Indeed. It is a great credit to the Church that she did not support treason out of short-sighted self-interest.
Reactionaries are often accused of wishing only to preserve or seize power for ourselves, as if no one could really support hierarchical relationships on principle. It is therefore a matter of pride to me that my own Church refuses to support rebellion even when it would mean Catholics seizing power from other Christians.
Henri Daniel-Rops, in his The Church in an Age of Revolution, seems positively embarrassed by the Papacy’s support for an “oppressive” Russian Orthodox autocracy over the foolish liberal aristocratic Poles, calling it “A grievous episode”.
Europe as a whole did not react to this drama. Nevertheless, every man in Europe with any ‘liberal’ leanings at all, everyone who was striving to rebuild the world, quivered with loving anguish for conquered Poland [bah ha ha]. The tragedy of a martyred people moved thousands of hearts.
What of the Pope? For him the problem was more than delicate…
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