Christians, Bombings and
Although northern France sustained prolonged bombing throughout the war, it was not until late 1942 that Allied air raids became extensive over the whole country, when to the terror by night was added that of the arrow that flies by day, in the shape of the American Flying Fortresses. Likewise, although active Resistance was apparent almost immediately after the collapse, it was not until 1943 that the Maquis, led by the FFI, Gaullist or Allied agents, spread its net over the national . territory. It was these new manifestations of war that caused some ecclesiastics to speak of 'terrorism', a characterisation that some had later cause to regret. Many bombs did indeed rain down indiscriminately and not a few exploits by so-called 'patriots' were carried out by robber bands whose links with the genuine forces of Resistance were often tenuous or non-existent. The clandestine publication Témoignage Chrétien drew clear distinctions between what were legitimate acts of war and what were not, but reminded Frenchmen of the sacrifice made in 1914-18, when 1,000 soldiers had been killed every day for four years. 1 To their great credit many civilians accepted stoically and courageously these new trials as harbingers of hope and heralds of ultimate German destruction.
The RAF raid on the Renault works at Boulogne-Billancourt ( 3-4 March 1942), which killed 623 people, aroused the first significant ecclesiastical reactions. Père Roguet spoke of it on Radio Lyons: 'In the name of law, humanity and France, we condemn these assassins and butchers.'2 The Hierarchy was, however, more restrained. The clandestine Voix du Nord ( 18 March 1942) acknowledged the dignity shown by Cardinal Suhard at the funeral ceremony held in Notre Dame, when he declared that the victims had died for France, although no one would wish to make a spectacle of their suffering. Témoignage Chrétien praised the cardinal, who had characterised the bombings as the 'douleureuse conséquence de l'état de guerre'. 3 But his failure to condemn the 'crime' or name the 'assassins' drew down the wrath of the