The enthusiastic reception with which the Catholic hierarchy greeted the burgeoning Christian Democratic movements immediately after World War II could leave the impression of a solidarity born of a long and stable relationship. In fact, such was not the case. Christian Democracy had failed for a century in its attempts to reconcile Catholicism with the democratic values emanating from the French Revolution. Antirepublican forces within the church had been too strong and the hierarchy too unsympathetic to permit such a reconciliation. In addition, the democratic forces outside the church had come to incorporate anticlericalism as part of their creed. Both camps seemed to share at least one view in common: one could not be both a Christian and a democrat. Only small groups of Christian republicans sought to challenge this assumption by word and deed.