Monday, March 6, 2017

An interesting new look into the Dreyfus Affair....and it complements today's Catholic woes

Every time Mr Shamir puts pen to paper, more frequently now than ever thank goodness, he brings in new insights and new information detailing the world's vicious attack against the Church. Though an Orthodox believer his sympathy for Catholicism is clear from his writings.

Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish officer, was jailed for spying at the end of the 19thcentury. His case divided France, and ended with resounding victory for Dreyfus’ supporters. Consequently, Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstalled in the army. Now, a hundred years later, he has made a comeback. His story is about to become a film directed by Roman Polanski. A brilliant British Catholic writer, Piers Paul Read, published a 400 page book called The Dreyfus Affair, written by the superb pen of a master in search of the truth. Some pages in The Prague Cemetery by the ‘intellectual bestseller’ writer Umberto Eco deal with it as well.
Salvation Islands, French Guiana
Salvation Islands, French Guiana
Why does this story still attract writers and readers? So many people were and are arrested for security offences, quite a few of them unjustly, and suffer long prison sentences or worse. Dreyfus spent four years on Iles de Salut in French Guiana (a picture on the left), not far from Guantanamo, where hundreds of security prisoners languished for a decade (and some still do). Eighty thousand convicts (including the Papillon) went through the Guiana penal colony; so why is Dreyfus still important?
According to PP Read, this case was important because it was used against the Catholic Church. Although ostensibly the Church was not involved, the victory of the Dreyfusards was turned into a profound defeat of the Catholic Church. Perhaps an innocent man was saved, but Christian France was surely lost. The France of Henry James was gone and buried, and a new order came to France, with the media taking the place of the Church in guiding the masses, and moneyed classes taking over the nobility. This defeat of the Church was a milestone in what was described as Kali Yuga by Rene Guenon, the French traditionalist (he was 10 when Dreyfus was arrested).
The question of Dreyfus’s guilt or innocence was a minor point of little relevance, in comparison with the consequences of the case. He was a precursor of the long line of human rights’ martyrs produced by mass media, all these refuseniks, dissidents, wrongly arrested spies and what-not. Some of them were guilty and some were innocent, but each case attacked the sovereignty of the state and its traditional structures, at the same time strengthening the Empire and its Right to Protect, equipped with the latest weaponry. Dreyfus’s case was also supported by England (the US of the time) and helped to entrench pro-British elements in the French establishment.
Catholic view
Read provides the reader with a Catholic perspective. Although he gives a detailed and honest presentation of the Dreyfus affair, it is not central to his narrative in the same way that the fate of Catholicism in France is. He discusses what happened to the Catholic Church and its flock in France in these fateful years and has written a very important book for the modern reader precisely for this reason.

Read the whole article.

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