisation des inventaires”, January 2, 1906. 140 “Communication Officielles de l’Archevêché”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, February 3, 1905.  54 faithful, not intervening in the state inventories.141 In the end, most did not want to lead protest movements. Despite the Pope’s orders to refuse all provisions of the Law of 1905, a group of Catholics, writing a letter to the Pope in September 1906, after reciting the various advantages offered by the Law ended by saying, “you will never succeed in making the people believe that a law that provides such advantages for the church is a law hostile to religion.”142 Almost half of the signatories being members of the Institut de France, a French learned society, and the group was designated as that of the “Green Cardinals”.143 Certainly, they said, no legal means should be neglected to have the Law repealed or amended, but in the meantime it seemed desirable and lawful to them “to take advantage, however restrictive they might be, of all the possibilities of organization” which it left to the Catholics. For them, the adoption of this line of conduct made it possible to respect “the interest of the motherland and of religion”. Thus, there existed a significant current of thought in the French Catholic Church that was in favour of accepting the Law, as outlined by Mgr Mignot’s ambiguous actions and his support amongst the bishops who wished to cooperate with the state.   After passing the apex of the Inventory Crisis, we find that the Semaines Religieuses progressively adopted this more moderate approach of resistance as well, as if the Church condemned the separation in discourse but, at the same time, did not actively protest the provisions of the state. In the years following the passage of the Law, the Catholic Church mostly refused to participate in the application of the Law of Separation. In 1906, when Aristide Briand expressed his desire for pacification, the  141 “Les inventaires dans les églises de Paris”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, February 10, 1905. 142 Petition printed in Le Temps, September 2, 1906. 143 Mayeur, Jean Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: L'Atelier, 2005, 207-245  55 Semaine of Alby denounced the “trap of legal status” albeit not suggesting any method of protest.144 While having adapted to the new state of affairs, the Church preferred to remain in a certain illegality, even to indulge in persecution, thus demonstrating its opposition to a law that it had not accepted, “to implore from the Bloc a ‘legal status’ to use the buildings that our fathers have built and bequeathed to us, would this not be tearing our property titles with our own hands?”145 The great insistence of the Semaine d’Alby on the subject reveals a certain propensity of the Catholics of the diocese to accept the Law. The bulletin fiercely denied any possibility of agreement, recalling that the only two possible signatories of a Concordat could only be the Pope on the one hand, and the French government on the other; however, Mgr Mignot was not even consulted in writing the statement, giving it little official authority.146 Refusing to accept the possibility of compromise, the bulletin disavowed the liberal deputies who would agree to deal with pacification on the basis of separation and refused to consider them as allies.  But the intransigent Catholics who imagined that relations between the Republic and the Church would worsen after the Law of Separation need not have worried. Indeed, the Law was not put in place to break harmonious relations, but rather to sanction growing operational difficulties, especially since the Dreyfus Affair. Under these conditions, Aristide Briand made further legal compromises to make it possible to move from a disagreement to an appeasement between the State and the Church.   144 “Les projets de M. Briand”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, October 28, 1906. 145 “Une manoeuvre de M. Briand”, Semaine Religieuse d’Albyi, September 11, 1906. 146 “Lettre pastorale d’Albi”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, May 13, 1907.  56 Briand’s Response to the Crisis In early 1906, the government’s position was vacillating – circulars and speeches followed each other in quick succession. Initially the government took no official notice of the pope’s instructions. Later, the President of the Council and the Minister of Worship stated emphatically their determination that the churches should not be closed, and that worship should go on. The violent uprisings during some inventories gave rise to several police reports stating that “fanatic and ignorant populations made it impossible to pursue a peaceful inventory of the buildings of worship”.147 The two deaths which occurred caused the resignation of the Rouvier government which, on March 14, was replaced by Ferdinand Sarrien who selected Georges Clemenceau as Ministry of the Interior and Briand as Minister of Public Instruction and Worship. On March 20, Clemenceau declared to the Senate that “the question of knowing whether one will count or not count