Marshal Pétain’s laws (1940-1943)
This Nazi puppet regime quietly passed laws which amounted to a kind of creeping concordat that eroded French secularism.
♦ Marshal Pétain's marriage of convenience with the Church
♦ Text of Pétain's law of 25 December 1942 — his Christmas gift to the Church
In 1942 the French bishops declared their allegiance to Pétain, urging the French "to have confidence in the Chief of State [and] to obey him". The papal nuncio (the Vatican's ambassador to France) even greeted Pétain as "the man sent by Providence".
Pétain returned the favour by granting the Catholic Church new privileges. These have remained on the statute books and have served as the basis for further erosion of the separation between church and state.