Heterodox priest: Father Paul Roca (1830-1893)

 By Eugene Cortade

A priest of the Diocese of Perpignan, Fr Paul Roca (1), made some noise in the 1880s, not only in his home country but also in some philosophical and religious circles of the capital. First public and private teacher, founder and first director of the great Catholic college Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague de Perpignan, propagator of esoteric Christianity and social, he was condemned by the Holy Office, and finally poured into a violent anticlericalism. Some even wanted to see him as a modernist before the letter and a precursor to the development of the Church since Vatican II (2).

The former diocesan clergy disliked this colleague stirring and unconventional, and it is probably for this reason that a discreet silence quickly fell on him. So much so that in the absence of documents, historians and researchers have trouble locating this amazing character. So we tried to collect a number of milestones biographical sketch of contenting ourselves with a summary analysis of the ideas he disjointed in books or magazines. Others, perhaps, will deepen the ins and outs and measure the real impact in their time and today. It is basically a simple look historian that we wanted to focus on Roca, and therefore without bias or polemics (3).


Paul Antoine, Etienne Roca was born April 26, 1830, Fourques small village in the Pyrenees-Orientales, Thuir Township, son of Antoine Roca, operator-agricultural and Elisabeth Surjus. He was baptized three days later (4). But it seems that his family had already settled not far away at Kelvedon, near Perpignan and then had about 280 inhabitants. This is where he spent his childhood in the company of other brothers and sisters (5).

The Roca family typically represented rural, traditional Roussillon, attached to its land and its vineyards, and enjoying almost bourgeois comfort. We know nothing of the early childhood and youth of Paul Roca, in the family who was apparently there, deeply Christian. He recalled that one day this related had to impress strongly: "Child - Oh!" Let me mention this pious memory! -As a child, I saw in the corner of Roussillon, an old man who was my grandfather and my godfather, celebrate at home blessed His holy house, which stood still then, thesis august rites (family worship). He presided over the common prayer, was by his, its, who his grandchildren his servants and... Bareheaded, kneeling in the middle of this group who things him as a priest, he elpidioflandez everyone, and then under the majesty of his age and in the halo of white hair, he offered his hand to fuck everyone who cam wizards turn to bow before him, from his eldest her the simple Rabadá to (6) of his flocks. Each then received a word of encouragement, praise or écrite if necessary.

I burst into tears, writing thesis lines, because it is all over, even in my family! ... And I'm inconsolable... A breath burning hotter than the desert simoom, spent it. It has dried up, destroyed everything! Home altars are no more! National churches are no more! Special liturgies are no more! Local traditions, specific genius of each diocese are no more! We walked around the level of consistency, and everywhere dried up the ancient sources of godliness "(MN, 443)." Should we say sorry if here the disappearance of family cults, esoteric home to what he thinks, there is no shortage of scratching the passage uniformity imposed Roman rites in all dioceses since the Council of Trent, and in particular the Roman Ritual, which kohkan substituted with local traditions. The unity of rites she had dried in Christendom sources of piety? Is doubtful. Note also that the last Ritual use of the Diocese of Perpignan was published and printed in Perpignan in 1845, by order of Bishop Sonnac-Belcastel.

Where the young Roca received it the primary and then secondary education, the humanities, as it was then? Perhaps the College of Perpignan, or the small seminar of Prades? Nevertheless, he received a good literary education and some Greco-Roman culture that appear clearly through his writings. Was he bachelor gold had he got some other degree? We do not know.

"Twenty years, Taxil said, he became a professor at the service of the University of France." That's saying a lot because he was a teacher in his village communal clean during the school years 1849-1851 and 1851-1852 to Thuir, without going through the normal school, but simply engaged, as it happened so frequently by the mayor and the academic authorities "according to the information provided on its good behavior and morality." A report of the Inspector Primary Thuir made June 24, 1852, b)(i) that he was quite well noted in the various school subjects: "This is the local school teacher Thuir leave during which, because of disease, was given to Mr. Moret." It performs this task well enough to not let that be painful and difficult by the number of students is 120, including 70 free and 50 paid. Local authorities who presented the Inspector in the inspection he made the school showed their appreciation for the conduct and zeal of Mr. Roca. "For against the opinion of his parish priest was more reserved." In a letter to the Rector of the Academy, he complains of his self, his religious indifference, and, among other defects young teacher of twenty years, stressed "one fund lightness and inconstancy which earned him a lot of enemies and personal insults in the town" (7).

However, Roca was attracted to the priesthood, and after a short stay at the Grand Seminary of Perpignan, he probably went in 1853 to continues his training clergy in Paris at the École des Hautes Études of the Carmelites, who had just be founded in 1845, where he had among other condicisples Lavigerie the future and. He always flatter OCLN, his stay in the Carmelite nuns, while regretting that his good masters have not taught him "the scientific and social Catholicism" or rather esoteric doctrines.

"I can not say I've learned anything from this seminar on the benches and even in the so-called School of Advanced Studies Clergy in Paris." Our primary teacher of Christian theology are all silent on this point. And I felt that germinate in my brain this ideality brand new, I was careful not to breathe a word, we would not have understood. "(MN, 122). Already good traditional theology, which allows priests to face the most difficult situations, do not meet.

But what we then taught theology? It must be admitted, reluctantly at Roca, for various historical reasons peculiar to our country, the intellectual level was quite low in all major seminars. Priests and teachers "from the bankruptcy reorganization, perspective copies zeal and morals, should remain well below their elders' of the eighteenth century." Their knowledge in various subjects, including philosophy, history, and science had serious deficiencies exégesis. And the Diocese of Perpignan itself does not escape there (8). This is also to address the "poor teaching church" that priests and laity to take various initiatives, the most important was the foundation of Catholic Institutes (9).

After completing his studies at the Carmelite, Father Roca was ordained priest for the diocese of Perpignan Paris, May 29, 1858, in the church of Saint-Sulpice, by Cardinal Morlot, Archbishop of Paris (10). Curiously, purpose is explained by subsequent events, the official record of the priests of the diocese of Perpignan did not even mention it and therefore does not provide a curriculum vitae. His incardination however no doubt.


It does not appear that the Abbot Roca ever d'exercice parish ministry. Immediately after his ordination, the illustrious Bishop Gautam the named professor at the small seminar of Prades, where he remained seven years, from 1858 to 1865. In this institution as training of candidates for the priesthood, he was charged with the second class, then the chair of rhetoric in 1862. In this position he succeeded also to the abbot of Tolrá Bordas, scholar and good writer who later became prelate of His Holiness.

Bishop Ramadie, just arrived in the diocese last few months, using the possibilities of the Falloux law, decided to create a large Catholic college. He founded the Institution Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, called a bright future, and since then has continued to fulfill its educational function. It is the Father Roca gave it the difficult task of opening this establishment, organize and make him do his first steps (11). Some sympathy must exist between the brilliant professor of thirty-five years and Bishop anti-infallibilist, friend and disciple of Dupanloup. But with reluctance. Roca sign because if the prospectus announcing the opening of the institution and setting the conditions for admission as "superior", in reality the Bishop had reserved this title and named him as 'director' as indicated by the Diocesan Ordo. Anyway, Roca can be us as the true founder of St. Louis.

Four years later, he added to his feature directorial teaching philosophy and the role of Director of Studies. Which earned him the honor of being named honorary canon in 1869. But at the same time is a foreign priest in the diocese, and there remain only two years, Father de Chauliac, confidant of the bishop, called answer probably for the occasion and was appointed superior. This appointment, which we guess the reasons was certainly felt by Roca as an injustice or a public disavowal, it will cause resentment and shortly after the final break with the diocesan authority. In his family tradition continued he was done an injustice.