candlesticks in a church is not worth a human life”. Faced with such difficulties in certain French regions and the alarmist reports of the prefects, Clémenceau and Briand gave the order to suspend inventory operations if they had to be done by force. Due to the change in cabinet as well as the change of tone in Parliament, the Inventories resumed in the fall and ended in a much more peaceful manner.148  On the question of buildings of worship, the government was met with further resistance from the Church. The Law of 1905 declared that the government would manage property and could hypothetically expel dissenting priests who refused to accept the regime of religious associations. Deciding how to apply the Law was at first  147 “Rapports du Commissariat de police de Mazamet”, Archives départementales du Tarn. March 2, 1906. 148 “Rapports du commissariat de Mazamet pour l'inventaire de l'église Saint-Pierre des Plos”, Archives départementales du Tarn.  57 somewhat uncertain; but Briand speedily discovered in existing legislation all that was needed to ensure the continuance of religious worship.149 He was willing to admit that the church was not obliged to avail herself of the privileges that the new law provided for her. Law imposed duties on citizens, but it did not force them to make use of rights or privileges.  Faced with the Inventory crisis and the intransigence of Pope Pius X, Briand acted with increasing lenience. His new approach was first made public on November 9, 1906, in a masterly speech delivered before the Chamber in answer to an interpellation.150 Briand showed, once more, his spirit of conciliation and political flexibility. His speech highlighted the efforts that had been made to draft a bill satisfactory to all concerned and the desire that he still felt to establish a regime in which worship might be possible for all sincere worshipers. Briand stated that the priests could make use of the churches after having filed such an application or declaration as is required for ordinary meetings by the Law of 1881. These declarations would be valid for a whole year instead of for one meeting. Thus, Briand passed a circular on December 1, 1906 giving Catholic priests the right to use the churches, permitting meetings on the condition that the police would be notified in advance.151  Furthermore, faced with the Vatican's refusal to see religious associations set up, Briand orchestrated the foundation of the public exercise of worship, on January 2, 1907, a law which allowed the worship to function without them. This gave Catholic priests the  149 Cf. Zeldin, Theodore. France 1848 - 1945. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1980, 693. 150 “Suite de la discussion des interpellations sur l’encyclique du pape et sur la façon dont le gouvernement entend appliquer la loi de séparation”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, November 10, 1906. 151 “Circulaire du ministre de l'instruction publique, des beaux-arts et des cultes à MM. les préfets, relative aux conditions d'exercice du culte public à défaut d'associations cultuelles”, December 1, 1906.  58 right to use the churches under the Law of 1881, authorizing meetings as long as the police was notified beforehand. While Rome refused, in this case, to submit to the law on public meetings, Briand allowed the public exercise of worship to function without religious association and without prior declaration by the Law of March 28, 1907.  This series of three modifications to the provisions of the Law demonstrates a desire to avoid giving the impression that the government was persecuting the Catholic Church. At this point, according to the declaration of the bishops of France in February 1907, one could open an organization of public worship, on condition of obtaining an administrative contract between the mayor and the parish priest. The Semaine Religieuse of Alby published this declaration, which it approved as a “real peace treaty” proposed by the Church to the State.152 But negotiations with the government were still stalling on the question of the material responsibilities of each party with regard to the churches; the Church refused compromise, and therefore obtained no legal guarantee or exclusivity as to the use of their buildings.   The Spirit of Compromise Prevails for the Buildings of Worship In practice however, churches generally remained available to the faithful. For example, the mayor of Melun, who refused to sign the draft leases proposed by two town priests, granted them administrative rights over their church – notably in policing matters and the right to collect revenue; in return, the parish priests had to pay all expenses for maintenance and use, and took responsibility for accidents occurring in the church.153 In  152 “La declaration des évêques de France”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, February 23, 1907. 153 “Melun”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, February 24, 1907.  