THE CHURCH IN SWITZERLAND
Seignobos, op. cit., Chap. IX. A Short History of Switzerland by Dr. Karl Dändliker, translated by E. Salisbury, London, 1899. Hurter, Die Befeindung der Kirche in der Schweiz, Munich, 1902. Büchi, Die Kathol. Kirche in der Schweiz, Munich, 1902. Siegwart- Müller, Der Kampf zwischen Recht und Gewalt, 3 Bde., Altdorf, 1863-66. Crétineau-Joly, Histoire du Sonderbund, 2 vols., Fribourg, 1850.
BEFORE the French Revolution Switzerland consisted of a number of little states leagued together for defence, though each confederate state was absolutely independent. The central Diet consisted merely of the ambassadors of the states and had no power as a federal government. The individual states had their own peculiar constitutions, laws and customs, though in the main the power was generally in the hands of the aristocratic families, and the state authority had the right of prescribing a form of religion for its subjects. The outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 encouraged the opponents of the aristocratic governments to further efforts for the introduction of popular rule. The Directory in Paris took the discontented Swiss "Patriots" under its protection, and having arranged a new constitution they determined to force it upon Switzerland by violence. In 1798 insurrections, that had been carefully fostered by the French, broke out in nearly all the Swiss cantons, and a large French army under Menard marched to the assistance of the insurgents. The Helvetic constitution, modelled on that of France, was established, but, in reality, Switzerland was treated by Napoleon as a conquered province. When, therefore, the cantons were commanded to send delegates to Aargau ( April, 1798) to accept the constitution the eastern cantons, for the most part Catholic, refused, and, encouraged by their clergy, made a desperate resistance. The overwhelming numbers of the French soldiers at last secured the victory for the Helvetic constitution.
Switzerland was now divided into two parties--the Federalists who desired the re-establishment of the cantonal authority, and the Centralists who were determined to uphold the supremacy of the central government. The constant bickerings between the two parties gave Napoleon the opportunity for interfering as mediator and of establishing what is known as the government of Mediation ( 1803). This was practically a return to the old constitution of Switzerland, except that certain of the new cantons which had been hitherto regarded only as allies or subjects of other cantons, were now placed on a footing of equality with the others, and that a more representative form of government was introduced into the larger cantons. Switerland remained, however, under the power of Napoleon.
The government of Mediation lasted till Napoleon had met with the serious reverses of 1812 and 1813. The advance of the allies put an end to it, and opened a new series of civil broils, till, at last, mainly owing to the admonitions of the powers assembled at Vienna, the representatives of the cantons agreed to the Federal Pact which was approved by the Congress in 1815. This was, like the Restoration in France, a return to the old constitution whereby each canton was practically independent, except in regard to matters of foreign policy. Swiss history from 1815 till 1830, when a new revolution broke out, corresponds closely in its general outlines with the course of events in France during the Restoration period.
The position of the Church in Switzerland varied very much in the different cantons. In Geneva, for example, no Catholic could permanently settle, or become owner of land, nor could mass be celebrated except at the risk of incurring the severest penalties. In the Catholic cantons the people were devoted to their religion, but the spirit of religious Liberalism, imported from Austria and Germany, had infected many of the clergy and the nobility, and had induced them to lend a ready ear to the supporters of the Josephist reforms. In 1797 there were thirteen cantons, seven of which-Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwälden, Zug, Freiburg, and Solothurn--were Catholic; while among the new states, which were not admitted to the full cantonal privileges, but were only allies, and the districts which were not even allies, but subject to the cantons, the Catholics had a fair proportion. As the votes in the Diet were by cantons without reference to the population, and as a bare majority could not pass laws on religious matters, the Catholic states were perfectly secure against religious oppression. Hence it is, that the Catholic cantons took the lead in opposing the French invaders, and that the clergy, men like Styger and Herzog, led them in their struggle against the foreigner.
The success of the revolution in 1797 and 1798 put an end to the old constitution and with it to the favourable position occupied by the Catholic cantons. The Catholics formed only about two-fifths of the whole population, and, hence, in the new Chamber of Deputies they were certain to be in a permanent minority. Besides, the old Catholic foundations, the lands of the bishop of Basle, and the monastic territories were secularised, and one of the clauses of the constitution sanctioning mixed marriages gave great offence to the Catholic party. But, on the other hand, it is only just to note that the new Helvetic constitution guaranteed complete religious liberty, so that if the Catholics lost a great deal they gained much in the Protestant cantons by the introduction of religious toleration. In the Mediation negotiated by Napoleon in 1803, the property of the monasteries was restored. But in arranging the new cantons Napoleon prepared the way for the disgraceful contentions of later years by joining together in the one canton districts hostile to each other both in politics and religion. The old Catholic cantons, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwälden, were considerably reduced in population and in power by the withdrawal from them of the territories that had been subject to them.
The constitution of 1815 suffered from the same defect. The twenty-two cantons of the Confederation were put together without any reference to the religious or political feelings of the people. This was in truth the weakness of all the territorial arrangements drawn up by the Congress of Vienna. The constitution, however, guaranteed the possessions of the monasteries and chapters, and provided that they should be subject to the same taxation as other proprietors. In the Diet religious equilibrium was maintained by giving the Catholics 9 1/2 votes against 9 1/2 conceded to the Reformed Cantons, while three votes, those of St. Gall, Aargau and Glarus, were mixed. These three latter determined the vote of the Diet.
The religious organisation of Switzerland, also, required careful attention. The Church in Switzerland had been dependent upon the archbishops of Besançon, Mentz, and Milan, while the dioceses were mixed up with the neighbouring German and Austrian bishoprics. A nuncio had been resident in Lucerne since 1785. The wars of the revolution made it impossible that these ecclesiastical arrangements could be allowed to continue; but while all felt the necessity of re-arranging the ecclesiastical boundaries, yet the jealousy between the different cantons made any satisfactory arrangement almost impossible. The three great Catholic Cantons--Uri, Schwyz and Unterwälden--were subject to Constance, and as von Wessenberg was the vicar capitular there it was almost necessary for the Pope to remove them from the jurisdiction of Constance. In 1814 he appointed a vicar apostolic for these cantons, but before the arrangement for the establishment of the see could be carried out the vicar apostolic died in 1819.
New dioceses were established at different periods according as the consent of the cantons could be secured, till finally it was resolved in 1841 to divide Switzerland into six dioceses--Basle, Lausanne and Geneva, Sitten, Chur, St. Gall (the latter a separate see since 1845), and an Italian bishopric in the canton of Ticino. The arrangements for the election of bishops varied according to the terms of the concordat concluded with the Holy See in connection with the establishment of the bishopric.
The education of the clergy and the maintenance of Catholic educational establishments also required serious attention. The great Catholic schools at Freiburg, Sitten, and Solothurn were practically destroyed. Lucerne remained, but many of the professors there were rightly under suspicion, while the seminaries of Milan and Meersburg, where a great part of the ecclesiastical students had been prepared for the ministry, had gone down in the wars of the Revolution. On the other hand, many of the clergy had been trained in the universities of Austria and Bavaria, and returned to their own country filled with the reform ideas then current in these establishments. They were opposed to the Papacy, to the religious orders, to clerical celibacy and vows, to the independence of the ecclesiastical in face of the secular authority, and, in a word, to the constitution and tradition of the Catholic Church. These men, supported by a section of the Catholic noblemen who held the same views, joined hands with the partisans of the Reformed Church in their campaign against the Catholic religion.
Meanwhile, a strong Liberal movement against the Restoration constitution in 1815 had begun to threaten the peace of Switzerland. The country had been the home of political refugees from nearly every country in Europe, and these men encouraged the formation of a party in Switzerland pledged to introduce liberal constitutions into the individual cantons, and to demand a revision of the Federal Pact of 1815. The overthrow of the Bourbon régime in Paris in 1830, which, from the peculiar circumstances of the case, was at once a victory for political and anti-religious Liberalism, paved the way for a similar revolution in Switzerland. Zurich placed itself at the head of the Liberal movement, and soon most of the cantons were obliged by popular insurrections to accept a change of constitution.
This change having been effected in the individual cantons, the next step was to demand a revision of the Federal Pact. In March, 1832, the representatives of seven Liberal cantons met and formed a league in favour of Federal reform, and a few months later the Confederation of Sarnen was formed between the six Conservative cantons to oppose any revision. As the Liberal movement was also anti-Catholic in its character, the Catholic states naturally took the lead in resisting its demands. The majority of the people of Switzerland were also against any revision, as was shown in 1833, when the question was submitted to a popular vote.
The triumph of Liberalism in 1830 was the signal for attack upon the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the greatest danger was to be apprehended from the spread of wrong opinions among leading Catholic clergymen and laymen who allied themselves with the Liberal party. In 1832 Fuchs, a young priest in Rapperswil, created a storm by a series of sermons in which he laid down that the constitution of the Church was purely democratic, that the difference between the powers of the clergy and the laity in spiritual matters was of human origin, that the Church should be governed by synods elected by a popular vote, and that clerical celibacy and monastic vows should be abolished as being opposed to the spirit of the age. The bishop of Chur and St. Gall suspended him, but the civil authorities took him under their protection. On the death of the bishop in 1833 the bishopric and chapter were suppressed. Fuchs was brought to Lucerne, where he prepared the Articles of the Baden Conference.
To make common cause against the lawful demands of the Catholic Church the representatives of Lucerne, St. Gall, Solothurn, Berne, Thurgau and Aargau met at Baden in the Canton of Aargau in January, 1834. They formulated their views in the fourteen Articles of Conference. According to these no Papal or episcopal letters or instructions could be published until the civil authorities of the canton had given their consent; and the seminaries, the synods and the clergy, the trial of matrimonial causes, the question of mixed marriages, the number of holidays, the appointment to benefices, &c., should be placed under the control of the canton. The exemption of the monastic houses was to be abolished, and the clergy obliged to swear an oath of allegiance to the laws of the canton under pain of removal from their offices. From the opening speech of the president it was clear that the aim of the Conference was to destroy the influence of the Pope in Switzerland, and to prepare the way for the establishment of an independent National Church.
These Articles opened the eyes of the Catholics. They realised that the triumph of Liberalism meant the extinction of the Catholic religion. Gregory XVI. solemnly condemned the Articles by his Encyclical of 17th May, 1835. The Catholics declared that they could never accept them, but in spite of their protests the Articles were embodied in the laws of several cantons. In Glarus the government demanded that the clergy should swear allegiance to the new constitution, although it contained a law binding them to communicate to the civil government information about political crimes received by them in the confessional. Nor were the priests allowed to hold any correspondence with their bishop. In many of the cantons the monasteries were impoverished by special taxation, especially in Aargau, where the government used every means in its power to force the priests to disobey and dishonour their bishop.
