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Says François Mauriac

Date : 14/12/1945

Éditeur : The Glasgow Observer and Scottish Catholic Herald
Source : n°3112, p.5

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Says François Mauriac

From Our Own Correspondent

Francois Mauriac, the greatest living Catholic French writer and leading journalistic spokesman of the M.R.P. was the guest of honour in Brussels last month of a Catholic Conference. Mauriac, in his own speech and in answer to numerous questions, gave his very candid view on a number of burning topics. These view are of such interest that I will confine myself to summarising them under various heads.

“Each Western Nation is only par of a great living body which is called Europe. Despite certain criticisms of a Western Bloc, we have a right and a duty to think of the Christianity of which Europe is the centre. We wish that Europe should rise again as the humanist and Christian entity: if it does not, there will be no more Europe.”

“To-day France no longer holds the position it once enjoyed. To-day only material wealth seems to be a criterion of the greatness of peoples, and France possesses no petrol! But France to-day is clearly realising again her great vocation to which she has been so stupidly unfaithful. France’s place in Europe and the world is irreplaceable. Even the nations who are more or less voluntarily turning towards Russia are really asking for something which we alone can give. We can clearly give the unanswerable witness to the crime which humanity has committed against itself and against God –the witness to that torn Christianity whose children have been destroyed by thousands, to that Christianity which was felt again when the Allies struck at the monster which held it in tis tentacles.”

“What should our attitude to Germany be? Between Christians this is not even a question. We must not only be reconciled with them, but love them. The order is a formal one. Christians have no choice. Already people are turning again towards Germany. They speak of the need to restore cultural relations. The Committee of the Franco-German Cultural Renewal has asked me to discuss the French novel over the radio for the Germans. I refused, because I was certain that the time has not yet come to discuss literature with our enemies of yesterday, seeing that one could not treat of such a subject to men who are threatened with the greatest catastrophe of their history. But if I had been asked to speak to the Catholics of Austria, the Rhineland and Baden I shouldn’t have hesitated an instant because there is much to say to them.”

“There exist admirable communists. The young communists in France are remarkably disinterested. You must understand that the real clash to-day is between St. Augustine’s two cities, the spiritual city and the other. The trouble is that the communists will not recognise their errors. They are the casuists of our times. Communists no longer see clearly because they only see through Stalin’s eyes; they are wedded, no longer to the ideal of their revolution, but to panslavism. Stalin is the Peter the Great in our day. That is absolutely clear.”

“How can we save our civilisation? How assure our mission? I see no other way but that of union. France must rejoin England. A simple alliance is not enough: a brotherhood is needed.”

“I am to-day entirely taken up by my work in the daily press, and journalism is too absorbing a job to allow of its being shared. What a magnificent work, a living work, in which one feels the direct reaction of the reader! I only understand the job of the journalist as a dialogue in which the whole of the writer’s art consists in retaining the attention of his reader, even against his will, to button-hole him and to observe his reaction.”

“Christianity to-day is like a piece of tapestry burnt in some places and torn in others. We must reconstitute it thread by thread. Each in our place, we must devote ourselves to restoring the value of man. May the nations understand, in this tragic moment of history, that they are enrolled under the same flag for the same cause.”

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François MAURIAC, “Says François Mauriac,” Mauriac en ligne, consulté le 24 septembre 2023,

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