59 March 1907, based on several local examples, the Semaine Religieuse argued that “municipalities are obliged to leave churches at the disposal of Catholics for public worship, and to provide for their maintenance”; it concluded that the Church should therefore not establish contracts between mayors and parish priests, that it was better to live in the “status quo.”154  In June 1905, the Semaines Religieuses de Versailles, imagining the Catholics forced to rent the churches, had recommended resistance if necessary: “what would happen if [...] by refusing to rent what belongs to us, we stayed in our churches until we were forcibly expelled? Wouldn't resistance push the enemy back on the first try?”155 Here the diocesan bulletin had presaged that the government would not be able to prevent the faithful and the clergy from occupying the churches. In Alby, there were still fears, again in 1907, of confiscation, since under the terms of the Law if a religious association did not claim the buildings before December 11, 1908, “they can be decommissioned by decree.”156  But the administration very generally supported Catholics and it was the Semaines de Versailles’ hypothesis which proved to be correct. Thus, on January 6, 1907, the mayor of Ichy closed the church and drove the parish priest out of the presbytery. This double decision immediately provoked the reaction of the sub-prefect of Fontainebleau, who reminded the municipal magistrate that, according to article five of the Law of January 2, 1907, he did not have the right to close the church.157 City councils, even the  154 “La situation”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, February 23, 1907. 155 “Réflexions sur la location des églises”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, June 11, 1905. 156 “La situation”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, February 23, 1907. 157 “Lettre du sous-préfet de Fontainebleau au préfet de Seine-et-Marne”, Archives départementales de Seine-et-Marne, January 7, 1907.  60 most anticlerical ones, were obliged to apply the Law flexibly. The churches therefore seemed in practice to revert to Catholic worship by right, without there being any real opposition from the municipal councils.158 There was no trace of conflict in the department of Seine-et-Oise, more conservative it is true, therefore, no municipal council there even seemed to have contested the rights of Catholics to use churches.159  Thus, when the Church continued to resist all attempts at conciliation, the state continued to compromise, now on matters of the use of buildings of worship by the faithful. These legal decisions were made to settle the disputes which emerged immediately after the beginning of the application of the Law of 1905. They show the survival of the spirit of compromise which had triumphed in parliament over the most anticlerical bills, and they demonstrate how successful the Church’s resistance to the state was to pacify the Law of Separation even further. This resistance should be underlined further. Even after the crisis of the Inventories, some priests occupied the churches and congratulated themselves on the right to use them which had been granted to them, but refused to declare masses, thus following the instructions of Pius X who forbade following the Law of 1881.160 Following the pontifical instructions, the Semaines Religieuses of the two studied dioceses asked the parish priests to celebrate Mass as  158 Cf. Wright, Vincent, Sudhir Hazareesingh, and Jean-Pierre Machelon. “The Prefect, Political Functionnary of the Jacobin State : the Case of the Third Republic (1870-1914).” Essay. In The Jacobin Legacy in Modern France: Essays in Honour of Vincent Wright, 68–88. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 159 “Les Inventaires”, Avant-garde de Versailles et de Seine-et-Oise, April 1, 1906. 160 Mayeur, Jean-Marie. “Religion Et Politique: Géographie De La Résistance Aux Inventaires (Février-Mars 1906).” Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 21, no. 6 (1966): 1265.  61 before, “without making any declaration.” The Versailles bulletin reassured its clergy on the fines incurred which were “purely arbitrary and could only lead to acquittals.”161  In the Tarn, where the anti-clerical current was strong, the climate was different. At first and unbeknownst to the clergy, certain Catholics, believing they were doing the right thing, declared to the authorities the holding of public meetings in churches.162 To defend the Pope’s orders, the Archbishop considered that these laity had no qualifications to make declarations over him. Elsewhere, police reports were drawn up against priests having celebrated mass without making the preliminary declaration; this was the case at the city of Alby.163 However, the sentences were light: thus, such priest prosecuted for non-declaration of Mass was condemned to a fine of one franc.164 While respecting the letter of the Law, the courts were constrained by a spirit of tolerance.  