The year 1870 marked a turning point in his life. The events of September in Perpignan provoked riots and upheavals elsewhere. College Saint-Louis was requisitioned by prefectural decision and turned into a hospital, students were temporarily relocated. Bishop Ramadie himself away from his diocese, indeed for a short time, saying "such a government with good people could no. longer believe in safety." Add that the sudden explosion of a certain anticlericalism and at the same time the definition of papal infallibility by the Vatican Council completed dive Roca in disarray. Taking advantage of these circumstances he left institution Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, and also the diocese in which he no. longer felt at ease long ago. His restless mind sought other horizons. He wrote in 1884 in his first book: "I turn and I go these questions in my head for over thirty years, and been fourteen years of anguish." And elsewhere: "I feared to lose faith." 1870 led to the fatal rupture, and now it will be even more mentioned in the Diocesan Ordo .


Without permission of his Bishop, father Roca went so in Spain and lived for ten years in Barcelona as a tutor to the children of a wealthy French industrialist, Mr. Jean-Habeeb-Meuron, who lived there with his family. How they met and what was their relationship? We ignore it. This gentleman had to be satisfied with the services of the Abbot as hired by deed to a lifetime pension of three thousand pesetas (12).

But what happened during the long stay in Barcelona? Was the presence of the father in this family found to be inappropriate? Or will his liberal ideas, Socialists and antiromaines caused scandal in this deeply conservative country? It was banned by the Bishop of Barcelona and Perpignan. Returning to France some time after, he asked Bishop Caraguel up of enforcement that hit him. This was given in 1882, to make a retreat in Rome. The diocesan administration thought perhaps that a stay in the eternal city would make it a certain balance and above all enable it to acquire a more orthodox theological reflection. Alas! It seems that this was exactly the opposite that happened.


Was it really a retreat to Rome? Where did he live there? Nevertheless he remained nearly two years, until the fall of 1883. During his stay, he had the leisure to visit the city, meet with other priests, prelates, theologians, to expose ideas that churning in his brain. Notably he made the acquaintance of father Curci, Jesuit, Director of la Civiltà Catolica , "a scientist" whom I adore the equal of a saint, with whom he remained until the end of his life in correspondence. At this time father Curci launched vivid attacks against Roman Church by publishing two books that made big noise: Vatican Royal and The Christian socialism , which could not only delight the Perpignan Canon. Pius IX was not the courage to hit father Curci, his services passed; but his work was put on the Index in Léon XIII and the Jesuit submitted. Roca said however: "the fact is that this noble old man has not retracted his honest and candid indictment." I have the unimpeachable evidence in letters from him that I keep preciously. However, Curci did not fine the theses of Roca, which in itself made the admission: "in this social Gospel which you speak to me, I see something, but I don't know for what cause, I see not very well.

Roca wrote at this time where the book Christ, Pope and democracy , which he symbolically completed the first part in Rome September 4, 1883 "Göritz funeral day", i.e. of Henri V, count of Chambord.

It must be said that he hated all the kingship as the papacy. He wanted to personally deliver his manuscript to Léon XIII and directly explain his ideas. He requested a private audience that he was not. However, he came to the Pope's private Secretary, and even to the Secretary of State. He says himself: "I had that day, not with Léon XIII, which contains for good reasons, in the impenetrable mystery, but with his private Secretary, Monsignor Boccali, a long conversation where I could express all my thoughts, thanks to the kindness of this intelligent and worthy prelate.".

The Secretary of the Pope wanted well take to communicate to the sovereign pontiff this manuscript as I publish it today. Fifteen days after this visit, when I was about to leave for America, the book made me return to Paris, with a letter from Bishop Boccali. The letter is sober, discreet, rare circumspection. It does not contain neither blame nor praise, disclaimer or encouragement. It myself obviously to the inspirations of my conscience, as it had done six months before cardinal Jacobini, Secretary of State of his Holiness".

It may be coming back from Italy will stop in Geneva where he rencondre enlightened philosophers and Protestant theologians or misfits like him. Lyon, which have always existed of esoteric cults, he is welcomed into a "private sanctuary". It is not that of ND de Fourvière, traditional and popular, it attracts in pious pilgrimage. "Lyon - he writes - the city of Mary, is the town in France where the cult of the Virgin is the best preserved, and where it combines easily with the progress of this civilization and Christian democracy.". There, I've seen the girl, the Evangelical Cymodocee, pontificate at the altar of the Virgin Mary, crowned with flowers, white dress, green coat, coated with the insignia of his priesthood angelique and it was affecting!

Probably, I would have wanted not to, as Catholic priest, associate myself with this liturgy, because it lacks of piecings canonical orthodoxy of officially dedicated cult, but I do help, in a book like this, report these phenomena of Aurora, these soft prodromes of the future. The day where this wonder will show in our cathedrals, in all our churches, the sanctuaries should be filled again as if by magic, and there will be on the Earth more than thousand times religion than it has seen in 6,000 years." (MN, 508.). One can doubt strongly that such aberrations produce a beautiful effect!


Flyer, Roca flows over the years here in Spain, the Portugal, Italy and Switzerland. "I have walked the Earth," he said in one of his books, with a bit of exaggeration. One may also wonder how a priest, without official position and without large personal income could afford so long peregrinations.

In October 1883 he returned to Paris and almost immediately sailed for the North America where it will travel until the spring of the following year.

"The proud and Christian America" it attracts and seduces him, because her flourish in freedom, progress, feminism and Protestantism. "Happy country! where the Gospel flowers and fruits without hindrance, on a new Earth that has never infected the old spirit of the cesarean section Rome. I'm not the harvest of science and virtue it produces abundantly surprised. Hideous wounds wash away us, that are unknown in the North American, but not in the South, where Ultramontanism has struck as we... Other peoples, those of old and self-righteous Europe, will be forced to follow the lead of their younger sister, proud and Christian America". (MN, 511).

Alas, Yes! This is what occurred. But he déchanterait if he could see today the unforeseeable consequences of materialism which capital is the basis. Roca thus traveled the United States and was even a travel journal that it would be interesting to find. He was in Washington November 12, 1883, New Orleans on February 18, 1884 and Chicago March 1.

Washington he spent three weeks at the Ebblitt Hotel where a helping hand offered him the note 525 dollars. "I just learned that this hand is that of the reverend doctor William Paret, Rector of the Church of the Epiphany, protestant Minister French of origin, who would gladly receive home one of his compatriots, but who preferred to offer me, without my knowledge, brilliant hospitality in a hotel, to not hinder me in my dealings with the Catholic clergy. "Very delicate attention that I do and then recognize that in making it public. (CP 193.)

A part of the trip occurred in the company of one who had been father Hyacinthe Loyson, religious carme, brilliant lecturer of Notre-Dame, which, as a result of the proclamation of the dogma of Papal infallibility, had left the pants and led a wandering life in various countries. Married, virulent speaker against the Church, he had to finish his life as "gallican" parish priest of Neuilly. His friendship with the stepfather Hyacinthe earned a misadventure in New Orleans on the part of the bishop-elect, Archbishop Leray.

"I was in New Orleans for twelve days, saying the mass in the Cathedral, with the permission of Bishop, who had initialed my ecclesiastical licenses, when, one Sunday morning he me was signified by the sacristan concierge, doorman real language, I could not celebrate." And the reason? Had it so what happened? A Word from the vicar general put me on the track: "It seems, he said, that you are the father mahout Hyacinthe!" Enjoy this style by the way.

Should I confess everything here: I know father hyacinth, I respect him, I admire his talent, his virtues, his life struggles and sufferings, but I do not belong to his Church. I find that there are enough divisions, too, far too many among us. Our reports are personal, not faith; they differ in no way from those have with him many other priests and even bishops. But father hyacinth was not then at New Orleans. He was, I believe, in Florida. If far from his elephant, had so done the mahout to displease her size so hard?

Here: I had published in the journal The bee , which is under the tutelage of the bishopric, an article where I said the famous speaker that he had the heart torn by divisions show that offers the Church around the world, and that all his preaching efforts tended to reconstruct this Catholic unity, that we have broken into a thousand pieces. There was not more to close these doors of the church so widely open, in the words of the Archbishop on me!... New Orleans is the only city in the United States where I found the fanaticism in full bloom with the same results, pretty much, with us. It must be said that this diocese is ultramontane. "This was, alas!, too. (CP, 195)

Subsequently, Roca will maintain relationships and a certain friendship for Loyson; He wrote even about it an amazing page (13):

"Father hyacinth went there with all his heart. I know the man at bottom, and I find it; I know the speaker, and I admire him; but I know also the reformer, and I pity. Full on one side, tastes and the old ideas of the monk, which he keeps the dress in a hunt for relics, on the other hand, thoughts and aspirations of the young France, he personifies him two ages and two trends that could not agree, tear his soul from side to side, and are a continual martyrdom of its existence.