Naturally, too, the Liberal party made every effort to capture the education of the country. It must be ad-mitted that under the influence of men like Pestalozzi, Fellenberg, Wehrli and Girard, the educational system of Switzerland had been wonderfully developed, and in many respects, especially in regard to object lessons and technical instruction, it set an example to the rest of Europe. But the aim of the Liberal party was to drive out religion from the schools, or rather by false teaching to destroy the religious beliefs of the rising generation. The clerical teachers in the Catholic schools were dismissed and replaced by teachers trained in some of the newly-founded training colleges. The Catholic school of Lucerne was filled with Liberal teachers, while in that of St. Gall some of the professors openly attacked the Catholic Church in their course of lectures.
The Liberal party had, however, pushed forward their policy too rapidly, and as a result they soon found themselves face to face with a general opposition. The Catholic Conservative party secured control of Schwyz in 1834, and invited ( 1836) the Jesuits to open a school where the Catholic boys of Switzerland might be trained without danger to their faith. Zurich had been the leader in the Liberal movement, but when the government showed its anti-Christian tendency in 1839 by appointing David Strauss, the author of the rationalistic Life of Christ, to a chair of theology in the university the reformed pastors headed the revolt and the Liberal government was overthrown. In 1840 Valais followed suit and re-established the rule of the Conservatives.
In Lucerne the Catholics, though in a majority, were sorely oppressed by the dominant Liberal faction. Under the leadership of Joseph Leu of Ebersol and others they plucked up courage and demanded the repeal of the Articles of Conference, the recall of the Jesuits, and the establishment of a democratic constitution. Their demands were rejected in 1839, but they persisted, and on the question being submitted to a popular vote the Liberal government was overthrown, and Lucerne was once more in Catholic hands. The nuncio, who had been expelled in 1834, returned in triumph.
In Aargau, where the Catholics formed a strong minority, and where the Liberal government was exceptionally hostile, the course of events in Zurich and Lucerne had a very disturbing influence. The Catholics and Conservatives demanded a revision of the constitution, but the Liberal party was too powerful, and the revision effected in 1841 produced no radical improvement. The Catholics protested and refused to swear allegiance to the new constitution. Their leaders were arrested, and immediately disturbances broke out in different quarters, which were with difficulty repressed. The monasteries were accused of having instigated the insurrection, and in 1841 the government, in defiance of the 12th clause of the Federal Pact of 1815, took the fatal resolve of suppressing all the monasteries in Aargau.
This open infringement of the constitution roused the Catholics of Switzerland. The people, the bishops, the Pope, and the representatives of Austria protested, and the Diet was obliged to denounce the action of the Aargau government as opposed to the Federal constitution. In April, 1841, the Diet decreed that Aargau should recall the edict of suppression, and threatened that in case of refusal the necessary measures should be taken to maintain the Articles of the Federal Pact. But Aargau, supported by some of the other cantons, refused to do more than restore three religious houses. The question was hotly debated throughout the entire country. Diet after Diet was convoked, but no settlement could be arrived at till, in the end, in spite of the protests of the Catholic cantons, the Diet declared itself satisfied with the offer of satisfaction made by Aargau ( Aug., 1843). The Catholic cantons, feeling that the Diet was unwilling and unable to secure the maintenance of the rights granted to the Catholics by the constitution, determined to take measures to defend themselves. In 1843 the representatives of Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwälden, Zug, Freiburg and Valais met together and concluded a league for the defence of Catholic interests in Switzerland.
This was an extreme step, but it is well to note that in forming a separate league the Catholic cantons were only following the example that had been set by the Liberals in 1832, and that their action could not be fairly denounced as unconstitutional by men who had condoned the violence done to the constitution by the authorities of Aargau. Nor was there the slightest danger of war had not another incident occurred at this time to inflame the angry feelings of both parties. The Catholics under the leadership of Leu and Meyer had secured the government of Lucerne in 1841. They were naturally anxious to obtain Catholic higher education for their children, and on account of the dangerously liberal principles that had been long current amongst the professorial staff of Lucerne, Leu wished to have the Jesuits placed in charge of the Catholic College. The Jesuits had been in Valais since 1804, and in Freiburg since 1818. In Valais they were highly popular, while their school in Freiburg became a great Catholic centre. But the members of the Society were detested by the Liberal party, Protestant and Catholic; and more especially at this particular juncture when the Liberal party were deeply incensed against them on account of the complete defeat sustained by the "Young Switzerland Party" in their attempt to capture the government of Valais.
The Jesuits were recalled to Lucerne in October, 1844, and, as the Diet refused to take any steps to exclude them, the Liberal party determined to have recourse to arms. In December, 1844, a large force, recruited principally from the cantons of Berne and Aargau, marched on Lucerne, but suffered a bad defeat at the hands of the Catholics. Berne demanded that the Diet should decree the expulsion of the Jesuits from Switzerland, but the majority refused to take any part in such a project. The Diet adjourned till the 5th April, but in the meantime bands were being trained in the neighbouring states, and every preparation being made without any pretence of concealment for a second and more successful attack on Lucerne. The Catholic cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and
Unterwälden determined to support Lucerne in case of attack. The Liberals were repulsed ( 31st March, 1845) with great slaughter, and the gallant people of Lucerne received the congratulations of the Catholics of Switzerland. The cry was raised by their opponents that the people of Lucerne had treated their prisoners with great cruelty, and while the passions on both sides were highly inflamed, the news of the assassination of Joseph Leu on the night of the 20th July, 1845, was spread through Switzerland.
Seeing that the Diet was unable to preserve the peace, the Catholic cantons determined to protect themselves. The representatives of Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwälden, Zug, Freiburg, and Valais met in December, 1845, and pledged themselves to support each other against attack. They established a council of war and made arrangements for levying troops and providing the necessary expenses. This was undoubtedly an extreme step, but the Catholic cantons justified their action by appealing to the fourth article of the Federal Pact of 1815, which permitted any canton threatened with attack to seek the assistance of the neighbouring cantons. The danger in this case was evidently present, and the Diet was unable or unwilling to take the necessary measures. In face of such breaches of the constitution as the seizure of the monasteries in Aargau, and the attempts to capture Lucerne by force of arms, it is hard to blame the Catholic cantons for combining in selfdefence. Besides, it is well to remember that the representatives of the Liberal cantons had set the example of such private combinations by their confederation of 1832.
The Radical Liberal party who had secured Zurich and Berne were far from displeased at this Catholic confederation. To their programme of expelling the Jesuits and revising the Federal constitution was now joined the demand for the immediate suppression of the Sonderbund or Separate League. The Diet was called upon to interfere, but during the year 1846 nothing definite was done. The powers that had guaranteed the Pact of 1815, but more especially Austria and France, intervened on behalf of the Sonderbund, while, in addition to this, the Radical party in the Diet was still in a minority. Geneva, however, and St. Gall were captured by the Liberals, and the votes of these two cantons secured the triumph of their party in the Diet. The new Diet met in July, 1847, and, after a short debate (19th-20th. July) the dissolution of the Sonderbund was decreed, a commission to prepare a revision of the Federal Pact was appointed, and the Catholic cantons were requested to expel the Jesuits from their territories.
The Diet adjourned till the 18th October, and in the meantime both parties were making their final preparations for the struggle. The session opened on the appointed day, but from the first there was little hope that a peaceable settlement could be secured. The representatives of the Catholic cantons having renewed their demands left the Hall of Assembly, led by Meyer, the spokesman of Lucerne. The Diet determined to suppress the Sonderbund by force, and appointed General Dufour, a capable soldier who had learned the art of war in the school of Napoleon, General-in-Chief of the Federal forces.
The Catholic cantons hurriedly assembled their forces and entrusted the command to General von Salis-Soglio. The population of the Catholic cantons was much smaller than that of the opposing states, and their army was consequently insignificant compared with the forces at the disposal of General Dufour. They relied upon the intervention of Austria and France, but Lord Palmerston contrived to delay the intervention in the hope that the Sonderbund might be speedily suppressed, and that then the powers should be obliged to accept accomplished facts.
With this object in view General Dufour resolved to bring the war to an end without delay. Freiburg was taken on the 14th November, and the main army of the Sonderbund defeated at Gislikon and the Rooter Berg (23rd Nov.), Lucerne was captured on the 24th November, and in a few weeks the other cantons made their submission, Valais being the last to yield. The powers--France, Austria, Prussia, England and Russia--at last intervened, but their intervention, as had been expected, was too late. The Sonderbund had fallen, and the victors were determined to destroy the supremacy of the cantons and set up a new Liberal constitution. In January, France, Austria, Russia, and Prussia addressed a second note to the Diet insisting on the observance of the Federal Compact of 1815, the restoration of the independence of the Catholic cantons, and the withdrawal from them of the army of occupation. Such a request must have been complied with had not the Revolution burst over Europe in the early months of 1848, and the individual states had enough to engage their attention at home without intervening in the affairs of Switzerland. The Catholics of Switzerland were, therefore, at the mercy of their conquerors.
The Jesuits were expelled and Liberal governments forced upon the Catholic cantons. The latter were obliged to pay a war indemnity of six million francs. Many of the monasteries in Lucerne, Freiburg, and Thurgau were suppressed, and their possessions confiscated by the cantons. A new constitution was proclaimed in September, 1848. The sovereignty of the individual cantons was guaranteed, but in a restricted form. Henceforth, the Federal authority alone had the right of proclaiming war, of concluding treaties, and of interfering in case of disputes between cantons. Under the same authority were placed the customs, coinage, postal arrangements, the weights and measures, and the army contingents supplied by the cantons. The legislative power of the Confederation was entrusted to two Chambers, the one elected by the Swiss citizens, the other by the cantons; while the executive power was to be wielded by a Federal Council consisting of seven members elected by the Federal Assembly, and presided over by the President of the Confederation. Beyond doubt many of the changes introduced by the constitution of 1848 were really desirable, and tended to develop and strengthen the resources of the country.
