Religion: Rebellious Eldest Daughter

The old cardinal entered the ancient former Carmelite convent on the Rue d'Assas in Paris and paused on the stone stairway. Here, on Sept. 3, 1792, a howling mob of the Revolution had hacked to pieces 114 bishops and priests, thrown their dismembered bodies into the Seine. The cardinal uttered a short prayer for the peace of their souls, then went on up the "stair of the martyrs" and entered the Salle des Actes, smiling and gesturing with slender hands. Before him, four cardinals, 20 archbishops, 90 bishops—most of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in France—rose in silent respect...

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