I spoke without bitterness, but not without pain, because it is always sad to see a man to jump in the water and will drown. There was so much force in his word, and he could well serve the cause of the social Christ! But he should have to do this, otherwise design its apostolic mission. I have followed very closely the experience, from Geneva; It served to me: this is not bringing the Church to the Gallican forms; It is not even in him making back the course of ages up to Constantine, as first I had thought, it will return to it the emancipated peoples of his guardianship. It's evolving Christianity on its divine axis, so that it presents to the world both sides at the time, his divine face and its social face, that this Religion, then merged fully with the Science and civilization, will reach its ultimate goal, the inauguration on Earth for the Kingdom of heaven! This is the final purpose of the promise Dominicale: Adveniat Regnum tuum . That father hyacinth forgive me frankness of my language, in the open air as it me has pardoned oft behind closed doors. I would like to use his defeat to the triumph of Jesus Christ, and that I would like to use this same triumph, all the errors of the clerical priesthood." (AM, 349.)


After the American trip, Roca returned to Paris and moved to Neuilly. It's there that he will organize the dissemination of his ideas including by publishing five books, we give the characteristics and a brief analysis.

  1. Christ, the Pope and the democracy . -304 pages, Garnier Frères, Paris, 1884, at least two editions. The first part was written in Rome in 1883 and the second completed in America the following year.

    Roca said the situation of religion was lamentable everywhere in the world, and he accuses the Vatican and Ultramontanism, cause of all evils. He lived Catholicism following the Roman doctrines crushes freedom, science, democracy, and prevents principles sacred of 1789, the rights of man, to flourish. To save the world, he must return to Christ the Saviour and Redeemer, by relying on science. Need to return to the pure religion, the Gospel and the primitive times, and RID Christianity of all the centuries cluttered it. The Credo of the Abbot Gabriel, added in the Appendix, presents itself as a doctrinal synthesis.

    Roca was banned again on 6 June 1884, probably by Bishop Caraquel, Bishop of Perpignan, because most likely this first publication. But we have not found a document stating this point in the diocese.
  2. The Abbot Gabriel and his girlfriend Henriette . -Roman, announced as early as 1884 as being in press and to be published shortly by Garnier. But it seems that it was never released in volume. Roca made him appear as a serial in the magazine L ' Étoile , and then in The Roussillon novelist . It is a novel water rose and somewhat maudlin, showing love pure and impossible by the two protagonists; painful adventure that leads to death. The author wants to show the disasters caused by 'the fatal discipline that requires priests to the unyielding harshness of forced celibacy. "At these shots, judge the value of this institution against nature and the havoc that it did in humanity."
  3. The fatal crisis and the salvation of Europe. - critique on missions of M. de Saint-Yves , Garnier Frères publishers, Paris, 1885. 124 Pages booklet. At least five editions. Roca view the books of a certain Saint-Yves of Alveydre Missions of rulers (1882), Missions of workers (1882) and Missions of the Jews , (1884), recently published. He was enthusiastic: "the genius of Missions made me aware of my own, revealed me the background of my own thoughts, by tearing the veil through which I saw confused the star, whose bright light in full at this time, in my eyes.

    The whole booklet is an advertisement for the books by this author. To resolve the moral, political and religious crisis gnawing away at the social body and the Church, it is a general, global, Government who leads all States and where all the bodies of the society will be represented. Of course being that all religions are equal and that the Pope will have a legal precedence. This is the famous Synarchy , which would include three rooms: the Public Instruction and cults. the Justice and the economy. League of Nations before the letter that would bring salvation through the glorious triad of Science, Justice and the economy. All this explained from esoteric considerations on religions and, in particular, those of the East.
  4. The end of the Old World. -In sub-title: The New Heavens and the New Earth. Levy, editor, Paris, 1886, vi + 415 pages.

    This book is the first part of a diptych devoted always to the same theories. Here the author announces the general rout of the Old World, the destruction of the "old earth policy", which is "the tail of the Middle Ages." The old political sky will disappear and it will be the collapse of the building clerical, Christianity as a whole. The days of ultra-Montanism and its verbosity arrived. However link already dawn of hope and renewal omens, which will be described in the next book.

    After the publication of these extravagances theological, religious authority had to move, she tried the Nunciature in Paris certainly an attempt to bring him on the right path, an attempt that was misinterpreted.

    "Monsignor di Rende did me the honor recently (10 January 1886) to call me at the Palace of the Nunciature in Paris." The graceful and discreet welcome I've received from him no. different from the one I received from the Cardinal Secretary of State, Archbishop Jacobini during my visit to the Vatican, nor of him that is made the Archbishop of Paris, whenever I go there. Sign of the times, sign of the times! The hour of triumph approach. "

    He adds elsewhere: "I can say, without metaphor, that my work on The End of the Old World had cost me an arm and head." I lost soon after publishing this book, which was the first part of a book of which this volume will, prevented by this accident, look at his time, would have on the second hand, in a different form from that we will read.

    A mystic, exalted to the hallucination, hastened to write to me: "Do not worry! You will be given new eyes such that you need to dial the New Heavens and the New Earth, you has to tell the world. "

    Weird coincidence! As to give reason for this extravagant, was made for me, as he said, slowly, as most were fixed in my mind, there is amending the radiant lines of the new order of things, that all oracles have predicted, and which is organized today, no one, especially among priests, has the air of doubt. I have said nothing of this strange fact, if I did not have to account for the long delay suffered by this publication.

    I discovered through personal experiences, which I must have recovered their sight, that through Christ al'influx the Spirit in our heart and brain, heart and brain can become generators of a cosmic force the highest and purest quality. "What could this experience he believed he had made the view?
  5. New World. -In emphasis: glorious centennial 1889 and sub-title: New Heaven, New Earth, by the author of The End of the Old World. Auguste Ghio, editor, Paris, 1889. VII + 575 pages.

    Shown signs of revival that will transform man, the earth, the world, religion, by occult or applied sciences. Christianity will be a new exégesis of new dogmas, especially those of the creation, the Fall and Redemption. Ill have a social aspect which will cause a new political, trade union, federation, association. A new ministry and a new pontificate appear, and the woman herself is transfigured "as an agent of social reform." At the top of the building, the esoteric Christ, whose impulses are spread in the human brain and in society as a "cosmic force generator all divine."


Along with books that we have briefly identify, Roca wrote several blogs in newspapers or magazines, all naturally outside of the church, esoteric or novelist. In those years where anticlericalism gave free rein with virulence, polemicist could only find support in some political circles interested. We have compiled a small list of blogs written by him, which is probably not comprehensive and may be supplemented and clarified:

  1. Lotus, No.. 11, 1888.
  2. New Rome, 1880?
  3. Free forum Clergy, No.. 21 July 1888.
  4. Friend of humanity, No.. 4 March 1888.
  5. Popular forum (unspecified).
  6. Voltaire, June 7, 1882.
  7. Bulletin of the philosophical and moral studies society. Meeting on 8 April 1886. Speech on the "New solution of the social question" (shot-to-hand).
  8. The Dawn (esoteric Lady Caithness magazine).
  9. Messianic School (Roca said in editor).

At the same time, Roca made some attempts to establish periodicals, which were rather ephemeral

  1. The novelist Roussillon, journal-weekly magazine, 9 November 1890 to 15 March 1891 (19 numbers), founder Father Roca, printed and published in Perpignan (Bibliothèque Nationale, 4, Lk 9, 123-6).
  2. The Socialist Christian socialism body of Jesus and the apostles. Replaces the previous 3 July 1891 to 28 February 1892. Editor: Father Roca. Printer: H. Arbault towers. (Bibliothèque Nationale, 8, Z 16505; D 11384 microfiche).

