Action Francaise


A movement founded in France c.1897 by Charles Maurras, advocating reversion to monarchical government and propagated through its review the Action Francaise. Maurras, an atheist, politically nationalistic, seeking Catholic Royalists’ support, inaugurated a defense of the Church. The movement thus won many French Catholics, and grew into an influential force. Its paganistic doctrines were recognized by the Holy Office which decreed in 1914 to proscribe four works of Maurras and the Action Francaise. Pope Pius X approved the decree but delayed publication. Aroused by the movement’s subsequent activity, Pope Pius XI, rafter an examination of all testimony, disapproved and warned, September 1926. The Action Francaise rebelled into an active opposition of defiance, misrepresentation, and calumny. The vain efforts of the Holy See culminated in the pope’s expressed purpose, 20 December 1926, to condemn,the support of activities exalting politics above religion and identifying the Church with a political movement opposed to established government. A decree of the Holy Office, 29 December 1926, condemned Maurras’s works and the Action Francaise. The one aim of the pope was the protection of moral interests involved. The Action Francaise had disclosed its true nature as a school or cabal rather than as a mere political party, with a following mainly Catholic, dominated by atheists, and propagating a philosophy exalting politics above religion and urging a spirit of nationalistic hate and violence.

MLA Citation

  • “Action Francaise”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 August 2013. Web. 25 February 2021. <>