Faced with the intransigence of the Church, it was ultimately the government that gave in, noting the impossibility of drawing up reports on all the priests. Aristide Briand even proclaimed that “[s]ince the separation of the churches and the state is a fait accompli, the government has been constantly concerned with ensuring the application of the law and the maintenance of public peace.”165 The ministerial circular of January 2, 1907 had ordered the prefects to suspend the list of offenses for misdemeanor, since, on that date, a bill abrogating the obligation of prior declaration was adopted by the Chamber of Deputies.166 Adopted by the Senate, this text became the Law of March 28,  161 “À propos de l’exercice du culte dans nos églises”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, December 24, 1907. 162 “Démentis au petit parisien”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, January 19, 1906. 163 “Communication de l’évêché”, Semaine Religieuse d’Alby, December 23, 1906. 164 Faury, Jean. “Le Tarn Et La Loi De Séparation.” Cahiers Jaurès N° 175-176, no. 1 (2005): 46. 165 “Exposé des motifs de la nouvelle loi de separation des Églises et de l’État”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso, December 15, 1906. 166 “Règlement de l’ordre du jour et allocution du ministre des cultes”, Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des députés: compte rendu in-extenso, December 15, 1906.  62 1907 which enshrined the right of assembly without prior declaration. The French clergy was satisfied. In March 1907, one affirmed in Versailles “that the priests have the right to occupy the church and to celebrate worship there”.167 Once again, it was Catholic resistance that prompted the government to change the very terms of the Law, to adapt to the situation.                    167 “Une consultation”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, March 3, 1907.  63 Conclusion This study shows that, from the radical positions of each of the two parties, it was the Church which was able to temper the government’s stance. The state was forced to compromise, to negotiate and to come up with a viable solution. In reality, while the Law of Separation was meant, at least in part, to bully the Catholic clergy, it was the Church which emerged victorious from the fight between it and the state. Initially, the Church seemed to be in a fragile position, as Combes’ anticlerical government was aggressive in the face of lukewarm French Catholics ready for compromise. But Pius X’s blockade placed the Church of France in a position of strength vis-à-vis a government that wanted to avoid conflict during the proposition of Combes’ bill, and the positions taken by civil society against the anticlericals shifted the balance of power towards Aristide Briand, a proponent of a much more liberal version of Separation.  Most importantly, the Inventaires and the refusal of some Catholics to accept the Law’s regulations on church property forced the government to water down the application of the Law almost immediately after it was approved by the Senate. The state was obliged to bow to Catholic resistance: thus, once voted, the separation took place on conditions that the Church was willing to accept. According to Roger Aubert, it was the intransigence of Pius X that forced the government into a certain liberalism: “it is not sure it would have shown compromise without firmness from Rome.”168 But we can argue that, from the start, certain government officials, Aristide Briand in particular, were open and eager to find a compromise. What is interesting is that the Pope and France’s  168 Aubert, Roger, and Jean Bruls. L'Eglise Dans Le Monde Moderne: 1848 à Nos Jours. Paris: Ed. du Seuil, 1975, 87.  64 most Catholic regions were able to hold an uncompromising position, even though many Catholics were willing to comply with the inventories, preparing the transition to religious associations, and rather unstirred by the clergy’s rallying cries if we consider the Left Bloc’s victory in the May 1906 legislative elections. The Semaines Religieuses reflect the ideological contradictions present among Catholics. At the beginning of 1905, they thus demonstrated great legalism and a willingness to accept the Law so as not to come into conflict with the government, while expressing a certain counter-revolutionary ideology, which pushed to consider the Law of Separation as a new civil constitution of the clergy. By referring to the historical cycle of the Revolution and the Concordat, they came to hope that a new concordat would be born, presented as “the logic of history”: “their Law of Separation can only lead to a civil constitution of clergy, to a schism, and, consequently, to a new concordat”.169 In short, the Vicar Capitular of Versailles presented the Revolution as a disease and the Concordat as its “remedy”.170 Since the Law of Separation was assimilated to the civil constitution of the clergy, we can consider that the series of legal amendments drawn up to the Law of 1905 after 1906, regulating the relationship between Church and State, constituted a new concordat. This appears true, at least in an unofficial way, because if the French government had wanted to unilaterally dictate its conditions to the Church, Pius X by his intransigence imposed himself as an obligatory partner. In the process of the Separation, the Church went from being a victim to that of an actor. Taking into account the Church, the compromise that was built from the work of Aristide Briand on the Law of 1905 can  169 “La separation et les association paroissiales”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, August 6, 1907. 