Beginning in 1901, a series of anti-clerical laws was passed in France which prohibited all members of Catholic congregations to teach in the nation’s schools, threatened so-called “dangerous orders” such as the Jesuits and the Assumptionists with dissolution, forbade priests to attack the government on pain of fine or imprisonment, and led to the severing of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Republic, as well as to the final separation of Church and State in 1905. This latter event seemed particularly damaging as it not only placed the Church under the Republic’s legal jurisdiction and declared the state to be confessionally neutral, but also entirely eliminated the Church’s public budget. 1 Taken as a whole, then, it would appear that these anti-clerical statutes spelled the final defeat of the Catholic Church after one hundred years’ battle with the secular state.