The book presents authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the role of the Catholic church in France over 50 years of social, political and theological change. The impact of social secularization, of the changing role of women, attitudes to sexuality, of dramatic political change - from Algeria, the 1960s, the Mitterand era and the rise of Le Pen - and of battles over education are presented in historical context. The church's responses to challenges to its authority, its teachings and structural resources are analysed. The conclusion asks 'Wither the Catholic Church?' in modern France.