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Georges Bernanos

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Hatred of the priest is one of man's profoundest instincts, as well as one of the least known. That it is as old as the race itself no one doubts, yet our age has raised it to an almost prodigious degree of refinement and excellence. With the decline or disappearance of other powers, the priest, even though appearing so intimately integrated into the life of society, has become a more singular and unclassifiable being than any of those old magicians the ancient world used to keep locked up like sacred animals in the depths of its temples, existing in the intimacy of the gods alone. Priests moreover are all the more singular and unclassifiable in that they do not recognize themselves as such and are nearly always dupes of the most gross outward appearances whether of the irony of some or the servile deference of others. But that contradiction, by nature more political than religious and used far too long to nurture clerical pride, does, through the growing feeling of their loneliness and to the extent that it is gradually transformed into hostile indifference, throw them unarmed into the heart of social conflicts they naively pride themselves on being able to resolve by using texts. But, then, what does it matter? The hour is coming when, on the ruins of the old Christian order, a new order will be born that will indeed be an order of the world, the order of the Prince of this World, of that prince whose kingdom is of this world. And the hard law of necessity, stronger than any illusions, will then remove the very object for clerical pride so long maintained simply by conventions outlasting any belief. And the footsteps of beggars shall cause the earth to tremble once again.
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pp.176177

 
Georges Bernanos

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