The Huguenots were Protestant Christians in France. The reaction of the Catholic Church is quite stunning, yet I wonder if there are paralells with fundamentalism (of not just one faith) of today?
Contemporary accounts report bodies in the rivers for months afterwards, so that no one would eat fish. Pope Gregory XIII’s reaction was jubilant: all the bells of Rome pealed for a public day of thanksgiving, the guns of the Castel Sant’Angelo sounded a joyous salute, a special commemorative medal was struck to honour the occasion, and Gregory commissioned Giorgio Vasari to paint a mural depicting the Massacre, which is in the Vatican. In Paris, the poet Jean-Antoine de Ba�f, founder of the Academie de Musique et de Po�sie, wrote a sonnet extravagantly praising the killings. On the other hand, the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II, King Charles’s father-in-law, was sickened, describing the massacre as "shameful". Moderate French Catholics also began to wonder whether religious uniformity was worth the price of such bloodshed and they began to form a movement, the Politiques, which placed national unity above sectarian interests.
Protestant countries were horrified at the bloody barbarity, and only the concentrated efforts of Catherine’s ambassadors prevented the collapse of her policy of remaining on good terms with them.