170 “Lettre circulaire”, Semaine Religieuse de Versailles, March 19, 1907.  65 be considered as a new concordat since it was a form of agreement between the Church and the State. Moreover, with regard to the positive connotation of the term “concordat”, Bruno Neveu argued that from 1911 a rapprochement took place between the two bodies, characterized by “administrative attitudes inspired by a spirit of greater understanding towards the Church.”171 This state of mind can be seen in particular through the decisions of the Council of State, which were always favorable, on the one hand to the jurisdiction of the priest in its church, on the other hand to the canonical Catholic hierarchy against schismatics. Finally, in the longer term, the renewed dialogue between the Holy See and the French government led to the solution of the diocesan associations in 1924.172 It was helped, in part, by the death of Pius X and the First World War.  The period 1903-1907 is essential to understand the construction of the lasting compromise between Church and State. The reality of the relationship between the Church and State having been settled by a progressive adjustment of the government in the face of the Catholic refusal of the Law of 1905, for all that related to Catholics – because it was different for Protestants and Jews – can be regarded as a purely theoretical text which has never found any real application. As for the subsequent legal arrangements, did they not end up constituting a sort of new concordat? Over time, the Separation would brear resemblance to the concordat, but it was not the original Republican anticlerical project of the Law of 1905 itself that would produce this result. In fact, after the years of struggle at the turn of the century, a  171 Gaudemet, Jean. Administration Et Eglise: Du Concordat à La Séparation De L'Eglise Et De L'Etat. Genève: Droz, 1987, 96. 172 Cf. Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004.  66 progressive pacification of the Law was established thanks to the various modifications of the Law. And it was in the years which directly followed the separation that this compromise was concretized, little by little, through complementary legal modifications to the original bill voted in 1905. The Law of 1905 was therefore only one of the elements, itself revised several times, among those which regulate relations between the Catholic Church and the French State.  This thesis highlights just how much the Law of 1905 marked and still deeply marks the relations between the State and religions in France. However, it stresses that this period in French political history does not symbolize a break from the influence of the Catholic Church and conservative forces on a supposed progressive Republican regime. Still today, the Separation of the Churches and the States is misrepresented in public debate and in French academic circles, and myths regarding its significance exaggerate the radicality of the separation of powers between the political and religious spheres in France. This research also raises many more questions about the history of laïcité. If one adopts a comparative method between secularisms, one cannot fail to be dumbfounded, for instance, by the fact that France happens in fact to be one of the European states which interferes the most frequently in religious matters, one of the countries where there are the most ‘special statuses’ for associations only obtainable if one succeeds in being officially endorsed as a group that has religious activities.173  Moreover, the Law of 1905 does not constitute a single, uniform and intangible block. We should speak of “the laws of Separation” which spread over the period 1905-1908 and which complement each other to form a liberal whole, even if they were  173 Robbers, Gerhard. State and Church in the European Union. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2019.  67 sometimes a response of circumstance to the refusal of the Catholic Church to form religious associations. It would be worthwhile for historians to analyze the long history of the Separation by going past the 1910s and study the relationship between the state and the Catholic Church during the twentieth century as a whole. Throughout the past century, the Law of 1905 has continued to be amended, applied with a certain pragmatism and adapted to different situations. Thus, many provisions of the Law were gradually abrogated or became irrelevant, because they were circumstantial, linked to the modalities of transfer of property from former public establishments of worship to new religious associations. The Law was also supplemented on many points, in particular on the possibilities of loan guarantees by local communities for the construction of new buildings of worship, on the statute