Naturally, however, the Catholics, smarting under the pain of a severe defeat, and galled by the harsh treatment inflicted on them by the victors, did not take kindly to the new arrangement. It placed them in a position of apparently permanent inferiority. Besides, too, the Jesuits had been driven out, the monasteries suppressed, and Bishop Marilley, of Lausanne, was expelled from the country in 1848, and was not allowed to return till 1856. Yet, on the other hand, the constitution of 1848 was not without its good results for the Catholic Church. It guaranteed religious liberty throughout Switzerland, and permitted Catholics to settle freely in Protestant cantons, or Protestants in Catholic cantons. The result was that many Catholics began to leave the poor districts of their native cantons and to settle in places where for three hundred years none of their co-religionists were permitted to settle. The result of this was that in Basle, Geneva, Lausanne, Schaffhausen, where till then few Catholics could be found, strong communities sprang up, and, as shall be seen, these cities, once strongholds of Calvinism, might rather be described at the present time as centres of Catholic life.
THE CHURCH IN BELGIUM AND HOLLAND
(a) BELGIUM Seignobos, op. cit., Chapter VIII., De Gerlache, Histoire du Royaume des Pays Bas, 3e éd., 3 vols., 1859. Terlinden, Guillaume I., roi des Pays Bas et l'Église Catholique en Belgique, 1814- 1840, 2 vols., Paris, 1906. Claessens, La Belgique Chrétienne depuis la conquête Française jusqu'à nos Jours, 1794- 1880, Brussels, 1883. Balau, Soixante-dix ans d'Histoire Contemporaine de Belgique, 4e éd., Louvain, 1890. Gagliani, Droit Civil Ecclésiastique Belge, Brussels, 1903.
By the peace of Utrecht in 1713 the Spanish Netherlands which had remained faithful to the House of Habsburg were transferred to Austria, and were administered by a governor representing the Emperor. As the price of their loyalty they insisted on the maintenance of their own peculiar constitution, and they managed their own affairs without much interference from the Emperor or his representative. Joseph II., however, was determined to unite the whole imperial dominions--Austria proper, Hungary, the Tyrol, and the Netherlands--into one strong kingdom, with one central authority, and with a uniform constitution and code of laws. By promulgating edicts without consulting their wishes he gave great offence to the proud-spirited people of the Netherlands, warmly attached, as they were, to their old corporative institutions.
Their religious susceptibilities were also very keenly wounded by his efforts to introduce the Austrian reforms into the Netherlands. In 1781 he published the Edict of Toleration in spite of the advice of the Council, and confirmed to the dissenters of the province not merely the toleration of their religious opinions, which they had long enjoyed in practice, but placed them on practically the same footing as their Catholic neighbours. This was opposed to the principles of the constitution of the country, and naturally gave great offence. In 1782 he declared the mixed marriages valid, and ordered the curés to publish the banns and assist at the ceremony ( 1782). He prohibited the religious orders from communicating with their superiors outside the province, and placed them under the jurisdiction of the bishop. But what roused the Catholics more than any other measure was the suppression of the seminaries and the establishment of one of the central seminaries at Louvain. Cardinal von Frankenberg, who, up till this time, had shown himself rather weak in his attitude towards the reform movement, published a protest which was approved by the bishops and clergy.
The revolution broke out in 1789, and the Austrians were quickly driven out of the country. But the men who led the revolution were of very different views both politically and religiously. The men of Liège, who had overthrown the authority of their prince bishop, were of the genuine French revolutionary school, while the remainder of the country was intensely Catholic, and was in no frame of mind to make war on the Church or to permit the excesses of Paris to be repeated in Brussels. Jansenism and Gallicanism and Febronianism and Josephism found few supporters in Belgium. The extreme party known as the Vonckists, from the name of their principal leader, was expelled from Brussels, a step which lost for Belgium the aid of the French Revolutionists, while at the same time the new government was weakened by internal dissensions. In these circumstances the Austrian troops sent by Leopold II. had little difficulty in re-establishing the supremacy of Austria in Belgium and Liège ( 1790).
The French army under Dumouriez having defeated the Austrians at Jemmappes occupied Belgium in 1792, but they were driven out in the following year, and it was only after the victory of Fleurus that the Belgian Netherlands came permanently under the power of the French. It was then formally incorporated with France and organised as part of the territory of the Republic ( 1795). The Directory insisted on introducing into Belgium the French laws passed against the Church. The religious orders, except those devoted to teaching and to the care of the sick, were suppressed, the communes were forbidden to contribute to the support of religion, and the clergy received a command to publish the declaration of loyalty to France, and to recommend the people to accept the new rule. Many of the clergy refused to obey, and were acquitted by the tribunals.
Gradually the persecution became more violent. All the religious houses without exception were seized, and the occupants driven out; the seminaries and chapters were suppressed; the university of Louvain, which was rightly regarded as hostile to the pretensions of France, was closed, and the clergy were required not alone to make a declaration of loyalty but to testify under oath their hatred of royalty. Those who refused were banished, their churches closed, and the faithful condemned to worship in the fields or in private houses, very often without the presence of any minister of religion. The bishops of Belgium had been obliged to flee the country, and, like their French brethren, found a generous welcome in England.
Urged on by the persecution, and especially by the conscription law of 1798, the Belgian peasants rose in revolt, but they had no arms and no leaders of experience, and were speedily reduced by the overwhelming forces of the French ( 1799). The clergy were accused of having encouraged the rebellion, and the decree went forth that they should be banished en masse. Many of them escaped the vigilance of their pursuers, and only about four hundred were seized and sent away. With the advent of Napoleon to power in 1799 the policy was considerably modified, though serious difficulties still arose in connection with the oath of fidelity to the government, which had been condemned by the Belgian bishops resident in England.
The conclusion of the concordat in 1801 marked a new stage in the history of the Church in Belgian territory. The solemn proclamation of the agreement on the Feast of Pentecost ( 1802) was everywhere received with the greatest satisfaction. A new organisation of the dioceses was arranged as in France. Instead of the nine bishoprics into which the country had been divided hitherto, five episcopal sees were established--namely, Mechlin, Tournai, Ghent, Namur, and Liège. The arrangements for the appointments to the new sees and for the future appointment of bishops were similar to those accepted for France. Of the old pre-Revolution hierarchy only four were still alive, and these had their home in England. In reply to the request of Pius VII. they forwarded their resignations, and the new bishops were duly appointed. A small section, as in France, refused to acknowledge the concordat on the ground that the concessions had been secured from the Pope by violence, and these formed a special sect.
The bishops appointed by Napoleon were distinguished rather for their servility to the whims of the First Consul and Emperor than for their zeal for religion. They were too willing to allow themselves to become the mere political tools of the Emperor, and to sacrifice anything rather than incur his enmity. For this reason the bishops were severely attacked by some of the clergy led by a priest named Stevens, and a new sect, the Stevenists, sprang up amongst the population of Brabant, Flanders and Namur. Napoleon made every effort to capture Stevens, whose pamphlets, though too bitter, were not without their influence in awakening notions of independence among the Belgian bishops. With the downfall of Napoleon, Stevens returned, was received into the diocese of Namur, and made his submission to the Holy See. *
* A. Kenis, Eene Godsdienstsecte in Belgë of Het Zoogezegde Stevenismus, Tweede Uitgaaf Rousselare, 1903.
The policy of servility to Napoleon was, however, discarded by the Belgian bishops when the news of the seizure of the Temporal States and the arrest of Pius VII. reached Belgium in 1809. The clergy were not slow to denounce the Emperor as a tyrant, and the bishops, especially De Broglie and Hirn, set them a noble example of independence. At the Council of Paris, called by Napoleon in 1811, to arrange some method of appointing to the vacant bishoprics without the approval of the Pope, these two bishops incurred the enmity of Napoleon by their uncompromising attitude of opposition, and on the day of the dissolution of the Council, they were arrested and thrown into prison. Napoleon appointed vicars to their dioceses, but the clergy refused to recognise them, and numbers of the priests were arrested.
In these circumstances it is not strange that the fall of Napoleon was hailed with satisfaction, and that all parties breathed a sigh of satisfaction when the armies of the allies forced the French to evacuate Belgium. In 1814 the allies appointed a provisional government under the Duc de Beaufort, and the ordinances against the Church fell into abeyance. But the joy of the Belgians was shortlived, for they soon discovered that the great powers of Europe were resolved to unite the whole Netherlands, both upper and lower, in one kingdom under the House of Orange. The aim of the powers in making such an arrangement was to establish a strong barrier against the spread of French influence in the Netherlands. The necessity of some such measure of precaution was obvious, but the union of two peoples differing so widely in religion and temperament as the Dutch and the Belgians was not likely to work harmoniously. Such a step, however, was on a level with the complete disregard for national sentiment that characterised nearly every territorial arrangement decreed by the Congress of Vienna. In defiance of the wishes of the Belgians the terms of the Treaty of London, according to which Belgium should be united to Holland, were approved by the Congress, and William I. was proclaimed king ( 1815).
The population of Belgium at this period was about three millions, nearly all of whom were ardent Catholics, while Holland at the same period had a population of only two millions and a half. The vast majority of the Dutch were strongly attached to the Calvinist sect. The situation, therefore, required careful handling, and the king was most unsuited to the work of winning the sympathy of his new Catholic subjects and of allaying their annoyance at their apparent subjection to a nation numerically their inferior. He was by nature a tyrant, and by religion an intolerant bigot, as had been seen long before in his treatment of the Catholic institutions in Fulda. He selected as his ministers Dutchmen and Calvinists, and he confided to the same class nearly every office of trust. In preparing the new constitution the Belgians or Catholics were not consulted, and no effort was made to induce them to modify their demands in view of the changes of the preceding twenty-five years.
It was not wonderful, therefore, that the new constitution should have been displeasing to the inhabitants of Belgium. Notwithstanding many apparently liberal concessions, the king retained in his own hands an almost absolute power; while, in addition to this, Holland, with a population much less than that of Belgium, had an equal number of representatives in the States General. Naturally enough, this was displeasing to the Belgians, who cherished dearly the liberty of their old pre-revolution corporative institutions, and was especially galling to the advanced section who had come into touch with the French republican school. But the new articles of the constitution dealing with religion most deeply offended the Catholic feelings of the people. They had expected that things should be restored to their old position, but, instead of this, all the peculiar privileges of the Catholic Church were abolished, the clergy were no longer recognised as a distinct order, and equal protection was guaranteed to all religious denominations.
This was apparently in conflict with the declarations made by William I. previous to his proclamation as king of Holland and Belgium, and the bishops of Namur, Ghent and Tournai, together with the vicars capitular of Mechlin and Liège, made an earnest representation to the king against the concession of equal rights to all religions in a country that was almost entirely Catholic. The constitution was submitted to the Notables of Belgium, and, after long discussion, was rejected by a substantial majority. William I., however, disregarded their decision, and proclaimed the constitution.
