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Between Rome and Rebellion

Between Rome and Rebellion

A History of Catholic Traditionalism with Special Attention to France

By Yves Chiron

432 pp

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About the Book

With Between Rome and Rebellion, Yves Chiron, acclaimed author of dozens of biographies and historical studies, once again proves himself a master historian. Drawing upon a vast fund of information gathered over the course of three decades, including numerous interviews, correspondence, diaries, and archives, Chiron tells the thrilling, at times gut-wrenching, story of the “loyal resistance” of Catholics—especially in France, but soon all over the world—who held fast to the old forms of worship, catechesis, doctrine, and family life, in the midst of a Church roiling with reforms that they viewed as betrayals. 
    Starting with the Modernist crisis and Pius X’s response to it, we follow in these pages the immense drama of a century filled with battles on every front—political, military, and ecclesiastical. We learn of the vitality, but also the fissiparousness, of traditionalist groups at a time when nearly everything else in the Church seemed to be falling apart, especially after the tumultuous years of the Second Vatican Council. We see the rage directed at traditionalists by an establishment that tolerates any experiment except “the experiment of Tradition” and writes off all adherence to the past as “integrism.” As everyone tries to navigate the turbulent waters of a conciliar “renewal” that quickly turned into a debacle, we become acquainted with modern-day confessors and white martyrs, wild-eyed prophets and sober critics, two-faced churchmen and secret allies. Chiron’s deft pen brings many controversial figures into sharp relief—above all, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, with whose formidable witness everyone, friend or foe, had to reckon. 
    Breathlessly moving from one disaster and rescue operation to the next, Between Rome and Rebellion sheds new light on the modern transformation of the Catholic Church, and why numerous priests, religious, and laity felt compelled to stand against it.


“Acclaimed French historian Yves Chiron has provided an invaluable history of the defense of Catholic doctrine and worship against the corrosive effects of various errors that have arisen in the wake of the French Revolution and the Modernist Crisis. Primarily focused on the Church in France, Between Rome and Rebellion sets forth the who, what, when, where, and why of a movement that has had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on the life of the Church. This book gives much-needed historical background for readers seeking to understand the crisis facing the Church today.” —FR. GERALD E. MURRAY, Pastor, Church of the Holy Family, New York, NY, and member of EWTN’s The Papal Posse


“The work of Yves Chiron is of highest interest for historians, politicians, and Catholics of all directions. As with all important developments in modern times, the traditionalism in the Catholic Church has its roots in the French revolution. Those seeking a deeper understanding of the conservative, antiliberal, partly antirepublican and Catholic movements—which are now so influential in the politics of the Western world—will find in this work a key that opens the door to an intellectually fascinating world that has for too long been neglected by public attention.” —MARTIN MOSEBACH, author of The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy


“Yves Chiron offers us the best history yet written on the complex twists and turns of the traditionalist movement in its birthplace: France. Reading it is like having a ringside seat to the momentous events in the ongoing ‘guerrilla warfare’ of traditionally-minded faithful against the forces of real or perceived modernism in the Church. As a work of impeccable scholarship and objectivity, it should be required reading not only for Catholics with opinions for or against the ‘loyal rebels,’ but also for anyone who simply wants to have an accurate topographical map of modern Catholicism.” —PETER A. KWASNIEWSKI, author of Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright


“This book will immediately become an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the history of the Traditionalist movement. Chiron writes with complete impartiality, straightens out misunderstandings and urban myths, and with illuminating detail presents the tangled stories, especially, of French traditionalism, papal policy, and the SSPX.” —JOSEPH SHAW, editor of The Case for Liturgical Restoration: Una Voce Position Papers on the Extraordinary Form and chairman of the Latin Mass Society


“At long last we have a major history of Catholic Traditionalism! Thanks are due to Yves Chiron, distinguished author of a vast number of works on modern Catholic history. Chiron’s book, focused primarily on France, is by far the most thorough work on the history of Traditionalism available today. Relying heavily on primary sources, Chiron chronicles (from its earliest beginnings before World War I) a diffuse movement involving many different directions, objectives, leaders, and organizations—yet sharing the same spirit. Between Rome and Rebellion is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the historical roots and current state of this movement, once fringe, that has acquired fundamental significance for the Church.” —STUART CHESSMAN, author of Faith of Our Fathers: A Brief History of Catholic Traditionalism in the United States

About the Author

YVES CHIRON, born in the Gard (Southern France) in 1960, obtained his degree in advanced studies in the

History of Religions and Religious Anthropology at the University of Paris IV. After writing an authoritative biography of Edmund Burke, he turned his attention to modern Church history and has written biographies of Pius IX, Pius X, Pius XI, and Paul VI, as well as works on the process of beatification and canonization.

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