Sunday, September 20, 2009
Viva La Vida or Death and all his friends!! : French revolution terror
Viva La Vida or Death and all his friends: It’s the title of Coldplay’s 4th studio album and as we can see the album art is about the French revolution.
Behind the glamorous slogans of the French revolution : “Liberté égalité fraternité “ (Viva la Vida) lies a criminal and a dark record of killing and persecussion of Christians in France (Death and all his friends). It’s what is called the Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution.
After the fall of the monarchy in 1789, the church and the Christians in French were the target of organized crimes and killings. September 1792 was the darkest period of the revolution , on the 2nd of September 1792, priests, nuns and citizens were killed, mutilated, aggressed and raped in a very barbaric and cruel way, "with circumstances of barbarity too shocking to describe" according to the British diplomatic dispatch (check : A British Observer of the September Massacres). In 48 hours almost 1 400 prisoners were condemned and executed. More than two hundred priests, almost a hundred Swiss guards and many political prisoners and aristocrats were among the victims.
“Under threat of death, imprisonment, military conscription or loss of income, about 20,000 constitutional priests were forced to abdicate or hand over their letters of ordination and 6,000 - 9,000 were coerced to marry, many ceasing their ministerial duties. Some of those who abdicated covertly ministered to the people. By the end of the decade, approximately 30,000 priests were forced to leave France, and thousands who did not leave were executed. Most of France was left without the services of a priest, deprived of the sacraments and any nonjuring priest faced the guillotine or deportation to French Guiana. By Easter 1794, few of Frances 40,000 churches were open, many having been closed, sold, destroyed or converted to other uses.
Victims of Revolutionary violence, whether religious or not, were popularly treated as canonized martyrs, the place of their killing becoming objects of pilgrimage. Catechizing in the home, folk religion and syncretic and heterodox practice also became more common. The long term effects on religious practice in France were significant - many who were deprived of their regular religious practice in France never regained it”. (Wikipedia : Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution )
Other than the murders, the calendar was changed from Gregorian calendar into French republican calendar which was a pure failure. Crosses, church bells, and sanctuaries were destroyed… monasteries , cathedrals and private proprieties were robbed . Street and place names with any sort of religious connotation were changed. The French army moved on to Rome, and forced the Pope Pius VI into exiled where he died.