Many of the Belgian Catholics appealed to the bishops to express an authoritative opinion on the legality of swearing allegiance to a constitution that granted equal rights to all kinds of Dissenters, and in reply the bishops of Belgium issued the famous Doctrinal Decision ( 1815), condemning the oath of allegiance as illegal. Their decision was not, however, unanimous. de Mèan, prince bishop of Liège, consented to take the oath to the great scandal of many Catholics, and as a reward for his subserviency the king appointed him to the archbishopric of Mechlin, and sent an urgent demand to Rome for the necessary confirmation. The bishops submitted their Doctrinal Decision to the Pope for his approval, while at the same time William I. insisted on its condemnation. In May, 1816, Pius VII. addressed a brief to de Broglie, the bishop of Ghent, congratulating the hierarchy of Belgium on their defence of religion, while at the same time the confirmation of the appointment to Mechlin was deferred till de Mèan should make a declaration that in taking the oath of allegiance he understood by protection of all religions only civil protection, and wished to bind himself to nothing opposed to the tenets of the Catholic Church.
William I. having learned that the decision of Rome would be unfavourable resolved to reduce the Catholics to submission by brute force. In May, 1816, he revived the Organic Articles of Napoleon I., and ordered the institution of criminal proceedings against de Broglie, the bishop of Ghent, for having held communication with Rome and for having published Papal briefs without the knowledge or approval of the civil authorities. The case was tried before the Court of Assizes in Brussels, and the bishop was condemned to expulsion from the country ( 1817). The king maintained that such a decision deprived the bishop of his jurisdiction, and that the chapter should appoint a successor, but the majority of the priests remained loyal to their bishop, nor could they be detached from this position by any species of flattery or persecution. The death of the bishop in Paris in 1821 opened a way out of the difficulty, and in the same year the government declared that the oath of allegiance regarded only civil matters, a step which, if it had been taken a few years earlier, might have saved Belgium from much strife and bitterness.
The king determined, however, to accomplish his object by subjecting the ecclesiastical affairs to a special government Commission, and by wrenching the education of the country, even the education of the theological students, from the control of the Church. The universities were already in the hands of the state, and by a series of regulations ( 1821-1825) the free secondary colleges were practically suppressed, and the secondary education vested in the state. The next important step, naturally enough, was to secure the training of the theological students, and the old reforms of Joseph II. suggested a ready means of accomplishing such a project. In imitation of the central seminaries the government established a Philosophical College at Louvain in 1825, and ordained that all ecclesiastical students should attend the courses of this institution for two years previous to their admission into the theological seminary. This unwarranted interference of Protestant Holland in the education of the Catholic priesthood roused even the too conciliatory archbishop of Mechlin to energetic opposition, and he was ably supported by the bishops, clergy and Catholic laymen of Belgium. Neither their protests nor those of the Holy See were of any avail, and the government proceeded to select professors, to arrange the courses, and to offer scholarships and privileges likely to attract students to the new Philosophical College.
This action, coupled with the suppression of the Catholic Colleges and schools, roused the bitter opposition of the Belgians. The death of the bishop of Namur in 1826 left the archbishop of Mechlin the sole surviving bishop of Belgium, and it was feared that the government meant to secure the establishment of a hierarchy independent of Rome. The Catholic deputies laid a statement of their grievances before the king in 1826, and when no steps were taken to meet their wishes they refused to vote the annual budget. This step forced the government to conclude a concordat with the Holy See in 1827, * whereby a new organisation of the dioceses was arranged, the method of appointing bishops, namely, by the election of the chapters with a royal veto, was agreed to, while, on the other hand, Rome stipulated for the withdrawal of the ordinances commanding the ecclesiastical students to attend the Philosophical College.
The terms of the concordat, though satisfactory to the Catholics, displeased the Calvinist subjects of William I. To appease their indignation he delayed to carry out the concessions promised, and it was not till the budget had been rejected a second time in 1829, that attendance at the courses of the Philosophical College was declared non-obligatory. Finally, when the opposition grew more formidable and threatening, the College was suppressed in 1830. The appointments to the vacant bishoprics were carried out in 1828 and 1829.
Besides the religious oppressions the Belgians had other reasons for detesting the rule of the House of Orange. The Belgian provinces, with a population far larger than that of Holland, were treated as a subject country. In the States General Holland, with its two and a half millions, had as many representatives as the
____________________ * Nussi, Conventiones, XXIX.
three million Belgians, an arrangement, which, owing to the attitude of the deputies from Antwerp and Ghent, left the Belgians in a perpetual minority. All the great public establishments, the bank, the military schools, and the various government departments were in Holland, and, as a consequence, much of the revenue raised by the taxation of Belgian agriculturists went to enrich the Dutch merchants and manufacturers. But what wounded most deeply the national spirit of the Belgians was the efforts made by the government to suppress their language and to force them to adopt that of the Dutch. In 1819 a law was passed making a knowledge of Dutch obligatory on all officials of the government, and in 1822 it was ordered that only the Dutch language should be employed in all official acts and in the courts of law. The clergy, the nobility, the lawyers, the press, and the people were united in their resistance to such stupid disregard of national sentiment.
But the Belgians were hampered in their resistance by political divisions. Even then, there were two strong political parties in the country, the one Liberal, impregnated with the views of the French revolutionary school, the other, Catholic and Conservative. The Liberals demanded full freedom of worship and complete liberty of the press. The Catholics, as is evident from their attitude towards the constitution, did not accept such a programme. But the persecution of the Catholic Church in Belgium, and the influence of the de Lamennais school, with its motto of a free church in a free state, led to a change in the attitude of the Catholics, and made them not unwilling to join forces with the Liberals in a strong campaign against the Dutch oppression.
The two parties, Catholic and Liberal, came to an understanding in 1828, and formed the Union against their common enemy, the Dutch Government. At first they contented themselves with peaceful methods, especially the presentation of petitions to the king for a redress of their grievances from all parts of the country, but as these were disregarded, the control of the movement passed from the Conservative into the Liberal hands, and affairs began to wear a serious aspect. The bishops had foreseen such a development, and, hence, had warned the Catholics against the Union, and now, when violence was likely to ensue, they used their efforts to keep the movement on the lines of peaceful agitation. But their counsels were rejected, and both the Catholics and the Liberals aided by the clergy made no secret that they were determined at all costs to put an end to the tyranny of Holland.
The Revolution in Paris in 1830 encouraged the Belgian patriots to renewed efforts. The state of Belgium became so threatening that Prince Frederick, the eldest son of the king, occupied Brussels with an army of ten thousand men. The National Party was active in arranging its plan of campaign, and on the 24th September, 1830, the conflict between the citizens and the troops began. The people of Brussels, reinforced by volunteers from the neighbouring districts, drove out the troops from the capital after three days' hard fighting, and within a week the Dutch were compelled to evacuate the southern provinces of Belgium. Only the fortresses of Maestricht and Antwerp remained in their hands. When it was too late William I. hastened to make all possible concessions. He renounced the subjection of Belgium to Holland, retaining only the personal unity of the two countries under the one king, but his proposals were rejected by the provisional government, and on the 4th October Belgium was declared an independent nation. The attitude of the powers which had guaranteed the arrangement of 1815 was anxiously awaited by both sides. Russia and Prussia were not unwilling to support the king of Holland in his resolve to reconquer the country by force, but, on the other hand, France and England were on the side of an independent Belgium. By the joint action of France and England a Conference of the powers ( 1831) was held at London to regulate Belgian affairs, and in 1832,
Belgium was recognised as an independent neutral state.
William I. was unwilling to await their decision. When the armistice imposed upon Holland by the powers expired in November, 1830, he made preparations to begin the war, but a French army marched to the assistance of the Belgians and drove back the Dutch, leaving only the fortress of Antwerp in their hands. In 1832 the French returned once more, and captured Antwerp by siege. William I. still refused to recognise Belgium, and retained in his hands the forts commanding the Scheldt, while Belgium retained the portions of Limburg and Luxemburg awarded by the London Conference to Holland. At last, in 1839 an agreement was arrived at, and Holland formally abandoned its claims to sovereignty over Belgium.
In the Revolution of 1830 the Liberal party in Belgium had taken the lead, and, as a result, the provisional government was almost entirely composed of their partisans, there being only one Catholic among its ten members. The Congress, however, convoked by the provisional government, was almost entirely Catholic. They decided by 173 votes against 13 to establish a constitutional and hereditary monarchy. The family of Orange being necessarily excluded they found some difficulty in selecting a king, but, at last, with the approval of England and France, they accepted Leopold of Coburg-Gotha, who ascended the throne in July, 1831. Two chambers, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies elected by a limited suffrage, constituted the legislative body, while the local affairs were to be controlled by communal and departmental councils.
Probably the most delicate question with which the framers of the constitution were confronted was the relations between Church and State. A small section of the Liberal party wished to subject the ecclesiastical authority to the control of the government, but such a proposal was rejected by the Catholic party, and by the vast majority of the Liberals. The ideas put forward by de Lamennais in France offered a solution pleasing to nearly all parties. The absolute liberty of worship was guaranteed, together with freedom of association and education. The state abandoned all claims to control in the appointments of bishops, canons, or curès, while at the same time it secured to the church the payment of a large share of the expenses of public worship, the exemption of the clergy from military service, the right to military honours in the processions, the possession of the cemeteries and the supervision of religious education in the schools.
During the early years ( 1830-1839) of the new kingdom of Belgium, so long as Holland maintained its attitude of hostility, politicians of all shades of opinions laid aside their differences, and in the spirit of the Union of 1828 presented an almost unbroken front to the common enemy. The ministry was composed of both Liberals and Catholics, and both parties preferred to compromise their differences rather than imperil their hard-won independence. The education question naturally demanded attention, but here, too, divided in their ideals as the two parties were, the reaction against the whole system of William I. was so great that Catholics and Liberals were agreed to effect a concordat. The policy of the Dutch government had been to establish a state monopoly in education, while the new Belgian constitution guaranteed liberty of teaching. Many Catholics took advantage of this to establish free primary schools throughout Belgium.
But both Catholics and Liberals were agreed that religious instruction must form part of the curriculum of the primary education, and, thus, an understanding, which was embodied in the law of 1842, was arrived at between them. According to this law, the religious instruction was made obligatory in all state schools, at which, of course, the children of the parents who objected were not bound to assist. This was passed without any opposition and was accepted by the Catholic clergy as a satisfactory, though not a perfect, solution.
