13 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 2

If the religious question were only a religious question, it

would be no worse than our own eternal quarrel, but it is much more ; it covers a definite policy on the part of the Church, which is in nearly all respects hostile to the Republic as such. As the Times remarks, compromise seems well-nigh impossible in such a case. The opposition of views is fundamental. If Republican Ministers like M. Clemenceau and M. Viviani preach flat negations— M. Viviani has said of the Government, " Together, and with a majestic gesture, we have put out in the heavens the lights that will never be lit again "—the Church aims at nothing less than the complete possession of a man's brain and the disposal of Lis vote. The Bishop of Nancy has raised an uncertain voice in praise of conciliation, but explains that he does not go so far as to suggest a rally to the Republic, which after all is modern France. If the Church persists, she will lose, we think, more and more of her authority, for the vast majority of Frenchmen are loyal to the Republic, of which the deole laique is the necessary instrument.