We must also mention Ensign, a monthly magazine founded in 1889, with the subtitle: Kabbalah Messianic Christian Socialism, Spiritualism experimental, Literature and art. The founder was Alber Jhouney, but Father Roca was for some time the editor and published many blogs there. It was, it seems, the organ of a group, The Brotherhood of the Star, who was living at Mrs. Piou de Saint-Gilles, which also subsidized the magazine. Brotherhood of the Star included "four degrees of gradual admission" shown on the cover of each issue. ""


Seeking answers to his philosophical and theological problems, Roca finally fell into the esoteric and the Kabbalah. During the ten years of his stay in Paris, he attended various intellectual circles which were cultivated with esoteric belief, Cabal, the occult, in an atmosphere of messianism, especially salons Lady Caithness and Mrs. Patel Saint-Gilles, still other clans such as Saint-Yves D'alveydre of gold Stanislas de Guaita. Some names seem to emerge more specifically (14).

These names that seem to be emerging particularly among intellectual relations of Roca could not doubt add others. We will post, but in a slightly different direction, a character who made a great noise in his time. This is Pierre-Michel Vintras (1807-1875), this founding illuminated sect, sentenced by Episcopal and Pontifical authority, remained famous through the novel inspired Hill bars. Roca admired his writings that he compared to those of Joachim of Fiore, and praising "this prodigious movement", "the business of Carmeleens, at the head of which was an extraordinary man. Pierre-Michel Vintras, which it is not for me to define the more wonderful than its mission. His writings remain. He threw his ideas in the world: seed, known, never lose. Semen is verbum! Many speak who have never read the first word. (MN, 341.) Had it been in personal relationship with Vintras? In any case he subscribed to The voice of the septaine , review this last published (16).

It is therefore certain that Roca attended for a number of years various esoteric and shared their ideas. Himself claimed was cured of a wrong vision through certain experiences which we do not know the nature. In 1889 he attended the International spiritualist Congress and a speech. In his library were spiritualist writings such as those of Allan Kardec. And we saw that he had assisted in Lyon to an esoteric cult, however with a certain reluctance. Then spread ideas residing in the vestibule of the secret temples, without daring to participate? In a Word, and to say it clearly was heterodox religious or spiritualist ceremonies? In any case he had to know, since it had been consulted about it. He tells it in a well amazing page: "A time where I write, young people, up-and-coming, very educated, beautiful names, feel irresistibly drawn towards the altar of Christ, to celebrate the divine mysteries. They are secular, but insiders, cleverly introduced to esotericism our dogma of our worship, paid, deeply versed in the ineffable secrets of Ste Kabbala, as were the Essenes, Hebrew therapists and the Egyptian hermetic, in which Moses had collected all the treasures of ancient science.

Between them, these young people are called the new Magi; they believe themselves to be priests and feel like, they say, by the virtue of the Holy anointing they received of the Church on the day of their baptism. and they celebrate the mass according to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church, not in public, they is recognize not the law, but doors closed, among them.

I saw in this regard. Without deciding the question, I replied by quoting texts of the ancient fathers... that highlight the baptismal anointing and the priestly anointing analogy..." However, it does depend on the validity of the ordination of "the legal delegation... absolutely necessary to celebrate the big day the mysteries sovereigns". "Also I'm not surprised that a venerable Canon, more authorized than me by his age, his Holiness and his science, has disposed of the question for these young people with more roundness that I had dared to do it myself; Here's his answer: Licet officers , it allowed behind closed doors. non licet in publico , it is not permitted to open.

This flower of Christians have, I know, very awake, developed extraordinary religious feeling. The mysteries of Christianity have become familiar; they know very well that our liturgy is theurgy, and that our sacramental ritual is a collection of formulas of magic white or divine, a power not less formidable than that before Moses, when he hit Egypt in the eyes of Pharaoh, or when he did shudder a people at the foot of the Sinai which is crowned, his voiceThunderbolts and lightning.

It is in these new priests say the sacramental words and that they touch Holy things. Shaking so, elsewhere, everywhere where the routine and in consciousness maim Kabbalistic signs and bredouillent the great verb, the amen, the fiat the hoc is, etc.?" (MN, 441-442)

Need to clarify that, according the traditional theology, a baptized layperson has no power to celebrate the mass and the sacrament of order is not a legal delegation but by the laying on of hands by the Bishop? Also should think, as a result of Dr. Bataille, that he is here black masses? This is possible. Finally, the Canon which Roca referred would be a Paris priest who was known as father Alta occultists. It also appears that it is the same character that Huysmans featured in his novel out there under the pseudonym of Canon Docre. Unless it is of Roca himself?

Dr. battle, which was not tender for Roca, says: "combined with the masonry, it has gone to Valentinian Gnosticism. And he quotes these words: "the Gospel is the Masonic ritual of the rational ideas, germs lie buried in our own mind...". Freemasonry is therefore called on land of Evangelical ideas; they radiate in the writings of Findel, Crauze, Bauer, Lessing and rad.

And in support of his say, he cited this passage from Findel: "we embed in the same womb of humanity and of our souls to find deep and sacred religion, hidden sources of our days beneath the ruins of the altars and the rubble of the old dogmas. While the Vatican condemned Freemasonry and excommuniait its members, Roca had the extreme audacity to brag about the merits. And, as said Saunier, "from theory to practice, the Canon did not hesitate to speak in 1885, by a long letter to the Supreme bodies of the Grand Orient de France...".


It is difficult to summarize in a few lines the ideas or theories exposed throughout large volumes and many journal articles. As Roca cannot be locked into any school, but is itself its own synthesis, very eclectic. Borrowing ideas everywhere and to all sorts of writers, he admits himself to be a "phonograph". And this in an incredible cluster of quotations which are to them only the most much of his books.

Dissatisfied by the traditional exhibition of dogmas by the Catholic Church, he will also seek an explanation that suits him. It thus opposed the exoteric doctrine, known to all, the esoteric doctrine, hidden but reserved for a few insiders. "Esotericism - he said - is the unknown veiled and far part of the religious and social truth that lies beneath the letter of Scripture, dogma, mysteries and sacraments of all cults."

At the same time, we have seen, concerned by what it believes to be a ruin of Christianity, noting the political, social and moral disorders that prevail everywhere in the world, he accuses the Pope as temporal sovereign and Ultramontanism. It will therefore draw on all sources that he will meet: the Kabbalism and Eastern religions (17); Saint-Yves d'alveydre and a whole group of esoteric as the deepest thinkers of the world; also in the positivism of Auguste Comte in liberalism, scientism, socialism and the principles of 1789; in the evolution of Darwin. yet in Platonism, the Alexandrian school, etc.

Saunier rightly points out "the mystical exaltation evidenced in each of his works the Canon Roca, prophesying with passion and erudition, but as embroiled in a sacred delirium: Fourier, Saint-Simon Ballanche, and Kabbalah, Buchez, Chateaubriand, the Mahatmas, Auguste Comte and Quinet, and many others are to announce the renewal of the company by a rejuvenated Christianity.". Rejuvenated by the synarchy.

And with all these elements collected everywhere, he built a global system that will completely renovate the world, point of view religious, political and social, these three orders are closely linked. Here is a small and extremely brief anthology because Roca has his ideas on everything.

Point of view religious all fundamental dogmas are kept at least by name, but esoterically explained.

God is "non-being in the esoteric meaning of the Zohar, that is the Essence uncreated, eternal and more incommunicable, which being is all human beings, the spirit to all minds, the soul to all souls and life in all lives". (MN, 213)

"And it is because God has no body, it is present everywhere in the infinity of time and space, as the cosmic light and astral ether sails that used clothing, and by the diffusion of fluids electric, magnetic, inter-Atomic, inter-planetaires, inter-sideraux and Sonic, that serve as vehicles and providential agencies." (MN, 230.) For him "the universe is a living being, formed as a us to a spirit, a soul and a body."