The Liberal party was daily growing stronger, while the Catholics, feeling themselves secure with their large majority, neglected the work of organisation. Liège had for a long time been a centre strongly hostile to the ecclesiastical powers, and the universities of Liège and Ghent helped to spread the views of this party throughout the ranks of the middle classes. The masonic lodges showed themselves specially active in endeavouring to capture the Liberal organisation. As a result of these propagandist measures the union between the Catholics and Liberals was broken. A Liberal Congress met in 1846, and took measures to organise the Liberal vote in every constituency in Belgium. They put forward a programme of religious as well as political reforms, and amongst their religious reforms, were the assertion of the independence of the civil power, the control of education by state officials alone, and the liberation of the lower clergy. The first incident that roused the Catholics from their lethargy was the news that the Liberal party had secured a majority in the elections of 1847. The new Ministry, taking as its motto the independence of the civil power, began the conflict with the Catholic Church which continued to engage the attention of Belgian politicians throughout the nineteenth century.
Juste, Le Soulèvement de la Hollande et la Fondation des Pays Bas, 1870, Albers, Geschiednis van het Herstel der Hiërarchie in de Nederlanden, 2 vols., Utrecht, 1903-4. Gams, Kirchengeschichte des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, 3 Bde., 1853. Crouzil, Situation Légale du Catholicisme en Hollande, Revue du Clergé Français, Mai, 1903.
Holland, like Belgium, belonged to the Spanish province of the Netherlands. Unlike Belgium, however, the northern provinces of the Netherlands, Holland, Seeland, Geldern, Utrecht, Friesland, &c., were strongly Calvinist, and were, therefore, both from religious and political reasons, opposed to Spanish rule. In 1565 a Confederation was formed to resist the introduction of the Inquisition into the Spanish Netherlands, to demand the withdrawal of the laws against heretics, and to maintain the rights and privileges of the States General of the Netherlands. The leaders of this conspiracy were William of Orange and the Count Egmont. The insurrection broke out in 1566, and the Duke of Alva was commissioned to suppress it, but his efforts were unavailing. The Duke of Parma, however, succeeded in detaching the Catholic provinces from the rebels, and in 1579 the Calvinist provinces of the North formed the Union of Utrecht, and in 1581 declared themselves completely independent of Spain. The war continued till 1609, when a truce was made for twelve years. Finally, by the peace of Westphalia in 1648, the independence of the Netherland Republic was recognised by Spain.
The Dutch had fought against Spain for religious freedom, while they themselves were more intolerant in their support of Calvinism than ever Spain had been in upholding Catholicity. A sharp persecution of the Catholic Church began in Holland, and lasted practically till the French Revolution. Even in the provinces like Brabant, where the Catholics were in the majority, the practice of the Catholic religion was forbidden, but the people remained loyal despite the efforts of the Calvinists and the Jansenists. As it was impossible for a bishop to reside in Holland, the ecclesiastical affairs were regulated by the Internuncio at Brussels and Cologne, or by vicars apostolic residing in Belgium and Germany. But Holland, like the neighbouring countries did not escape the influence of the rationalistic movements of the eighteenth century. The old orthodox formulæ of the Synod of Dordrecht no longer held undisputed sway over men's minds, and many educated Calvinists were inclined to meet the new Liberalism half way. The result was that the religious intolerance of former days grew less bitter, and from the year 1775 till the outbreak of the Revolution in 1795 the persecution of the Catholics was no longer violent.
The flight of William V. in 1795 was a hard blow to the orthodox Calvinist party, and in the National Assembly of 1796 a large number of Catholics appeared as deputies, especially from the province of Brabant. The "Patriot" party, who favoured the French ideas, and who had welcomed French assistance, were determined to put an end to the intolerance of the hitherto dominant Calvinists. The new Republican constitution of the year 1798 no longer recognised the Calvinist Church as the state Church, and conceded to the followers of the different religious bodies equal civil and political rights. The Catholics under the republic and under the rule of Louis Napoleon ( 1806-1810) made an effort to reorganise their forces, but naturally enough the years of persecution had had such an effect that for a lengthened period they remained without any considerable political influence. They founded the first ecclesiastical seminary at Warmond in the diocese of Haarlem, which was solemnly blessed by the Papal nuncio, Ciamberlani, in 1823. In 1806 a law regulating primary education was passed, according to which a Christian moral and historical education, but without dogmatic teaching, should be given in the schools. The Catholics, though not deeming such a system satisfactory, accepted it as a great step in advance and as the only means of destroying the Calvinist control of the schools.
The fall of Napoleon and the dismemberment of the French Empire led, as has been shown, to the establishment of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands under King William I. in 1815. The restoration of the House of Orange was hailed with joy by the orthodox Calvinist party, who hoped for a revival of the Calvinist state Church, with all its ancient prerogatives. But their hopes were doomed to disappointment. Though the king was not unwilling to meet their demands, yet the political necessities of the new kingdom forced him to concede a constitution whereby all religions were recognised as on equal footing. The law obliging the reign- ing family to profess Calvinism was abolished, and the state as such was officially neutral in religious affairs. This was not an unreasonable position to take up in a country where the Catholics formed one-third of the whole population.
The king, who was a strong Calvinist, surrounded himself with Calvinist advisers, and from the very beginning of his reign took no opportunity of concealing his hatred of the Catholic Church. One of the first acts of his reign was the arrest and expulsion of the Papal representative in Holland, Ciamberlani, who had come to Mechlin to arrange a dispute between the clergy and the vicar general, Haleu. Ciamberlani was allowed to return only in 1823. The opposition of the Belgian clergy to the constitution did not tend to improve the condition of the Catholics of Holland, and all the laws framed against the Catholic Church in the Belgian provinces were administered far more rigorously in Holland. The establishment of the Philosophical College at Louvain, and the restrictions on the Belgian seminaries had a serious influence in Holland which derived its supply of clergy principally from the Belgian ecclesiastical colleges.
An effort was made to arrange a concordat in 1816. Mgr. Nassali arrived in Holland as the ambassador of the Holy See, but the negotiations broke down owing principally to a divergence of views about the nomination of the bishops. After spending a year endeavouring to arrange a settlement Mgr. Nassali left the country, and as the failure of the negotiations was attributed by the government to the resistance of the regular clergy, more especially of the Jesuits, a project was formed to expel them from the kingdom, but it fell through, as did also a scheme for the organisation of the Catholic religion on independent lines prepared by the Minister, van Maanen.
Leo XII., anxious to put an end to the state of disorder, addressed a personal letter to the king, and the negotiations were begun again between Mgr. Capaccini, the Papal ambassador, and de Visscher de Celles, repre- sentative of Holland. An agreement was arrived at in 1828, according to which many of the terms of the French concordat were to be applied to the provinces of Holland; bishoprics, seminaries, and chapters were to be established, and an arrangement was arrived at about the future episcopal elections. In 1828 Mgr. Capaccini visited Holland in order to carry out the terms of the concordat, but met with violent opposition from the Jansenists, the Calvinists and the government. The outbreak of the Belgian Revolution in 1830 interrupted the negotiations The Catholics of Holland, notwithstanding the fact of their being in a minority, were better organised and more active in defence of their rights than those of Belgium. Hence, the separation from Belgium did not leave the Catholics of Holland helpless in face of an overwhelming Calvinist majority. The Catholics had men of talent like Ten Broek, Smits and Thüm, to give them an intelligent lead, and they had respectable journals and reviews, such as the Godsdienstvriend (L' Ami de la religion), the Tiid and the Katholiek, to help to form public opinion on the justice of their demands.
William I. abdicated the throne in 1840 and the accession of his son, William II. ( 1840-1849), seemed to promise an era of peace for the Catholic Church. Unlike his father, he was indifferent to Calvinism, and was regarded rather as a Liberal by the more orthodox members of the sect. Besides, the settlement of the difficulties between Holland and Belgium in 1839 gave grounds for hope that the terms of the concordat might be put into force at last. The provinces of Limburg and Luxemburg, awarded to Holland by the London Congress, and conceded to it by Belgium in 1839, had been already provided for by the erection of two vicariates apostolic at the request of William I. Mgr. Capaccini represented the Holy See, and at his request vicars apostolic were appointed to the dioceses of Bois-le-Duc, Ruremonde and Breda ( 1841), but the organisation of the northern provinces was still delayed.
William II. rather favoured the Catholics at the beginning of his reign, but under the influence of his advisers he soon assumed a hostile attitude. A new penal code was prepared in 1842, according to which every ecclesiastical document should be submitted to the royal Placet under pain of criminal proceedings, but the efforts of van Sur, the Minister of Catholic Worship, secured the withdrawal of the clause. The rapid spread of the Liberal revolutionary movement forced the Calvinists to lay aside their bitterness against the Catholic religion, and to join hands to some extent with the Catholics in trying to secure religious teaching in the primary schools.
Owing, however, to the increasing strength of the Liberal movement, the king was forced to appoint a Commission to prepare a revision of the constitution. The Catholics demanded the abolition of the Placet, freedom of association, and liberty of education. These were opposed by the Calvinist party, though in the end the Placet was definitely dropped, and freedom of association was guaranteed. The education question, however, still remained a subject of contention. As in many other countries of Europe, so, too, in Holland, the Revolution of 1848 had a good effect in freeing the Catholic Church from the shackles of state control. In the elections which followed the proclamation of the constitution the Catholics joined hands with the Liberal party and secured a Liberal majority in the Second Chamber.
The time seemed favourable to the Catholics to obtain a fixed ecclesiastical organisation, and especially the establishment of a hierarchy. The southern provinces had been governed since 1841 by three vicars apostolic, and the Northern provinces by the vice-superior of the Holland mission. Petitions began to pour in to the Holy See from the laity and the clergy for the establishment of a regular hierarchy, and after some preliminary negotiations with the government, the Pope consented to nullify the concordat of 1827 and the agreement of 1841. Arrangements were then made to establish an archbishopric at Utrecht with the four suffragan sees, Haarlem, Breda, Bois-le-Duc and Ruremonde. By the brief, Ex qua die ( March, 1853), Pius IX. confirmed this division, and appointed bishops to the newly established sees. Such a step raised a perfect storm of opposition from the Calvinist party. The press, the platform, and the pulpit were utilised to denounce this Roman aggression, and monster petitions were organised praying the king and the Chambers to prevent the establishment of the Catholic hierarchy. The Catholics remained perfectly calm during the commotion.
