JOINED DE GAULLE
By a DOMINICAN CHAPLAIN
A French Dominican priest (necessarily anonymous) who is a rhapiain to the Free French Army under General de Gaulle, explains his reasons for »Dining the General's forces, in a broadcast in the B.B.C. programme. for France, which is printed below. The statement appeared in the new French paper, France.
In the last war this Dominican Father served in the combatant ranks, winning the Croix de Guerre and
Medaille In this war he was in Norway as Chaplain to the French Forces. and thence evacuated to England.
TADDRESS myself specially to you, I my dear compatriots of the French Empire: and to Missloners, my brothers in the priesthood who represent so worthily the Church and France in the furthest lands.
I know your difficulties, your sufferings and your joys. For eight years I was myself a Missioner in a foreign country. And I am addressing you as a Chaplain of the Free French Forces of General de Gaulle.
Why did I join the movement? My various reasons were religious and perrintie. The first is that I 3815 hundreds of Christian souls who had no priest and who needed one. Then I made their acquaintance and this attached me more and more to the Fret French Forces.
MANY BRETON MISSIONARIES
Of course, as in every gathering of Frenchmen, all kinds of opinions and beliefs are represented. There is nothing to he surprised at in that. But there Is also, as habitually In our country, a great majority of Catholics and many excellent Christians both among officers and men: especially as circumstances have hraught here many elements from the West of France.
Many Missioners are Bretons, and I am sure many of you will find here a neighbour whose granite bell-tower ahswers has own granite bell-tower at the evening Angelus in Britanny.
Why have these young Bretons and other young men conic from all the corners of France to join themselves to the glorious survivors of Dunkirk and Norway?
If you ask them they will reply that this is the spontaneous reaction of their French and Christian conscience. A Frenchman worthy of the name cannot be resigned to see his country trodden underfoot and torn by the invader. He knows that his country is a gift of God which he ought to defend as long as there is a possibility of rarryi»g on the struggle even so far as the sacrifice of life. That is what the young people who surround me think, as well as the older ones who, like your humble servant, are living through their second war.
QUESTION OF HONOUR 'The second point is that it Is a question of honour.
We who saw our English friends fight and die at our side during the last war: we who continually meet British soldiers or officers who say " In 19/5 or hi 1916 I was at Arras, on the Somme, at St. Quentin, etc.," blush to see that a promise has not been kept.
We understand Marshal retain's Immense difficulties and we continue to reaped him. We judge no-one, but we are happy to profit by our inserts so as to continue to represent France's honour faithfully.
Finally, a last motile eve Catholics and Christians have for struggling on to the end is that the enemy is not only the enemy of our country but also of the Church. Nazism has been formally condemned by Pope Pius XI. The dynamism of Nazism comes from a false mysticism which is profoundly antiChristian. This mysticism, centred on a man who is adored like a demi-God, gives the Nazi movement its apparent and provisory force. it will also lead to its ruin, because you cannot fight with impunity against Christ.
RELIGIOUS REVIVAL No-one is happier than we are about the religious renewal which is taking place in France. France, in the suffering of het trial, is reflecting and finding once again the path of Christ. But what will happen to this movement if the shadow of the swastika conthnues to interfere with the shadow of the Cross of Christ? For a Christian France to exist, France must exist.
Joan of Are got her soldiers to pray but afterwards she threw them into the attack.
Friends, and Brothers in the Priesthood, this is what. in my view, justifies rallying to General de Gaulle. It was his merit, when everyone in France was talking of defeat and surrender, to dare to continue talking of struggle, hope and victory.
1 It Is the moment to recall the heroic phrase of Paricard, which is on all your lips: Dead isien ! Arise !