Original sin : "the cataclysm that precipitated our world and humanity in the matter, was the punishment of a dreadful crime, a daring revolt are talking about the traditions of all the Temples and the Christian Church calls original sin. We, we, priests, lack of light far to explain this biological phenomenon, which is a fact some Physiology and sociology, as I try to explain it". (MN, 231.)

The Redemption : "we have already seen, in the previous chapter, that the dogma of the original forfeiture meets the physical law of gravity, and the fall of spiritual essences is explained in the same way as that of serious body. "We remains to be seen, how the dogma of the Redemption responds in turn to the physical law of attraction, and how the rehabilitation of human societies is the same as the rise and sway of the material spheres in infinite space. (MN, 283.)

The Christ : "it's faith, even today, until it is of science tomorrow, that the new Adam, or Jesus Christ, is the second edition of the Adam Kadmon, reinstated in the fullness of the attributes that he lost when the social disaster that bears the name of original sin." It is faith that Christ in his glorious humanity, made visible on Mount Tabor was also, such will be the man on the day of his full recovery tomorrow". (MN, 67).

"It is the solar Christ of the Zohar, and it are planetary Christs who embody it in the worlds." "It is the heavenly Christ-spirit and it is terrestrial Christs that showed it during the ancient and very long primary education cycle. (MN, 516.)

The Holy Spirit : "naturalists have named this force the vital essence, Mahatmas Akas, Akas or Prakrit, spiritualists fluid medianimique, magnetic fluid hypnotists, the electric fluid physicists, Moïse Ruach Elohim, the Greeks Ether divine, the Romans Mens or Spiritus: it is all that at the same time and something more.". Christ gave his real name when he called it the Holy Spirit, the living breath of God... ".

And he added: "Whatever name which is called the cosmic force made by the creator at the disposal of the human, it is certain that science will happen sooner or later to use it whole, as it uses steam from Papin, gas from Lebon, the fluid from Franklin Electric and magnetic from Mesmer fluid". (MN, 73.) «In all truth, Christians who repeated knees to this beautiful prayer of our liturgy: Emitte Spiritum tuum and creabuntur and renovabis faciem terrae are not another thing that seek En-Soph, the eternal masculine principle, to pay its generator fluid in the breast of Ochmach, the feminine principle living.» The mystery of universal fertilization occurs throughout the establishment, as it typically operated in the Immaculate womb of the Virgin of Nazareth"(MN, 209). For him still: "the spirit through bottom-up all the hardware area, and comes out of the reign of the animal to reach its full bloom in the brain of the man, in his intelligence and his genius, where he rushes, radiant, in the angelic sphere." (MN, 228.)

The miracle : ' no mystery that needs to have remain mystery! No miracle that it happens sooner or later to discover the law and reproduce the effects based on systematic and safe way. Therefore not of sacred tradition we come out to justify rationally at the right time". (MN, 242.)

The sacraments : "in any case it would be white magic as that of our sacraments, our rites and accomplished wonders either by Christ, by the miracle-workers. We enter a scientific path that will take us far and high. (MN, 249.)

The sovereign pontificate : it is only a step which will evolve. "So far we have had of this Institution as the only shadow, a shadow that remains as a vestige of the past, as a prelude to the future." The Roman papacy is all at once a debris of what was, and a draft of what will be a memory and hope ". (MN, 449.)

The Force of the Christ : "I discovered from personal experiences, I must have recovered the view, thanks to the influx of the Christ-spirit in our heart and in our brain, this heart and this brain can become generators of a cosmic of the highest and purest quality force, better than that of laboratories where it is more the single man who operates, but where is working with us Christ himself, as St. Paul taught formally: Vivo, in jam not ego; vivit vero me Christus . All Christians know this, but they know as a Collier, by faith dead! Ah! It is well another thing to find out by strong science, experimental, rational and positive science". (MN, 554).

From this body of doctrine Roca discusses what were then called the social question . Since the Redemption is the salvation of the cosmos as a whole, material and spiritual, will be "the social Christ" or "social Christianity". In the last years of his life, that he fell into the most comprehensive anti-clericalism, it uses even the words "proletariat", of "masses", with a violence that is reminiscent of some contemporary political leaders. It expressed itself Socialist , but in its own way which is that of the 19th century. It provides for the formation of associations Union of new groups, the federations of peoples, and even more surprisingly, the formation of the United States of Europe (MN, ch. XII, p. 406).

In political , while all of the clergy of his diocese, and we could say France, monarchist, he is Republican. Does this of his family origins or the old traditionally democratic Fund of the Catalans? «I believe that democracy today is legitimate daughter of the Catholic Church, from the union of Christ with the Church...» I believe that this redemption is fulfilled in the new society by the advent of democracy ". (CP, 302) «Modern society is the daughter of 89...» But she is also the daughter of Christ and the Church... And why? Because of the spirit of Christ become the public spirit of all... civilized peoples"

All of this can be found its practical application in what he calls "the divine synarchy", according to a constitution which will group all Nations with parliaments, rooms, where the body of the society, all religions will be represented. In this conglomerate, will be more than a spiritual primacy the Pope and the Catholic Church will be fully diluted (MN, p. 372, and passim). After all this that remains of the specificity of the Catholic Church? Virtually nothing. It certainly contributed, among other things, to condemn by Rome.

Through so many developments, obscure reasoning, more or less accurate statistics, generous utopias, we find some amazing, almost prophetic predictions.

Progress : "when you think that he did a half-century, one of our most famous statesmen, said seriously, from the top of the parliamentary forum that never railway replace stagecoaches, the country of France being too rough!

And that would therefore answered Mr. Thiers to that would have told him this: before you die, you will have the privilege of lunch in Paris with dinner in Marseille, on the same day. fifty years after you will around the world by rail, and you will hear this cry in the station of the is: gentlemen travellers to Russia, China, Kamschatka, Canada, the United States, the Mexico, Panama, the river of the Amazons, Tierra del Fuego, drive!... When approach where distance will become by phone, as it already is for telegraphy, a negligible factor. on phone Paris no longer only in le Havre and Marseille, as today, but Algiers, Yokohama, Melbourne, San Francisco..." It provides even the submarine cable and telephony in the train. "The inextricable network of electric lines of the human voice will envelop the world in its mesh and endless. (MN 86.)

The United States of Europe : "thus to explain trends that were emerging in the modern nations, that Yes instinct leads irresistibly to federate in Europe; as they themselves are federated in the United States of America, under the same impulsiondu spirit, the Holy Spirit of the Gospel". He sees in an Alpine Rhine confederation "the first nucleus of the United States of Europe" (MN, 406).

Feminism : "I am announcing the next arrival of women, and his religious and social Ministry...". The time has come for men "to give something their supremacy and their haughty claims, to empower women and to admit it today in the Councils of Government, the participation of civil rights and public offices that they were brutally arrogated the monopoly hitherto". "Accession of women at the altar, his ordination, his consecration for the public offering of the sacrifice, this is from the Gnosis of sacred and essential part of the large warehouse of the tradition". (MN, ch. XV, passim.)

In the Roman Catholic religious order itself, it promotes and announces a complete change of the Papacy, the sacraments and the liturgy, the abandonment of the cassock, the marriage of priests, secularization, etc. "a single Council can solve these problems and issues relating thereto, reproducing in the ecclesiastical order, the show that gave, in the political order, the estates General of France in 1789". (CP, 273) "I believe that the divine worship, as regulate it the liturgy, ceremonial, ritual, and the precepts of the Roman Church, will be soon, in an Ecumenical Council, a transformation that, making the venerable simplicity of the Apostolic golden age, will be in harmony with the new consciousness and Christian civilization... State. (B) 300

The priests : "they will load civil, too, national, communal support, family support, in the municipality as at home. The ugly wound of celibacy, source of corruption and sterility in all the peoples who have suffered from this scourge will disappear, even the barracks the day where she will be gone from presbyteries." (MN, 472.) That, among other things, what will be the new world according to Roca.