The new bishops took possession of their sees in April, 1853, and published their first pastorals. The government offered no opposition, although in deference to the wishes of the Jansenist sect attempts were made to induce Rome to change the sees of Utrecht and Haarlem to some other cities. The Pope refused to meet the wishes of the government, but as a concession he imposed on the bishops the oath of allegiance to the king. At the same time, the law regulating the inspection of religious societies caused considerable bitterness amongst the Catholics, and for a while seemed to threaten the peaceful establishment of the hierarchy. The law, was, however, considerably modified, and the Catholic resistance was less stubborn as the Catholic Minister of Worship promised to eliminate the dangerous consequences of such legislation. In September, 1853, the government formally recognised the new bishops, and the Dutch hierarchy was now an accomplished fact. The bishops proceeded to arrange the parochial boundaries, to erect chapters, to appoint vicars and parish priests without any fear of interference from the civil authorities.
THE CHURCH IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
La Fuente, Hist. Eccles. de España, 6 vols., Madrid, 1873-75. Gams, Die Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, 5 Bde., Regensburg, 1862-79. Brück, Die Geheime Gesellschaften in Spanien und ihre Stellung zu Kirche und Staat, Mayence, 1881.
THE wars of Charles V. and Philip II., in which Spain was involved solely in defence of the inheritance of the House of Habsburg prepared the way for the downfall of Spain. The public debt went up by leaps and bounds, and as the population of Spain was very small--only six millions in 1715--the immense taxes imposed on merchandise and commerce killed the trade and business energy of the country. As in France the old free representative institutions under which Spain reached its highest development were superseded in favour of monarchical absolutism, and the rule of worthless court favourites destroyed what Spain in the days of real liberty had built up.
During the reign of Charles III. ( 1759-1788), * an effort was made to improve the material position of the country. Roads were laid out and built; irrigation was introduced, agriculture was encouraged, subsidies were granted for the development of Spanish industries, and the taxes readjusted. But in his ecclesiastical policy
* Rosseau, Règne de Charles III. d'Espagne, 1759- 1788, 2 vols., Paris, 1907.
Charles III. was influenced to a great extent by the French liberal school of philosophers, and most of his advisers were of the same religious views. Owing to the strong Catholic feeling of the population he felt it unsafe to proceed to extremes, but in various ways he showed his anxiety to introduce a policy of hostile reforms. The Jesuits were expelled from the Spanish dominions in 1767; the king discouraged the spread of the monasteries, and attacked the wealth of the Church. In many ways the rule of Charles III. in Spain bears a striking resemblance to that of his great contemporary in Austria, Joseph II. He was detested by the clergy and the nobles, and distrusted by the people on account of his encouragement of foreigners, especially of Frenchmen, who monopolised the commerce and business of the country.
Charles IV. ( 1788-1808) was a well-meaning but weakminded sovereign, who allowed himself to be ruled by his wife, Maria Louisa of Parma, and her worthless favourite Godoy. The latter was strongly opposed to the church, and in various ways tried to limit her freedom and her possessions. Owing to the outbreak of the Revolution in France, and the close ties of relationship between the two reigning families of the Bourbons, it was nearly impossible for Spain to avoid war with France. The army was not prepared for war, and Godoy was compelled to sue for peace in 1795. He went further, and concluded an alliance with France against England ( 1795). From this time Spain allowed herself to be dragged in the wake of the Directory and of Napoleon. Godoy, too, imitated, as far as it was possible for him to do in the circumstances of the country, the attitude of the French Revolution to the Church. He adopted the policy of Charles III. in his opposition to the religious orders. To raise the enormous funds required for the wars entailed by the French alliance an extraordinary tax was levied upon the ecclesiastical lands, while the religious and charitable endowments were seized and converted to state purposes, the govern- ment guaranteeing interest at 3 per cent. on all such property. Education, too, he considered, had been left too much to the Church, and he took measures to liberate the schools from the control of the clergy, and to introduce Liberal professors into the Spanish universities.
In 1807 Napoleon resolved to force Portugal to observe the Continental blockade and to drive out the English. Spain joined in this enterprise in the hopes of securing the kingdom of Portugal. But Napoleon had other intentions. He continued to pour troops into Spain without reason, and as the Spanish people recognised that they had been betrayed by the king and his minister, an insurrection broke out in 1808, and Charles IV. was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Fernando, who was proclaimed under the title of Ferdinand VII. This turn of events did not suit Napoleon. He had hoped that the royal family of Spain would have fled to some of their colonies, and that the throne of Spain being vacant Joseph Bonaparte's accession would have been joyfully accepted. He invited Ferdinand VII. and the late king, Charles IV., to meet him at Bayonne, and, after a painful scene between father and son, lie forced both to surrender their claims to the Spanish throne, and proclaimed Joseph Bonaparte king of Spain ( 1808). The cowardly Ferdinand VII. was not ashamed to address an appeal to the Spanish people urging submission to Napoleon.
But the Spaniards were too proud to accept the rule of the foreigner. The old province of the Asturias, that had already led the way in defence of Spain and Christianity against the Moors, declared against Napoleon, and the rest of Spain followed this example. The Asturians appealed to England for assistance, and the English statesmen, recognising the importance of the struggle, gladly lent aid both in men and money. Escorted by French troops, Joseph Bonaparte set out for Madrid, where he found the people everywhere hostile and the city in mourning.
The rule of Joseph Bonaparte in Spain was disastrous for the interests of the Church. The clergy, true to their patriotic instincts, encouraged the people to drive out the French. In revenge, Napoleon levied immense contributions from the ecclesiastical property in the districts in which he had any control, suppressed the monasteries, and seized their possessions. The same scenes of secularisation that had been enacted previously in France and Germany were now witnessed in Spain. The Inquisition was formally abolished by him in 1808. For some years previously it had fallen into the hands of the freemason party in Spain, and hindered rather than assisted the suppression of heresy. The queen and her favourite, Godoy, succeeded in expelling Cardinal Lorenzana, the archbishop of Toledo, and president of the Inquisition, and in procuring the appointment to his place of the archbishop of Burgos. Anton Llorente, well known as a freemason and an enemy of the Catholic Church, was appointed secretary, and the Inquisition had practically fallen into the hands of the freemasons. Its suppression, therefore, by Joseph Napoleon in 1808 was not a serious blow to Catholicity. *
The Spaniards made a determined struggle against the overwhelming forces of France, and were well supported by the English army and fleet. The Council of Regents, however, proved itself utterly incompetent to handle such a critical situation, and demands were made on all sides that the Cortes, the ancient Parliament of Spain, should be convoked. The Regents reluctantly yielded, and at last, on the 24th September, 1810, the Cortes, elected by popular vote, met at San Fernando near Cadiz amidst scenes of the wildest excitement. It was to do for Spain, what the National Assembly had done for France, to abolish absolute rule and give it a constitution. The spirit of the French Revolution had already found its way into Spain, and the agents of the secret societies were busy at work to turn the national excitement to advantage by stirring up a feeling of hostility against both royalty and religion.
* Rodrigo, Historia verdadera de la Inquisicion, 3 vols., Madrid, 1876.
The Assembly was opened with a solemn Mass sung by the archbishop of Toledo, and after the termination of the ceremony the individual deputies took the oath of allegiance to the Catholic Church and to their king, Ferdinand VII. The provinces of Castile, occupied by French troops, were unable to send representatives to the Cortes, and the Liberal deputies from the maritime provinces were consequently in the majority. A commission was appointed to draw up a new constitution, which was solemnly proclaimed in January, 1812. The monarchy was to be hereditary, but nearly the whole power was vested in the Cortes. The Catholic religion was to be the only religion acknowledged or permitted in Spain. The religious feeling of the country was so strong that the Liberals were obliged to accept such a clause. But in other respects the Liberals showed their hostility by abolishing the privileges of the clergy, and by suppressing the Inquisition as one of the worst weapons of the absolute monarchical rule. The legislation of the French National Assembly was the model followed by the majority of the Cortes, but the election of new members in 1813 from the provinces hitherto held by the French gave the Conservatives a majority, and the Assembly broke up in disorder.
Meanwhile, the English under Wellesley, supported by the loyal Spaniards, had succeeded in driving the French out of Spain, and the way was now clear for the restoration of Ferdinand VII. The new Cortes ( 1814) wished that Ferdinand should be obliged to accept the constitution before being acknowledged as king of Spain, but the reception given to Ferdinand was so enthusiastic, that he felt himself strong enough to refuse the conditions imposed by the Cortes, and published a proclamation abolishing the constitution of 1812. The anti-religious tendencies of the freemason majority of the Cortes were in a great measure responsible for the strong conservative reaction that now took place in Spain. The leaders of the Liberal party were arrested ( May, 1814), and after several months' detention were punished by exile or long imprisonment.
The ancient régime as it existed before 1808 was restored almost in its entirety. The old system of councils, the privileges of the orders, and the Inquisition were re-introduced. The clergy obtained once more their privileges in the kingdom, the ecclesiastical property that had been seized was restored, the monasteries were re-opened, and the Jesuits recalled after years of banishment. Much as the people loved the king, they soon grew weary of his arbitrary rule, The high taxation alienated all classes, the clergy and nobility as well as the people, while the failure of the efforts for the reduction of the rebel American colonies did not tend to strengthen the power of the government in Spain.
A strong opposition, partly led by the officers and by the freemason clubs, was formed against the king. The revolt began in 1820, and the king was obliged to swear allegiance to the constitution of 1812. A new Cortes, elected according to the forms of 1812, was convoked. The Liberals were in a vast majority, but were themselves divided into two parties, the Moderates (Moderados), who wished to avoid complete rupture with the court and the clergy, and the extreme section, who were thirsting for war. The extreme party succeeded in capturing the government in 1822, and Ferdinand VII. was practically a prisoner in their hands.
The Cortes of 1820 was in the hands of the revolutionary and freemason parties. From the very start it made war on the Church in the spirit of the National Assembly of 1789. The religious houses were suppressed and their property sold to meet the increasing financial difficulties. The Jesuits were banished from the kingdom, the tithes abolished, the clergy forbidden to communicate with Rome, the bishops commanded to force their priests to preach submission to the constitution from the altar, and wholesale sentences of banishment or imprisonment decreed against those who refused obedience to these regulations. The people, roused by these attacks upon their religion and by the sight of their king a prisoner in the hands of the freemason Liberal. party, flew to arms in different parts of the kingdom, and organised the "Apostolic Army" to fight for their religion and their king against the Cortes. This unfortunate conjunction of religion and royalty was disastrous for the Church in Spain as well as in other countries at the same period.
