Religion: Aumoniers

At the turn of the last century, France had as anticlerical a Government as ever hated & feared the Pope. French lawmakers bundled up their prejudices in a Laic Law which, among other things, required State authorization for religious orders. When France went to war in 1914, thousands of members of secret, mufti-wearing orders emerged from their bolt-holes to serve la patrie. The number of aumôniers (chaplains) in the French forces was limited—400 in the army, 50 in the navy, none in the air force. Most priests were assigned to noncombatant duties. A...

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