As far as we can judge by his writings and actions, the man had a character violent, carried away, stubborn, receding ever when he made an opinion or deciding an action to take. He always goes to the end. With this intelligent, served by a philosophical and literary culture great and a prodigious memory. It reads many antique and modern books, newspapers, magazines, holding all of this perfectly in his mind. At this point his books are practically a tissue of quotations. Thereby sometimes naive to amaze. There was a certain generosity nor to fight injustices, to defend the oppressed, distributing generously large alms to the poor.

Formed by solid literary studies, writer wields the pen with ease, elegance, without never to transgress the rules that it had taught him. His style is rich, but the long tiring; It is that, bombastic and emphasis of the speakers of his time, stuffed in single quotation marks, exclamations and questions. Polemicist, he is not a Chua, but like the brawl. He does not hide his opinions, but trying to propagate, to know if this would have been possible to the Pope. Naturally aware of the truth, it will push in his pride, obtunded it find more track and push through an impossible maze. As in so many others of his ilk it lacked a certain Christian humility, common sense and real theological principles.

His tastes? He loved all avant-garde writers of some edge they had, especially of the 19th-century heterodox, his friends in esotericism. He loved science and progress, the Revolution of 1789, but not persecuting and fond of 1793. He loved America, that he opposed "the old and self-righteous Europe."

There is irreducible and strong hatred. The Jesuits, the Inquisition, all Kings which he thought through the gossip of primary education, the two Napoleon, Bishop Gautam, because he was at the origin of the Syllabus. But his arch enemy was Hildebrand (Pope Gregory) he accused all of the miseries and evils, time and contre-temps. Luther, whose "doctrine is unholy, abominable, really Satanic", and because of him, the Teutons: "you will hear it, and then you will understand why the term consciousness has become what it is today: while slashing nations, while crushing the peoples, while oppressing the social body of Christ, the teuton cries from the rostrum of the Reichstag". : "We, Germans, we fear God! but nothing else in this world!" Lord! Lord! O Jesus! Fear you, these people here, they say! Yes! Yes, in the way that they were taught Luther...» (MN, 320)

After the disaster of Sedan, we understand this hatred. Even the good father Exupère de Prats de Mollo, Capuchin, is lambasted because his books and his views on the spirit of poverty. Bishop Soubirane, his compatriot, and especially Cardinal Lavigerie, after the famous toast of Algiers, they receive a flock of green wood in the Roca log: "Mgr Lavigerie is a thin blade, a hard dodger, a clever papelard. I know, and I was wondering if I would not have to undress, coram populo , this malandrin red to show it as it is, as he showed already when he was my classmate at École des Hautes Études in Paris. Since then, I do lose it from view, and I know on behalf..." But at this time there Roca fell into the most virulent anticlericalism and passion eventually lead him astray completely.


Until about 1889, father Roca habitually in Neuilly, 49, avenue du Roule, impasse des Sablons. In the capital he thus had the opportunity to attend some circles, fairs, meet with friends, in particular those of The star . He claimed same relations would have allowed him to become episcopable, in a time where the Concordat almost allowed the Government to make only the Episcopal appointments.

"It is so, my conscience, because I did not want to go to the Bishop mitre in SAC, and head to the hand. It was easy, very easy to dye my cassock in purple. I would have had to accept an invitation to dinner at one of my friends where I'd found at the table with the Minister of cults. "Come, let me do, and you will be Bishop. Ah! It may be the bishops in France? Thank you, dear Sir, officer of State, I it will never. "Any employee is a slave. Anyone who is paid, depends on who pays, say together Lacordaire and Montalembert... You go ask the current Minister of religion, Mr. René Goblet if I wood which is Episcopal flutes of today. This is what I have to say to those who accused me of to the Court to the Government for reasons of ambition ". (AM 366.)

However ideas out in his books and his journals, had to worry about the Orthodox theologians and also the hierarchy. How could he not realize? He wrote in his last book:

"I have idea that Rome me and blessed me in petto ." I was able to talk to the Vatican ahead of the Cardinals. I was able to speak also to the nuncios and archbishops. They have not openly encouraged me, they do me no closed mouth. The Minister of State of his Holiness cardinal Leo XIII Archbishop Jacobini, to whom I offered one day to break my pen, if it agreed to take before God the responsibility for this Act, replied: "well I'd keep!". And the Cardinal Guibert, Archbishop of Paris, told me in blessing me: "you might be right; the future will tell. " I would cite other evidence, if I was afraid to be intrusive. For the expectant attitude of the Roman Church, I take myself to all hope of his fidelity to the holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. "I was neither condemned nor censored: it is everything. (MN 148.)

It was forget the ecclesiastical prudence and Roman slow!

Was - to protect themselves in advance that it was this curious comment: "the index is not what there is in the world; It is not the conviction of all ideas expressed in a book. As its name suggests, this is a formal notice to take care, sometimes even a distinction as would be the inscription on a roll of honour. Then it means this: that teaching is not within the reach of everyone. The ideas are if new, so high that, if you take care, they could be disorientating, getting lost. You are notified. Open the eye.

Of our time, the index of the hand of the Pope rises and brand less and less. By impotence, they say. By disuse, then? A little Yes, but much more by the fact the progress and development of the spirit of Christ in the spirit of the man. The role of the index is pretty much complete.

In all cases, certainly not in my book will apply. The reason is simple; I am the first to put me to the index, saying to my readers: "if it seems that my teaching differs from the esoteric teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ, one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, it is that you do not understand. You make a mistake, repeat back to me with more attention. That said once and for all, are continuing..." (MN, 32.)

Such unconsciousness rout. Everyone knows that the Index was back there look outdated and anachronistic. From there to consider it as a roll of honour and distinction! "Rome has not convicted me - he said-if not fault of suggestions from various sides, assures me.

I don't know anything officially. But Rome cannot violate justice! Rome will never condemn me because what I teach, it is the pure and holy truth of the divine Gospel. "

For a long time already, he knew, his writings were studied in Rome and the ready folder for a solemn conviction. Accordingly, Religious of the diocese of Perpignan week published in its edition of January 26, 1889, the order of conviction and blacklisting of the first three books: Christ, the Pope and democracy ; The fatal attack and the salvation of Europe ; The end of the old world . The fourth book, The new world , which appears to be the more heterodox, was not included in the Decree, because he was not yet published.

It is the Congregation of the Holy Office, itself who them was sentenced September 19, 1888; then the Cardinals responsible for ensuring "books of bad doctrine," correct, and to condemn them, ordered to register in the Index of forbidden books, on December 14. Three days later the Papal decree was published.

After this Roman ruling the Diocese of Perpignan published the following note: "in accordance with the instructions received from the Holy See, Monsignor the Bishop of Perpignan is call Paul Roca father to notify him of the above Decree." His greatness then urged it to submit to the condemnation of his works and to retract bad doctrines; What Father Paul Roca refused, he was told, in pursuance of the same orders, that he was struck by suspense".

Oral tradition says that the discussion was so sharp between the Roca Abbot and Bishop Gaussail, he let himself go and giffla the Bishop. Thus so marginal priest was until then-Roca became outstanding a divinis , with everything it could have practical consequences.

November 12, 1890, Bishop Noël Gaussail, Bishop of Perpignan, was issue an order printed, bearing the No. 14, "Prohibiting Mr. Paul Roca wear the ecclesiastical habit, to take the title of honorary Canon and sentencing of The anticlerical one Roussillon log". We can reproduce in what it was essential.

«Considering that Mr Paul Roca, priest, even if it means the end of the year 1870, the diocese of Perpignan to which he belonged and that he spent ten years in Barcelona under a double taboo kick delivered by the Diocesan authority of Barcelona and Perpignan;

Whereas having been rehabilitated in 1882 by Bishop Caraguel indulgence, our revered predecessor, he published some time after, various writings objectionable and patently opposed at several points to Catholic doctrine, and that as a result of this publication, Bishop Caraguel was served a new sentence of forbidden, on the date of June 6, 1884.

Whereas these same writings were sentenced by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, dated December 14, 1888, published by order of our holy father the Pope on December 17, and registered in the Index of forbidden books, by Decree of the same date;

Considering that these orders notified by us to Mr Paul Roca at the date of January 19, 1889, he refused to submit.

