48 / CHRONICLESnfier d’etre chatre” (The most miserablenamong us are those who expect nothingn[from God] and who loudly proclaimnit with a sort of haughty selfsatisfaction,nlike a eunuch proud ofnbeing castrated). Needless to say, thisnsort of thing does not make one popularnin trendy church circles, where thenrevolt against traditional clerical celibacynmay be a sort of compensation fornan increasingly evident spiritual impotence.nBruckberger’s impressive recordnof accomplishments, including threenfilms as well as a long list of books, isnnot enough to compensate for suchneccentricities.nBruckberger is perhaps the closestnthing to a Crusader knight seen amongnChristians since the military ordersnwent out of fashion in the MiddlenAges. As a soldier he went through thendebacle of the French army in 1940,nand like Ellul he joined the Resistancen—much to the dismay of his Dominicannsuperiors, who did not want tonrock the Nazi and Petainist boat.nEventually he was named Aumoniern(Chaplain) de la Resistance, a post fornwhich I know no parallel elsewhere. Innthis capacity Bruckberger welcomednthe victorious General Charles denGaulle to the Cathedral of Notre-nDame on the liberation of Paris innAugust 1944. Although Bruckbergernclearly respected de Gaulle, unlike denGaulle he would continue to affirmnI’Algerie franqaise and would havenfought to defend it.nMade a chevalier de la Legion d’honneur,nfor his role in the Resistance,nBruckberger was obnoxious to hisnchurch superiors, an unpleasant remindernof their own compromises. Asna consequence, he was virtually forcednout of France by his monastic superiorsnin 1947.nAt this point in Bruckberger’s life,nwhen he was a monk of 40 with yearsnof fidelity to his vow of celibacy, he fellndeeply in love with a young woman.nStrangely enough for modern enlightenednliberal thought, and unlike sonmany others who had also taken a vownof chastity, Bruckberger chose to renouncenromance rather than his vow.nHis “exile” from France took himnfirst to North Africa, where his unusualnloyalties, to the Church and tonFrance, were rapidly becoming unfashionable.nBetween 1948 and 1950nhe lived on a post of the FrenchnForeign Legion, close to a communitynof Catholic medical missionariesnknown as Soeurs blanches—both ofnwhich highly different “orders” henpraises as the true representatives ofnFrance—as well as of Christianity, atnleast in the case of the Sisters.nIn an encounter that seems morenreminiscent of the Crusader kingdomsnof Outre-Mer than of modern Europenin the postcolonial era, Bruckbergernonce took it upon himself to defendn”the honor of Christ” in an incidentnwhich is probably all but incomprehensiblento late-20th-century Christians,nalthough it was very well understoodnand admired by the ForeignnLegion and earned him the status ofnan honorary legionnaire “first class.”nOne of the most admired and bestlovednof the medical missionaries, anSister Agnes, mysteriously elopednwith a Moslem businessman namednBenphelja, to the consternation andnshame of the other Sisters, the rage ofnthe Foreign Legion, and the amusementnof the Moslem population. An”bride of Christ” had been “carriednoff” (even if without violence) by annunbeliever. The colonial authorihes,nmilitantly secular, saw nothing out ofnorder, and the Church hierarchy preferrednto keep a low profile.nConsequently Bruckberger took itnupon himself to emerge from his ForeignnLegion quarters and confront thenMoslem bridegroom on his own.nWhen the groom prudently persistednin avoiding him, Bruckberger went tonthe highest Moslem spiritual authoritynin the area, the hachaga of Ain Sefra,naccompanied by a highly embarrassednFrench administrator. What a Frenchnadministrator could not understand,nthe hachaga understood very well. In ancourtly affaire d’honneur evocative of andialogue between Saladin and RichardnCoeur de Lion, and to the astonishmentnof the civil authorities, the Moslemnhachaga approved Bruckberger’snmission and passed a sentence of exilenon Benphelja for an affront to thenhonor of the Chrishans’ Lord.nBruckberger contended that for anChristian, a determinahon to defendnthe honor of Christ is the only way tonretain the respect of the honorconsciousnMoslems. The French governmentnwas uncomprehending, butnnot the Foreign Legion. Legionnaires,nunlike knights of the old military or­nnnders, certainly had not taken a vow ofncelibacy, but unlike many of the modernnclergy, they still had a profoundnrespect for those who did. While thencivil and ecclesiastical authoritiesnmade plans to deal with this embarrassingnDominican, Bruckberger wasngiven the rare honor of being made anlegionnaire d’honneur de premierenclasse—a highly unusual distinctionnfor a clergyman. It is probably needlessnto add that Bruckberger was able tonhandle the mandatory “aperitif” at thendinner in his honor—a two-liter jug ofnstrong red wine. The admiration of thenLegion did not deter the Catholic hierarchynand the French colonial administrationnfrom joining hands to ushernthe new legionnaire d’honneur out ofnNorth Africa as rapidly as possible.nFrom North Africa, Bruckbergerntraveled to the United States, where henlived during the years 1950-1958. InnNorth America he discovered a newncause, one that made him even morenobjectionable, if possible, to those whonalready found him a throwback to thenMiddle Ages: American capitalism, incarnatednin Henry Ford. In the UnitednStates, he discovered that the truenrevolutionaries of our era were notnMarx, Lenin, or Stalin, but the capitalistnHenry Ford and the labor leadernSamuel Gompers. Henry Ford, by hisnpolicy of paying hitherto unheard-ofnhigh wages, changed the status of industrialnworkers from proletarians tonconsumers, producing a greater socialntransformation than all the revolutionsnfrom the French to the Nicaraguanncombined. Gompers was that highlynunique “labor leader” who really respectednworkers and credited themnwith the intelligence and judgment tonmake their own decisions, rather thannlooking on them as mindless sheep tonbe led, by force if necessary, to Utopiannpastures. Gompers saw his role as thenworkers’ executive in the original sensenof the word, called to carry out theirnwishes, not to tell them what they hadnto wish. In La Repuhlique dmericainen(1958, published in English translationnas Image of America in 1965),nBruckberger, like de Toqueville a centurynearlier, recognized and honoredndistinctive American contributions innareas where Europeans are still inclinednto think that they are the arbitersnof fashion.nIn 1958 Bruckberger still hoped thatn