The governments of Europe were hostile to the Spanish revolution, and Louis XVIII. undertook to aid the party of the king ( 1823). A large French army marched into Spain, and the Cortes had neither the army nor the money required to sustain a prolonged contest. The Cortes and its friends fell back on Cadiz, taking Ferdinand with them as a prisoner, but after a siege of three months they were compelled to surrender, and Ferdinand VII. was free to annul the laws passed since 1820, and to punish the leaders of the revolution. The laws against the Catholic religion were abolished, but this time the king did not resuscitate the Inquisition. In its place, however, he established what is known as the Juntas of the Faith. For some years the Restoration government and policy were triumphant. Soon, however, the royalist party were split up into two sections-one a conservative party rallying round Don Carlos, the brother of the king and the heir apparent to the throne, the other supported by Ferdinand and anxious to conclude a bargain with the Liberals. The crisis came between the two parties on the question of the royal succession.
The king's third wife, Amalia of Saxony, died in 1829, and, as there had been no children from any of these marriages, it was confidently assumed by the Conservative party that Don Carlos was certain to succeed. But, to their astonishment, Ferdinand resolved to take a fourth wife in the person of his niece, Maria Cristina of Naples, and in 1829 she arrived in Spain. In the circumstances it was only natural that from the very first the young queen turned towards the Liberal party for support. The enemies of Don Carlos were determined to oust him from the succession at all costs, but the decree of Philip V. in 1713, establishing the Salic Law in Spain, was likely to prove an obstacle to such a movement in case the expected issue of the recent marriage should be a female. The Cortes of 1789 had agreed to the abolition of this decree at the urgent request of Charles IV., but the abolition had never been published, and had, therefore, no legal force. The queen and her friends urged Ferdinand to publish this decree, and on the 31st March, 1830, the heralds proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction, restoring the ancient law of succession in Spain in accordance with the petition of the Cortes of 1789, In October, 1830, the Infanta Isabella was born, and Don Carlos made no secret of his intention of disputing the succession. The king fell ill in 1832, and, thinking himself dying, consented to withdraw the Pragmatic Sanction, but on his recovery recalled this withdrawal, handed the government over to the party of the queen, and commanded his officials to swear allegiance to the Infanta Isabella ( 1833). Don Carlos declared that neither his conscience nor his honour would permit him to take such an oath, and was commanded to leave the kingdom. In September, 1833, the king died, and by his will appointed his wife, Cristina, regent of Spain during the minority of Isabella II.
It was now war to the knife between the Carlists and the followers of Cristina. Don Carlos was supported by the Conservatives, the vast majority of the clergy, regular and secular, the provinces of Castile and the Basque provinces. He was in alliance with the Pretender, Dom Miguel of Portugal, and had the sympathy of Prussia, Russia, and Austria. Queen Cristina relied upon the Liberal anti-clerical section, backed by the support of England and Louis Philippe. To conciliate the Liberals the queen granted a constitution in 1834.
The civil war lasted from 1834 till 1839. Don Carlos had taken no pains to organise his army, and, as a result, the individual Carlist outbreaks in many districts were easily suppressed. Not so, however, the Carlist move- ment in the Basque provinces. These provinces under the old régime enjoyed practically a system of home rule, and Don Carlos stood for the principle of provincial autonomy. The Liberals, on the other hand, fought for centratisation. Don Carlos returned in 1834, and the war was carried on with extreme bitterness on both sides. In many cases no quarter was asked or given. Prisoners and non-combatants were not unfrequently shot in cold blood. England encouraged an English legion to fight for the queen, and Louis Philippe sent a French legion to support the same cause; while, on the other hand, the French Legitimists aided Don Carlos with money and volunteers. At last, the followers of Don Carlos quarrelled among themselves, and the Basque provinces, tired of the scenes of desolation, made their submission by the Convention of Vergara ( Aug., 1839), and Don Carlos escaped across the frontier into France. His general, Cabrera, gave up the contest in Catalonia in the following year.
The alliance of the ecclesiastics with the Carlists, and the triumph of the Liberal freemason party at the court, led to a savage persecution of the church in Spain. The Liberals were determined to suppress the religious orders, who were believed to have incited the people to take the side of Don Carlos. An agitation in favour of the total suppression of the monasteries and convents was carefully organised, and the rumour that the monks had caused the cholera epidemic of 1834 led to a popular rising against the religious orders, in which the religious houses were attacked, and several of the inmates slain. The government stood by and took no measures to protect them. In the following year ( 1835) a law was passed suppressing all religious houses with a community of less than twelve. In consequence of this decree close on nine hundred religious houses were closed. The Jesuits were expelled from the kingdom.
The arrival of Mendizabal at Madrid and his appointment as treasurer led to more decisive action against the Church. The financial affairs of Spain were in a des- perate condition, and more money was required to carry on the war against Don Carlos. To raise the necessary funds a decree was issued in October, 1837, suppressing nearly all the monasteries in the kingdom, about three thousand in number, and their possessions, houses, pictures, libraries, even the sacred vessels used at the altar, were sold, and the money applied to the expenses of the war. Gregory XVI. protested against this violation of the rights of the Church, but his protests were unavailing. In 1837, the Cortes abolished tithes, and declared the possessions of the Church the property of the nation. At the same time, by the new constitution of 1837 the government pledged itself to support the clergy and provide for the expenses of Catholic worship. In imitation of the Civil Constitution of the clergy in France a Civil Constitution of the clergy was prepared by a commission of Liberal Jansenist clergymen appointed by the Cortes, but was never carried into effect.
Gregory XVI. adopted a policy of neutrality between the conflicting parties in Spain. He refused to aid the Carlists, but he was equally firm in not recognising the regency of Cristina. The result was that the Pope was unable to confirm the appointments made to the bishoprics by the Spanish government, and in consequence of this, many of the dioceses were vacant and administered by vicars. In 1841 only six bishops were left in Spain. An effort was made by the ministry of Ofalia ( 1838) to conciliate the clergy and to arrive at some agreement with Rome, but the revolution of 1840 put an end for the time to all hopes of arriving at a concordat.
Espartero, the successful general of the Carlist war, resenting the favour shown by the regent towards the Moderate party, encouraged the Liberals to resist the new conservative policy. A revolution broke out in 1840 and the regent, having resigned the regency, set out for Marseilles, leaving the government of the kingdom to Espartero. The latter was appointed sole regent in 1841. He continued in office till 1843, when he was overthrown and the young queen, Isabella II., then thirteen years old, was declared of age by the Cortes. The Moderate party secured the reins of government, and queen Cristina returned to Spain.
The regency of Espartero ( 1840-43) meant an era of worse persecution for the Church. The Liberals celebrated their victory over the Moderates by putting an end to the policy of conciliation. Bishops and priests were expelled from their dioceses and parishes to make way for clergymen willing to support the government. The assessors of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal at Madrid were removed from office, and the Papal nuncio, Arellano, having ventured to protest against such outrages, was arrested, and conducted across the frontier ( Dec., 1840). Gregory XVI. delivered an allocation ( March, 1841), in which he solemnly denounced the violent policy adopted by the Espartero government towards the Church.
The government hastened to publish a reply, in which they attempted to deceive the people as to the nature of the Papal document by representing it as the attack of the temporal ruler of the Papal States on the Liberal government of Spain. The clergy were forbidden to publish the allocution, and those of them who disobeyed the prohibition were severely punished. The minister of justice took the desperate step of appointing his own nominees to the vacant bishoprics, but even they, liberal as some of them were, felt constrained to refuse the honour, and were punished for their disobedience. Gregory XVI. addressed ( 1842) an Encyclical to the whole Church on the sad state of the Spanish Church, and called upon Catholics throughout the world to offer up public prayers that God might effect the change. Their prayers were heard, for in the next year ( 1843), the regency, of Espartero came to an abrupt termination.
The new government hastened to make peace with the Church. Such a step was necessary in order to detach the Catholics and clergy from the Carlist cause, while, at the same time, owing to the writings of men like Balmes, Donoso Cortes, and the publication of such papers his La Religion and El Catolico, a better and more intelli- gent religious spirit had been created in the country. The bishops and clergy were allowed to return to their charges, and negotiations were opened with the Holy See for the arrangement of a concordat. After many preliminary difficulties Pius IX. finally succeeded in settling the terms of the concordat in 1851. *
According to these terms the Church withdrew all claims to the ecclesiastical property that had been sequestrated, while, on the other hand, the Spanish government undertook to provide for the support of the clergy, and the maintenance of public worship. A new division of the dioceses of Spain was arranged, and the government secured the right of patronage already granted in the concordat of 1753. The number of members in the chapters, the method of their appointment as well as of the parish priests, the erection and government of the seminaries, and the payment of the clergy were fully arranged. The conclusion of the concordat was hailed with satisfaction by the vast majority of the people, and enabled the Pope to appoint to the vacant sees, and to put an end to the anarchy reigning in the Spanish Church.
Amongst the Catholic writers who contributed to bring about this happy result and to produce a revival of religious life amongst their countrymen no men were more active or more successful than Balmes and Donoso Cortes. The former was born at Vich, Catalonia, in 1810, and after a brilliant course at the seminary and at the university of Cervara he was ordained priest in 1833. He returned to his native town and took up a position as professor of mathematics. But the dangers that threatened the Spanish Church soon drew him from his retirement, and in 1840 he published his first religious political work, Observaciones sociales, politicas y economicas sobre los bienes del clero, directed against the wholesale seizure of the ecclesiastical property. Against the tyrannical rule of Espartero he wrote his Considerationes politicas sobre la situacion de España ( 1840).
* Nussi, Conventiones, XXVIII.
These works soon gained him a foremost place among Spanish writers, and in 1841 he settled down at Madrid to prepare the book which has made him famous throughout Europe. In imitation of Guizot's European Civilisation, he published ( 1842- 1844) El Protestantismo comparado con el Catolicisimo en sus relaciones con la civilisacion Europea. The work was quickly translated into different languages, and, in its own order, is one of the most remarkable contributions to Catholic apologetics in the nineteenth century. Besides contributing to the Reviews La Sociedad and El Pensiamento, which he founded, he wrote an excellent course of philosophy, which was long accepted as the standard book in many of the Catholic Colleges. He died in 1848 in his native town of Vich, where a statue has been erected in his memory. *
With Balmes, in the religious literary revival of Spain, the name of Donoso Cortes must for ever be associated. Their lives were cast in different moulds, and their activity lay in widely separate fields, but both aimed at proving that in the Catholic religion could be found a remedy for all the calamities of their time. Donoso Cortes was born at Valle de la Serena in 1809, and after a few years spent it the preparatory schools he passed into the universities of Salamanca and Seville. He devoted himself to the study of philosophy, history and literature, and with such success that at the early age of nineteen he was offered a professorship at Caceres. At this stage of his life he was, like most Liberals of his day. a Catholic only in name, and hated the Catholic Church on account of the apparent alliance with the forces of absolutism.