and the social protection regimes of the ministry of religion and especially on the tax advantages granted to religious associations.174 Such research would serve to rectify the political narrative taken by French politicians about the nature of the Separation. Recently, religious signs at schools have been restricted in 2004, concealing one’s face in public spaces was forbidden in 2010, and, reinforced by the rhetoric of the far right, it appears that laïcité has been used more aggressively to justify the removal of Muslim presence in society.175 At a time when a strange fear vis-à-vis Islam seems to be sweeping some minds, it is good to remember that the Separation was not as radical as we sometimes like to admit. Critically, it is not exact to present it as an intangible principle, definitively regulating the relations between the State, the public sphere and the religions, the latter which would have been simply  174 Boyer, Alain. 1905, La séparation églises-état: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004, 145. 175 Agowun, Adam. “Explaining French Secularism: What Is Laïcité?” The Boar, December 17, 2020.  68 relegated to the private sphere. The reality is far more complex: the Law of 1905 has been, on many points, modified and supplemented and it has profoundly evolved as well as in its spirit as in its concrete methods of application.  Ultimately, this study of the Law of 1905 as a project of compromise between the Catholic Church and the State demonstrates a paradox within the politics of the Third Republic. All in all, it appears that behind tremendously intransigent demands from the Republicans and the Catholics, there existed compromising realities which ultimately prevailed despite being universally attacked in discourse.               69 Bibliography Allier, Raoul. Le Siècle. Articles reproduced in two issues of the Cahiers de la Quinzaine: that of April 1905 which contains the first 22 articles, that of November 1905 where we find the last 24. Agowun, Adam. “Explaining French Secularism: What Is Laïcité?” The Boar, December 17, 2020.  Aubert, Roger. L'Église Dans Le Monde Moderne (1848 à Nos Jours). Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1975.  Barbier, Maurice. La laïcité. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1995.  Baubérot Jean. La Loi De 1905 N'aura Pas Lieu: Histoire Politique Des séparations Des Églises Et De L'État (1902-1908). Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 2019.  Baubérot Jean. Vers un Nouveau Pacte Laïque? Paris: Ed. du Seuil, 1990. Bellon, Christophe. “La Loi De Séparation Des Églises Et De L'État.” Parlement[s], Revue d'histoire politique n°3, no. 1 (2005): 137. https://doi.org/10.3917/parl.003.0137.  Boyer, Alain. 1905: La séparation Églises-État: De La Guerre Au Dialogue. Paris: Cana, 2004.  Brachet, Hadrien. “Embrasser Quelqu'un Plutôt Que Ses Croyances.” Le Délit, February 12, 2021. https://www.delitfrancais.com/2020/11/25/embrasser-quelquun-plutot-que-ses-croyances/.  Cabanel, Patrick. La séparation Des Églises Et De L'État, 1905. La Crèche: Geste éd., 2005.  Chantin, Jean-Pierre. La séparation De 1905: Les Hommes Et Les Lieux. Paris: Les ed. de l'Atelier, 2005.  “Circulaire de la Direction Générale de l’Enregistrement”, January 2, 1906. “Circulaire du ministère des Cultes”, 30 décembre 1905. “Circulaire du Ministre de l'Instruction publique est des cultes aux préfets précisant l'organisation des inventaires”, January 2, 1906.   70 “Circulaire du ministre de l'instruction publique, des beaux-arts et des cultes à MM. les préfets, relative aux conditions d'exercice du culte public à défaut d'associations cultuelles”, December 1, 1906. Colosimo, Anastasia. “Laïcité: Why French Secularism Is So Hard to Grasp.” Institut Montaigne, May 22, 2018.  Dingle, Christopher Philip, and Delphone Mordey. “Critical Battlegrounds in the French Third Republic.” Essay. In The Cambridge History of Music Criticism, 344–70. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2019.  “Discours pour le trente-quatrième anniversaire de la proclamation de la République”, Archives d’Auxerre, September 4, 1904.  Fabre, Rémi. “L’Élaboration De La Loi De 1905.” Politiques de la laïcité au XXe siècle, 2007, 45. https://doi.org/10.3917/puf.weil.2007.01.0045.  Faury, Jean. “Le Tarn Et La Loi De Séparation.” Cahiers Jaurès N° 175-176, no. 1 (2005): 33. https://doi.org/10.3917/cj.175.0033.  Fontaine, Marion. Une Contre-Histoire De La IIIe République. Paris: Dévouverte, 2013.  Gaudemet, Jean. Administration Et Eglise: Du Concordat à La Séparation De L'Eglise Et De L'Etat. Genève: Droz, 1987.  Gerlbard, Maurice. “La Séparation Des Églises Et De L'État Par Les Textes,” Eglise-Etat.org, 2005.  Hanson, Stephen E. “The Founding of the French Third Republic.” Post-Imperial Democracies, August 13, 2009, 87–122. https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511781391.006.  Hazareesingh, Sudhir, and Jean-Pierre Machelon. “The Prefect, Political Functionary of the Jacobin State: the Case of the Third Republic (1870-1914).” Essay. In The Jacobin Legacy in Modern France: Essays in Honour of Vincent Wright, 68–88. Oxford: Oxford of University Press, 2002.  