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Priests de la Resistance! Reviews

Priests de la Resistance! by The Revd Fergus Butler-Gallie

Priests de la Resistance!

The loose canons who fought Fascism in the twentieth century

The Revd Fergus Butler-Gallie

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Oneworld Publications
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 10 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781786076724

Whoever said that Christians had to be meek and mild hadn't met Father Kir - parish priest and French resistance hero, immortalised by the Kir Royale. And they probably weren't thinking of Archbishop Damaskinos who, when threatened with the firing squad by the Nazis, replied, 'Please respect our traditions - in Greece we hang our Archbishops.' Wherever fascism has taken root, it has met with resistance. From taking a bullet for a frightened schoolgirl in Alabama to riding on the bonnet of a tank during the liberation of France, each of the hard-drinking, chain-smoking clerics featured in Priests de la Resistance were willing to give their lives for a world they believed in - even as their superiors beckoned them to safety. In this spellbinding new collection, the Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie, bestselling author of A Field Guide to the English Clergy, presents fifteen men and women who dared to stand up to fascism, proving that some hearts will never be conquered.

4 stars out of 5

"He proves it true that comedy and tragedy run side by side, and that some of the most unlikely people turn out to be saints and martyrs"

...a trickier book to bring off for someone whose natural voice is one of comedy. Butler-Gallie (now assistant curate at Liverpool Parish Church) relishes human foibles in those who have taken holy orders. He loves a jolly, fat priest who guzzles his food and drink, or a nun who chain-smokes, and he celebrates all these types here — but the next thing you know, they’re dying at Auschwitz or being shot in a ditch. It requires a skilled writer to walk this tragicomic tightrope. I think Butler-Gallie does bring it off, as long as you don’t mind his slight tendency to sermonise. He proves it true that comedy and tragedy run side by side, and that some of the most unlikely people turn out to be saints and martyrs. The subtext of both of his books is his disdain for the culture of grey, clone-like dullness that threatens to overwhelm all institutions, including the church. We need our oddbods who refuse to keep their heads below the parapet when evil regimes take over.