Research on authoritarian legitimation suggests that rulers seek support through ideological, personalistic, performance-based, and procedural strategies. Typically, however, this work only considers the dynamics of legitimation between rulers and civilians. In contrast, this paper suggests that meso-level actors play a critical role in shaping legitimation from both above and below. Through an historical analysis of the French episcopate’s support for the Vichy regime from 1940 to 1942, I identify four practices that bolstered Vichy’s attempts to accrue legitimacy and simultaneously identify the consequences of these practices for the Church’s relationship with Jews. Public endorsements by the religious authorities for Marshal Pétain, their cooperation with the Vichy administration, the expression of shared values, and common rhetoric all contributed to the regime’s legitimation process while leading to a concomitant decline in the hierarchy’s ties to the rabbinate. These results suggest that attention to meso-level actors brings into relief important dynamics about how legitimation processes unfold in authoritarian settings while simultaneously contributing to research on the Holocaust in France.