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New spirit in France

27 May 2016

May 26th, 1916.

NEVER, we believe, since La Sainte Chapelle in Paris became connected with the Palais de Justice has a Requiem Mass been said at its altar; and two years ago it would have been thought impossible that Mass would be said there in May, 1916. But the impossible has happened, and, what is more, the President of the French Republic and Madame Poincaré were among those who assisted when the 107 members of the Ordre des Avocats who have fallen in the war were commemorated. We count this among the evidences of a new spirit in France, which, if it is not definitely Christian, is, at least, no longer hostile to practising Catholics. The splendid service rendered by French priests, whether as soldiers or as chaplains, has disarmed hostility, and already the practice of religion has ceased to be a bar to military promotion. Before the war there had begun a reaction in literature from the gross and material to the ideal and the moral, and we are inclined to the belief that there is a stirring of religion in the heart of France. When peace returns and the churches are again served by parish priests who have shared with their countrymen in all the dangers and the horrors of the war, who can doubt that these churches will be attended by more worshippers than they have seen for many a long day?


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