Cardinal Mercier in the First World War
Belgium, Germany and the Catholic Church
Jan De Volder
(including 21% VAT)
Monograph - ebookVIEW Monograph - paperback
Church leaders and their contrasting opinions in the face of the Great War
Cardinal Désiré-Joseph Mercier, Archbishop of Malines, was the incarnation of the Belgian resistance against the German occupation during the First World War. With his famous pastoral letter of Christmas 1914 ‘Patriotisme et Endurance’ he reached a wide audience, and gained international influence and respect.
Mercier’s distinct patriotic stance clearly determined his views of national politics, especially of the 'Flemish question', and his conflict with the German occupier made him a hero of the Allies. The Germans did not always know how to handle this influential man of the Church. Pope Benedict XV did not always approve of the course of action adopted by the Belgian prelate. Whereas Mercier justified the war effort as a just cause in view of the restoration of Belgium's independence, the Pope feared that "this useless massacre" meant nothing but the "suicide of civilized Europe”.
Through a critical
analysis of the policies of Cardinal Mercier and Pope Benedict XV, this book sheds
revealing light on the contrasting positions of Church leaders in the face of
the Great War.
This publication is
GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).
Belgium and the German Invasion of 1914
Mercier’s Pastoral Letter “Patriotism and Endurance”
In Conflict with the Occupier
Mercier and Benedict XV
Arrests, Deportations, and State Looting
The Flemish Question
Holy War or Holy Peace
The Allies’ Hero of a Diminished Belgium
Annex: Patriotism and Endurance – Christmas 1914
Format: Monograph - ebook
Size: 230 × 170 mm
Publication: October 24, 2018
Ludo Meyvis, Campuskrant, 21 november 2018