Whereas that independently censures incurred by him, on this occasion, under the general laws of the Church, we have at the same time served on him ourselves a new sentence of forbidden;

Whereas, since then, Mr Paul Roca has persisted in its rebellion and it was aggravated by of new writings offensive against the Church and the Catholic Doctrine, and that at this time he published a journal entitled The anticlerical one Roussillon which expresses the editor, taking the title of honorary Canon and priest of the Catholic Church.

Whereas the single title of this newspaper actually know the character hostile to the Catholic Church and its hierarchy and contains the repudiation of the law clerk that he was honored on the part of its author and the disregard for the commitments it has entered into.

Whereas, as a result censorship it has incurred, Mr Paul Roca is stripped of the title of honorary Canon, and that other it is no longer, for about twenty years, Honorary canons table or even on the statistics of the Diocesan clergy;

Whereas the ecclesiastical costume has been unworthy, and that it affects to wear, could still give him some credit in the eyes of the population;

Considering that it is our duty to protect our diocesans against the baneful influences of such a scandal and y mettreun term, as much as it is in us. Have ordered and do the following:

  1. Sentences and censorship against Mr. Paul Roca is maintained, renewed and posted.
  2. The title of honorary Canon should no longer be assigned and it is forbidden to take it.
  3. The port of the ecclesiastical costume is also prohibited.
  4. The anticlerical one journal is ordered with defence to the faithful subject to our jurisdiction to subscribe, buy it and read it'.

This decision occurred three days after the publication of the first issue of the journal The Roussillon novelist . Deeply outraged, Roca fell in an anticlericalism yet more surly and more vehement that found echoes in the atmosphere political moment. Supported by a few politicians left, The novelist becomes a forum for the sad quarrel is given free rein and spreads out on the public highway. There, as for example in the The independent newspaper and elsewhere, he attacked the Roman Church, Archbishop Gaussail, priests, with a large virulence. For his part the traditionalist journal Le Roussillon replicates and maintains the Bishop. Other newspapers / magazines Paris or province will make the echo, and of course The star that broke loose also.

So much more that the review of the ex-abbe engaged also in socialism. Defence of the working class, Roca goes up to speak to the Prosecutor of the Republic to denounce social facts. Both and so the prefect of Pyrénées - Orientales must make a report to the Minister of cults. Speaking of the very violent letters published in the local press, this officer wrote: "these letters did no printing in the Department, where the population sees with perfect indifference the dispute between cures (18).

However, we know that good Christians suffered much and that all of the clergy was deeply affected, and for a long time. At that time Roca virtually withdrew to Berlin, in a small house from paternal inheritance, and he called the Castle because it was included in medieval buildings. The parish priest of this parish wrote to the Bishop on April 17, 1891: "back in my parish, it two years ago, I also found a man who for a long time has been for me a great subject of sadness; This man I have suffered it, silently, I liked it because well, I prayed for him; This man I have suffered it, I say, as long as his conduct seemed correct even in the misfortune; but when this man has been openly, he showed all his hatred, his rage, his spite, he does see in her negligee; then, Monseigneur, I thought the time to speak. It is when this man has spread in my parish and in a one-day fifty copies of his cursed diary that I thought my pastor of guard duty against this deadly poison the souls under my care, my vigilance by your size. "This is the man, who is none other than Mr Roca, I shocked him because there is nothing here (19)...".


Roca had serious health problems and had some financial difficulties. Probably saw still annuity of three thousand pesetas that Mr. Hachon had pledged to pay him. He received also two small pensions of hundreds of francs, paid by the Ministry of cults and of Public Instruction (20). But there should be no other income.

His savings had melted in its publications, and also, it seems, in alms to the poor. According his will, to his death he did nothing more. He wrote even to ask a help the Minister of cults and the wife of the President of the Republic, Ms. Sadi Carnot. Early January 1893, the journal L'Etoile launched a national subscription in his favour, indicating that he was nearly blind and without resources.

For a few months already, he had retired in one of his nieces in the small village of Llagostera, and this is where he spent the last days of his life. The House where he lived is located rue Camille-Pelletan, and now belongs to great-nephews, Mr. and Mrs. Surjus. These, as well as Ms. Dandekar-Domergue, another niece, there welcomed us very kindly and we showed the memories that the family keeps carefully since nearly ninety years. This is even something surprising and moving. The rural is perhaps the only one with such a spirit of conservation.

We have seen a medal in bronze with the inscription "Neuilly-sur-Seine charity Office. 1885-1886 Quest for the poor. Mr. l ' Abbé Roca, Commissioner". A yellowed photo shown us sitting near her niece Marie Domergue, it standing. It is in civilian clothes, vest and black frock coat; round, serious face, high forehead, and a neatly trimmed white beard. A little potbellied and rondelet, should be rather small in size.

On the ground floor of this modest House of farmers in the small living room is a buffet, transformed into altar and locker room, where he celebrated mass. A cut Board in the form of front of altar, glazed and decorated with angels and carved flowers, shown perfectly. Since the death of father Roca this furniture has not changed place. More extraordinary still, it is always on the small shelf a timbale or silver goblet, the initials PR, who served as chalice.

On the first floor, in a room which had to raise the ceiling to install it, the great library is still there, and next to a white wooden work table. The library is a large carved walnut, to two overlapping bodies and four-door glass; at the top, in a cartridge, the initials P R. It must have three hundred works, most connected, as well as notebooks and a few bundles of manuscripts. It is still, apparently, pretty much complete. We have listed only some of the volumes, those who seemed the most characteristic, and we present following a dummy classification.

Rohrbacher, universal history of the Church;

It is there, Llagostera that Paul Roca died of "apoplexy" September 10, 1893, at 11 o'clock in the evening he was seventy-three years. It is said that Jules Doinel, patriarch of the neo-diagnosis Church, called diagnosis immediately after the death of the abbot wrote a 'command' in which he urged his clergy to meet in thought at some point he stared and to pronounced the words of consolamentum reconstituted by him, and that "for the deliverance of his astral envelope" (21).

On 12 June 1890, perhaps already feeling the approach of death, he published in the newspaper The star an "open letter" to his priest when he said: "When I die, will you, my dear friend, to take a determination that you understand the seriousness, when I tell you that I intend to die a Christian faithful, not only as a member of the social body of Christ living Spirit"or, equivalently, of his Church one, holy catholic and apostolic Church, but as a priest, that is to say, as a serving devoted or minister of the same body, the same Church.

Therefore, I humbly seek my priest, at least for the hour of my death, administering last rites, and after my death, the honors of Christian burial. If these great benefits are denied me, I have to inform you that bread measures are taken to ensure that this refusal is brought to the attention of the whole world, the publication will be made first on my grave, the hour of my funeral and then in magazines and newspapers I write, and every one will have to insert the same time my profession of the Catholic faith and the text of this letter "(22).

To have a religious funeral, he should have been retractât prior mistakes and episcopal authority offended with the Church. Alas! He persisted to the end in his theories, as evidenced by his holograph that we could see. While reiterating the same desire as his funeral, he says always die in the Catholic faith "esoteric" (23).

In thesis conditions the naturally refused him burial Christian Church. His funeral was so civil. However his friends made a large wooden cross which preceded the funeral procession, it passed the church and stopped for a few moments before heading back to the cemetery. Initiation and magazines The star opened a subscription to the tomb, and with the product, the Gnostics Paris he erected a memorial stone bearing this inscription:

A Father Paul Roca
Apostle and martyr of Christ Spirit Humanity
His brothers and smug

Goal long ago the stone cross with the epitaph has disappeared from the small cemetery and burial Néfiach is no longer indicated.

