GOD SAVE THE KING – OR NOT?

The new civil authorities had demanded the singing, at the end of Mass on the feast of August 15th, of the verse Domine salvum fac regem Ludovicum Philippum [ed. God save the King, Louis Philippe]. Bishop Fortuné was faced with a difficult decision in Marseilles. Eugene wrote to Henri Tempier, the other Vicar General of the diocese:

I quite expected the difficulty which would face you on the 15th in regard to singing the “Domine salvum fac.” I prefer the conclusion more than all the reasoning and (views of) authorities which preceded. Your council will certainly derive consequences therefrom which I would certainly not wish to adopt. I see in them the doctrine of the de facto government.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 19 August 1830, EO VII n 357

Leflon gives the background:

Deeply affected by the fall of the Bourbon dynasty, which, in his eyes, presaged the return of 1793 and a new persecution of the Church, Fortune was faced with an added problem of deciding what official position he should adopt toward the new regime, since Lieutenant-General Delort, Commandant of the Eighth Division at Marseilles, suggested that the Bishop order the Domine salvum fac regem to be sung on August 15, for Louis Philippe whose rule had been announced at Marseilles two days earlier. It was a grave matter of conscience for the prelate which he was unable to settle one way or the other without declaring himself for or against the Orleans regime which, through rioting, had replaced what was considered the legitimate dynasty. A diocesan council, held at the bishop’s palace, favored compliance with the General’s orders until someone suggested a way to escape the dilemma: the prayer for the king would be limited to the singing of the Exaudiat without any mention whatever of the head of the government by name. Until the Pope made an official pronouncement, the clergy were to adhere to this formula.

Father de Mazenod was not at all satisfied with this maneuver. Adroit as it may have seemed, this method of avoiding the issue still was tantamount to a first concession which was bound to lead to others far more serious, only to end in complete submission.

Leflon 2, p. 343

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One Response to GOD SAVE THE KING – OR NOT?

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    How sad that they chose the Feast of the Assumption of Mary to begin this travesty, to draw the focus from Mary to the King. It would begin a very real lessening of the Church’s authority. It reminds me of what we saw in England when the king announced himself to be head of the Church over the Pope and perhaps God.

    This past spring we had so many rains that there was incredible flooding in some areas of my part of the country. The river in that area had always seemed so calm and beautiful. It inspired deep peace and well-being and I was always grateful when I went to that part of the valley, grateful to be able to rest and relax with it. But as the river rose steadily it began to pull the very sides of the riverbank into it. At first it drew away grains of sand and dirt, some small rocks but it continued eating large clumps of earth. It seemed to be gnawing at the roots of trees and then fence posts that had once seemed far from the river’s edge. And gradually the river swallowed both the fences and trees. Both the river and it’s banks were quickly beocming unrecognizable as it moved relentlessly towards first one house, then another. The river. this once peaceful flowing path had become a relentless and raging torrent devouring everything in its path.

    Erosion. It happens not only with rivers and glaciers, but also with our practices, ways of living and thinking, how we see and recognize things so that things that were once unheard of and unthinkable become common-place and part of the every day. It can be seen in many places around the world today. Actions and words once despised and guarded-against now seem to be on the rise and with the approve of so many. Hatred feeding and growing on itself.

    “Father de Mazenod was not at all satisfied with this maneuver. Adroit as it may have seemed, this method of avoiding the issue still was tantamount to a first concession which was bound to lead to others far more serious, only to end in complete submission.” Leflon did not use the word ‘erosion’ but I wonder if Eugene was thinking of erosion.

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