Catholicism was the official religion of the French state but, in the aftermath of 1789, the Catholics of France became aware that changes in morality, the advance of science and the industrial revolution would lead them to become increasingly set apart. Their story concerns the faithful, torn between the beliefs handed down by their fathers and the rapid transformations taking place in the political, social and cultural landscape. It is the story of the activists, the priesthood and the lay people involved in the political and social arena, who played a part in the modernization of French society all the while dreaming of converting it. But the history of the Catholics is above all that of the majority of French people, who inherited a culture, values and a way of life which they wanted to pass on and which has, to a large extent, made France what it is today.

A film by Valérie Manns