Roca disappeared, only survived his written work, too little known outside a small number of specialists. It certainly is far behind the great writers in theology or philosophy of the nineteenth century, they were liberal and ultramontane. He had neither the scale nor influence, nor the reputation of has Renan, to Loisy, Veuillot gold Cardinal Pie, for example. In addition it does not seem to have been taken seriously outside of a small circle of insiders, as he himself noted: "allowed me to amaze me that my expectations of critics, described as ' illusory and naive were the object in the minutes that the press has given my book: Christ, the Pope and Democracy. " I'm looking sixteen newspapers or magazines where the same view is repeated in various forms. As if they were given the word, all these authors agree to laugh at my faith, my good faith, as they say. "

Léo Taxil himself, who wrote a year after the death of Roca, noted that his appeals to the clergy "do not seem to find much echo, although he boasted of having received boxed memberships and even have formed a group of Catholic priests who secretly adopted Gnosticism. Is this true? It is a boast? If this group exists, he kept secret his wonderfully, because I'm still nowhere any trace. "

He has not done school. Some of his ideas have aged well, others belong to some trends that have crossed the history of the Church from Joachim of Fiore to liberalism and modernism, and reappear in our time in various protest movements. Saunier writing about theories Roca: "All this has since been forgotten and only a few fundamentalists denounced still in the works of Canon Roca and satanic occult sources of the ecumenical movement and the conciliar reform."


1 Four priests in the diocese of Perpignan least bore the same surname in the nineteenth century: Yvonne Roca (1805-1883); Roca Bonaventure (1847-1910), François Roca (1837-1908), vicar general for a long time, and Fulani, one whose discussed here. It is important not to confuse because this misadventure has already befallen.

2. For example, Pierre Virion, Mystery of Iniquity, Ed Michel, 1967. Dr. Rudolf Graber, bishop of Regensburg, quoted in a pastoral letter entitled Athanasius and the Church of his time, Ed Cedar, Paris, 1973, it refers also to the preceding work. Already at the end of the last century Leo Taxil Roca ranked among Satanists, with some virulence of language, in a book published under the pseudonym of Doctor battle, The Devil in the nineteenth century, and Delhomme Briguet, publishers, Paris and Lyon, 1892-1895, Volume 2, now-707.

3 Sources:

Could certainly complete this manual through the archives of the Paris Nunciature, the Holy Office, and the Archbishopric of Paris. Add that to our knowledge, no biography seems have been published so far.

4. Marital status of the municipality of Fourques: birth of Paul Roca, 26 April 1830 at 8 o'clock in the morning, son of Antoine 31-year-old farmer, residing in this county, and Elisabeth Surjus, his wife, 24-year. Records of catholicity of Fourques, in the Diocese of Perpignan: "the year 1830 and on 29 April, we undersigned, parish priest of Fourques, baptized according to the rite and form of our holy mother the Church Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, Paul, Etienne Antoine, son, born on 26 of the current, legitimate and natural son of Antoine Roca and Elisabeth Surjus.» Have been sponsors Paul rocks and Marie-Thérèse Estève, which required to sign, the father and the Godfather signed with us. The godmother said don't know. Laffon, parish priest, Antoine Roca-Trescases, Paul Roca".

5. Several families would descend the Roca-Surjus wedding: families Parayre (Milano-Nyls), Victor Cabanat (Ille-sur-Têt), Jacob (Canet), Domergue, Surjus, Danjon (Llagostera), marten (Torreilles). 6. Rabadá : catalan Word for a young shepherd help.

7. ADP - O.: IT 85 and 441. Letter from the prefect to the Rector of Academy, August 10, 1849: "I have the honour to inform you that in its session of August 2, current, the Senior Management Committee has appointed Sr rocks Paul to the functions of municipal teacher at Kelvedon, based on good information provided on his conduct and his conduct. For several years the municipality of Maastricht was private teacher. One who attended was son of an owner who resides and it is likely that without this circumstance, this town would be for a long time found (private) school, whereas the limited resources it can offer.

Letter of cure Mourat to the Rector of Academy, October 11, 1851: 'being unfortunate that you have been misled by false or exaggerated by Mr. the teacher of the commune of Pollestres statements, and he did intervene for success, the delegates authority or other informal people, who without knowing it closely welcomed it.

I learned last Sunday, by indirect voice and Secretary of the Academy Mr Roca was called to practice temporarily in the municipality of Thuir in particular. I look forward to him, and I welcome his departure; because if it had depended on me I would have earlier claimed his change.

Mr teacher lack many qualities which he likes to parade; There are in addition a lightness and volatility Fund that earned him personal name-calling and many enemies in the municipality. Without due consideration for the friendly admonishments I him so many times addressed, he almost blushed published Christian, it barely it leads its students to the office of parish feast days, and this year only he filled with permission from me his Easter duty so that this certificate was, I think, a degree in addition to.

...Mr teacher always shown above all events, because to succeed, he said, it takes much talk...»

8 National archives: F 19.2560, letter from the prefect to the Minister of religion: "the clergy of Cerdanya and Roussillon has more frequent relations, more respondents especially with Spanish priests with the French clergy." Result as the clergy of the diocese of Perpignan who, like their neighbours of beyond the Pyrenees, the Catalan language for maternal idiom, are the ideas and trends, much less French than Spanish. i.e. rear, legitimist, hostile to civilization, fanatical sometimes and with rare exceptions/ignorant beyond any expression to which concerns political principles, the basis of the law and ideas that govern the society for sixty years. They pass to the populations not only their inability, but their most deplorable mistakes; so that the public spirit of the campaigns and even cities is remarkably bad.

By a happy anomaly, the clergy, plunged into darkness, Bishop is one of the more enlightened prelates, one of the most active minds of France, Bishop Gautam, writer, religious publicist eminent and famous. This prelate strives to spread the lights on his flock to civilize the souls rus-ticks, there arouse patriotism, to sow the statement absolutely lacking. Should be a publication that was course forced among the pastors of the diocese, and that imposed prejudices and gross superstitions the lessons of history and the true morality of the Gospel". (December 1, 1857).

The prefect requested a Government grant of 1,500 or 1,800 F to publish a diocesan magazine. It is clear that this letter, which Bishop Gautam himself had not endorsed, calls serious reservations.

First comes a prefect of the Second Empire, which only considers scus from a political perspective. Hence an unfair judgment, because we know that the clergy of Perpignan, at that time, had a number of distinguished by their learning priests and priestly qualities: Bishop Naudo, Archbishop of Avignon, Bishop Soubiranne, Bishop of Belley, the Holy Canon Metge, the scientist Tolra de Bordas, Canon Philip, author of theological works, and...

9. New church history , volume 4, 419, 438. Hrsg. the Seuil, Paris.

10 Historical archives of the Archbishopric of Paris.

11 ADP - O. : 1 T 398, opening statement: the Inspector to the prefect of Perpignan, August 23, 1865: "In accordance with article 60, § 5, of the Act of 15 March 1850, I have the honour to inform you that I received the regular reporting of father Roca, Professor at the small seminar of Prades, proposing to open a secondary school in Perpignan, Bastion Saint-Dominique Street..."

12 Promise of annuity by Don John Achon-Meuron, Barcelona, July 28, 1875, Gonzaga-Pallos, notary. Logging to the Roca Abbot of an annual rent of 3,000 pesetas, when it will retire July 2, 1881, Farres y Vives, notary public at Barcelona (family papers, Llagostera).

13 After a tradition transmitted by the Abbot Gautam, former Archpriest of Prades, Roca would have invited Loyson to a lecture tour in the diocese.

14. We take the information in this paragraph to the three following books: Dr. Bataille, The devil in the 19th century , II, 701, sq. ; Jean Saunier, the Synarchy , Paris, Grasset, 1971; Pierre Virion, mystery of iniquity , passim.

15, Op. cit ., p. 143.

16. Dictionary of theology Catholic , issue 146-147, col. 3055.

17. Dictionary of theology Catholic , issue 13, col. 1271.

18 Archives national, E 19.5845. Newspapers: the independent 8-11-89; The civilization of 14-11 - 89; Le Monde of 8-11-90.

20 ADPO: 1 V 83.

21 Information kindly provided by Mr. Jean Amadou, whom I thank.

22 City by Dr. Bataille, op. cit ., p. 706.

23 Holograph, preserved by the family Surjus to Llagostera.

This article was published in the volume XC of Bulletin of the SASL , 1982, pp.61-100.

By Eugene Cortade