Jarrig, Michel. L'Antimaçonnerie En France à La Belle Époque (1899-1914). Milan: Archè Lumina, 2006.  “Journal officiel de la République française. Chambre des deputes: compte rendu in-extenso”, Bibliothèque Nationale de France. “La Semaine Religieuse De La Ville Et Du Diocèse D'Alby”. Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  71 “La Semaine Religieuse De La Ville Et Du Diocèse De Versailles”, Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Lalouette, Jacqueline. L'État Et Les Cultes: 1789-1905-2005. Paris: La Découverte, 2005.  Larkin, Maurice, Patrick Cabanel, and Jean-Marie Mayeur. L'Eglise Et L'Etat En France: 1905: La Crise De La Séparation. Toulouse: Privat, 2004.  Le Goff, Jacques, and Rémond René. “Société Sécularisée Et Renouveaux Religieux.” Essay. In Histoire De La France Religieuse. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2001.  “L’encyclique ‘Vehementer Nos’ du 11 février”, La Croix, February 18, 1906. “Les Inventaires”, Avant-garde de Versailles et de Seine-et-Oise, April 1, 1906. “Les Inventaires dans La Haute-Loire”, L'Illustration, N. 3289, 10 mars 1906. “Lettre du sous-préfet de Fontainebleau au préfet de Seine-et-Marne”, Archives départementales de Seine-et-Marne, January 7, 1907. “Lettre type pour la conduite des opérations d’inventaires des biens de l’Église”, Archives d’Indre-et-Loire, December 29, 1905.  Liogier, Raphael. “Laicite on the Edge in France : between the Theory of Church-State Separation and the Praxis of State-Church Confusion.” Macquarie Law Journal 9 (2009): 25–45.  Mayeur, Jean-Marie. Catholicisme Social Et démocratie chrétienne: Principes Romains, expériences françaises. Paris: Ed. du Cerf, 1986.  Mayeur, Jean-Marie. La séparation des églises et de l’état. Paris: Les Éd. de l'atelier / les Éd. ouvrières, 2005.  Mayeur, Jean-Marie. “Religion Et Politique: Géographie De La Résistance Aux Inventaires (Février-Mars 1906).” Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 21, no. 6 (1966): 1259–72. https://doi.org/10.3406/ahess.1966.421481.  Méjan L. V. La séparation Des églises Et De L'état: L'oeuvre De Louis Méjan, Dernier Directeur De L'Administration Autonome Des Cultes. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1959.  Mgr Mignot, “Protestation adressée à Monsieur l’Inspecteur des Domaines à l’occasion de l’inventaire de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d’Alby”, Archives départementales du Tarn. February 14, 1906.    72 Mgr Millot, Mgr Gibier, évêque de Versailles, Paris: Pierre Téqui, 1932, VII-VIII. Ognier, Pierre. “Les Approches Historiques De La Laïcité En France, 1990-1993. Étude Critique.” Histoire de l'éducation 65, no. 1 (1995): 71–85. https://doi.org/10.3406/hedu.1995.2771.  Peker, Efe. “Bringing the State Back in Secularization: The Development of Laïcité in the French Third Republic (1875–1905).” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58, no. 4 (2019): 813–32. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12625.  Pena-Ruiz, Henri. Histoire De La laïcité: genèse D'un idéal. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.  Poulat Émile. Les "Semaines Religieuses": Approche Socio-Historique Et Bibliographique Des Bulletins diocésains français. Paris: Groupe de sociologie des religions, 1958.  Poulat Émile. Liberté, laïcité: La Guerre Des Deux France Et Le Principe De La modernité. Paris: Ed. du Cerf, 1988.  Poulat, Émile. Scruter La Loi De 1905: La République Française Et La Religion. Paris: Fayard, 2010.  Prades, Jeanne. “Constructions and Uses of Laïcité (French Secularism) in French Public Discourses.” Mathematical Population Studies 27, no. 2 (2019): 115–37. https://doi.org/10.1080/08898480.2018.1553410.  Prévotat Jacques, and Rémond René. Les Catholiques Et L'Action française: Histoire D'une Condamnation, 1899-1939. Paris: Fayard, 2001.  “Protestation adressée à Monsieur l'Inspecteur des Domaines à l'occasion de l'inventaire de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Alby”, Archives départementales du Tarn, February 14, 1906 “Rapports du Commissariat de police de Mazamet”, Archives départementales du Tarn, March 2, 1906. “Rapports du commissariat de Mazamet pour l'inventaire de l'église Saint-Pierre des Plos”, Archives départementales du Tarn, November 20, 1906. Reivax, Daniel. “Raoul Allier (1862-1939): Un Protestant Engagé.” Thesis, Centre d'Histoire des Sociétés, des Sciences et des Conflits, 2015.  Robbers, Gerhard, and Brigitte Bas-Devant-Gaudemet. “State and Church in France.” Essay. In State and Church in the European Union, 157–86. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2019.   73 Weil, Patrick. “La Loi De 1905 Et Son Application Depuis Un Siècle.” Politiques de la laïcité au XXe siècle, 2007, 9. https://doi.org/10.3917/puf.weil.2007.01.0009.  Zuber, Valentine. “La Laïcité Française, Une Exception Historique, Des Principes Partagés.” Revue du droit des religions, no. 7 (2019): 193–205. https://doi.org/10.4000/rdr.305.  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.52966.1-0397499/manifest

Comment

Related Items