He supported Queen Cristina against the Carlists, but took no part in the sharp persecution of the Church in the year 1835. Being unfriendly to the regency of Espartero, he went into exile with Cristina, and on her return he was appointed to direct the education of the young queen, Isabella II. He became a practical
* A. de Blanche Raffin, J. Balmes sa vie et ses Ouvrages, Paris, 1849.
Catholic through the influence of his brother, and in the Cortes devoted his eloquence to the defence of religious interests. He was regarded on all sides as an orator of the foremost rank, and his speeches, translated into different tongues, were read with interest throughout Europe. His best known work, Ensayo sobre el Catolicismo el Liberalismo, y el Socialismo, is taken up with the idea that in the Catholic religion alone is to be found a remedy for the evils of the day, and that behind every political problem lies a religious one, which the statesman must face before he can arrive at a satisfactory solution. The influence of his speeches in the Cortes, and of his writings, contributed much to bring about the arrangement with the Holy See in 1851. He was sent as ambassador to Paris, where he died ( 1853) at the early age of forty-four. The government brought back his remains to Madrid, and a national subscription was opened to erect a worthy memorial to the two great glories of the Spanish literary world in the nineteenth century--Balmes and Cortes.
Oliveira Martins, Historia de Portugal, 2 vols., Lisbon, 6th ed., 1901. Stephens, Portugal (Story of the Nations Series), London, 1891. Giedroyc, Résumé de l'Histoire du Portugal au XIXe Siècle, Paris, 1875. MacSwiney, Le Portugal et le Saint Siége, Paris, 1881-9.
The reign of Joseph Emmanuel I. ( 1750-1777) marks a new era in the history of Portugal. Personally he was a man of very little parts, but he entrusted the government of the country to a minister of more than ordinary ability, a former ambassador of Portugal at the courts of England and Austria, the Marquis de Pombal. The latter devoted himself completely to the work of reform, and it cannot be denied that under his rule the material advancement of the country was well consulted.
But in religious matters he was a disciple of the French rationalistic school, and set himself, like Joseph II. of Austria, to introduce more liberal ideas on religion among the population of Portugal. This scheme together with his resolve to consolidate the absolute power of the Crown, brought him into conflict with the members of the Society of Jesus. They were a strong body, likely to offer a bold resistance to his religious and political plans, and, hence, he resolved to begin his campaign by securing their expulsion from the kingdom. Nor was it difficult for him to invent a plausible excuse for such an act. A conspiracy against the life of the king was attributed by him without any real proof to certain members of the society, and the Jesuits in the kingdom and in the Portuguese colonies were arrested and sent into exile ( 1759). The Papal nuncio, Acciajoli, was sent dismissed from Lisbon, and all official communications between Rome and Portugal were broken off during the remainder of the reign of Clement XIII.
At the same time Pombal rather encouraged than prohibited the spread of the French rationalist literature among the better educated class, and, hence, in Portugal the opinions and theories on men like Montesquieu, Diderot, Voltaire, and Rousseau were freely discussed. The university of Coimbra became the centre from which the movement was propagated through the country, and Pombal, instead of adopting repressive measures, endeavoured of encourage the leaders of the movement, and to strenghten it by his selection of professors for the universities. the Inquisition was not, indeed, suppressed, but Pombal took care to man it with officials of his own choice, many of whom were attached to the freemason societies, and, thus, the machinery which should have served to discountenance heresy helped rather to suppress the clergy and the nobles who offered ant resistance to the reforms of the Prime Minister. By the French rationalistic writings and the development of the freemason party throughout Portugal, the Catholic religion was undermined in the country during the ministry of the Marquis of Pombal.
Joseph Emannuel was succeeded by his daughter, Maria Francisca ( 1777-1816) who had married her uncle, Dom Pedro. Under her reign the policy of Pombal was completely reversed, and the clergy and nobles who had been imprisoned by him were released. Pombal himself was dismissed from office, and was banished from the court. The queen was of weak mind, and in 1792 her son, Dom John, was obliged to take the management of affairs in his own hands. Nor had the new ruler an easy task. The French Revolution, at that time in full swing, exercised a disturbing influence in nearly every country in Europe, but in none more than in Portugal, where the policy of Pombal had encouraged the spread of French Liberal ideas on religion and on government, and where the fruits of that policy now began to cause his successors serious trouble.
The old Cortes of Portugal had not been summoned for years. As in France, the cause of absolutism had triumphed, and the people had lost all voice in the legislation or administration. The educated middle classes, ardent disciples of Rousseau and strongly republican, began to clamour for the convocation of a Cortes that might do for Portugal what the National Assembly had done for France. The freemason societies strongly supported this demand, but Dom John rejected all such petitions, and adopted energetic measures to crush the opposition. He expelled foreigners, especially French residents, from the country, arrested the leaders of the French party in Portugal, suppressed the freemason lodges through the country, and by every means at his disposal endeavoured to crush out a movement which, from the circumstances of the country, was directed equally against the ecclesiastical and the civil power.
This energetic policy of repression incurred the displeasure of the republican government of France. It regarded the hostility of Portugal as the result of English influence, and was anxious for an opportunity of occupying a state which was likely to prove a useful basis for English troops during a Continental war; while, on the other hand, the acting regent of Portugal could not remain an uninterested spectator of the fate of the House of Bourbon in Paris. In 1793, a treaty was concluded between Spain and Portugal against France, and during the war that ensued the Portuguese troops fought bravely side by side with those of Spain, but in 1795 Spain concluded a separate peace with France, and left Portugal alone to bear the brunt of the struggle. After ineffectual appeals to Paris for peace, and after it had become clear that nothing less than a partition of Portugal between France and Spain was determined upon, Dom John determined to appeal to England for assistance.
This assistance in men and money was quickly despatched, and the presence of a large English army under Sir Charles Stuart saved Portugal from invasion. Dom John, who had now assumed the title of regent ( 1799), endeavoured to make terms with Napoleon, but the conditions of peace were so humiliating that they were rejected by Portugal, and the war with Spain and France broke out again in 1801. Naturally enough, Portugal was no match for such opponents, and in October, 1801, was obliged to conclude treaties with Spain and France, by which portions of Portuguese territory were abandoned to the victors. The people were dissatisfied with such a disgraceful peace, but the regent was determined to follow the policy of neutrality.
Napoleon, however, insisted that Portugal should observe the Continental blockade against England, and as his demands were not complied with, he signed the treaty of Fontainebleau with Spain ( 1807), and the troops of France and Spain prepared to invade Portugal. The regent fled on an English ship to the Portuguese colony of Brazil, and, a few days after his departure, General Junot marched into Lisbon. The freemason party plainly showed their attitude by presenting addresses of welcome to the conqueror; and for a while during the brief reign of the French party the Catholics had to suffer insults and persecution. But the tyranny of the French, and their treatment of Portugal as a French province disgusted the great body of the people, and made them determined to shake off the yoke of the conqueror. In Oporto the movement first took definite shape. There a Junta was formed ( June, 1807) with the bishop, de Castro, as its president. The other cities followed this example, and when it was seen that Portugal, single-handed, could never fight France the bishop of Oporto appealed to England for support.
The English gladly welcomed this appeal. A force was despatched to Portugal under Sir Arthur Wellesley, while General Beresford was commissioned to reorganise the Portuguese army. The regents entrusted by Dom John with the government before his flight returned to power, but from 1809 till 1820 Beresford was the real ruler of Portugal. His rule was distasteful to the vast majority of the people, and his savage repression of rebellion against his authority only made the people more determined to free themselves, and to demand the return of Dom John from Brazil. They did not wish to be treated merely as a colony of the latter country. During these years between 1810 and 1820 the rule of the English, though it could not be expected to be friendly to the Catholic Church, was not very hostile, owing principally to the political circumstances of the country.
At length in 1820, profiting by the absence of Beresford, the principal cities rose in revolt; the English officers were driven out; a provisional government established, and a National Assembly summoned to draw up a constitution for Portugal. The new Assembly was distinctly revolutionary in its character, and set itself to carry out the programme of the National Assembly of Paris ( 1789) and of the revolutionary Cortes in Spain. All relics of feudalism were abolished, complete equality of all citizens, abolition of class privileges, freedom of the press, and the sovereignty of the people were proclaimed. The legislative and administrative powers were confided to one elected Chamber, upon the decrees of which the king retained only a suspensory veto.
The National Assembly was distinctly hostile to the Church. All the privileges of the clergy were swept away, the Inquisition courts suppressed, the ecclesiastical property converted to the use of the nation, and some of the religious orders disbanded. The Chamber was under the sway of the revolutionary and freemason societies, but the vast majority of the population was still devoted to the Catholic religion. It was particularly unfortunate that, as in Spain, the cause of religion should have been so closely identified with absolute rule, and that, therefore, the republican party were almost necessarily driven into a position of hostility.
The regent, Dom John, who had succeeded as king in 1816 on the death of his mother, was pressed from all sides to return to Spain. Having appointed his eldest son, Dom Pedro, regent of Brazil, he set out for Portugal, and on his arrival in Lisbon was compelled to swear allegiance to the new constitution ( Oct., 1822), while the Portuguese colony of Brazil, indignant at the high-handed attitude of the National Assembly, forced Dom Pedro to proclaim the independence of Brazil and to accept the title of emperor. The queen of Portugal and her second son, Dom Miguel, were strongly opposed to democratic rule, and refused to accept the constitution of 1822. Many of the officers and people, disgusted with the loss of Brazil, owing to the impolitic action of the Cortes, supported the party of the queen and Dom Miguel against the king and the Cortes. Dom Miguel led the movement, and the Cortes was dissolved. The king, however, refused to identify himself with the absolutist party, and appointed a commission to draw up a new constitution modelled on that of England.
Dom Miguel and the absolutist party now rose in revolt ( April, 1824), and the king was for a while a prisoner in their hands. The powers, at the instigation of England, interfered to secure his release, and Dom Miguel was obliged to retire from Portugal. The independence of Brazil under the rule of Dom Pedro was recognised ( 1825), and a few months later John VI. passed to his reward.
Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, as eldest son, was the rightful successor, but it was impossible for him to rule both countries, and in 1826, having proclaimed a charter similar to the Restoration Charter of Louis XVIII. in France, he abdicated the throne of Portugal in favour of his daughter, Donna Maria da Gloria. It was agreed that his younger brother, Dom Miguel, should be recognised as regent, provided he was willing to marry his niece, the young queen, and swear allegiance to the charter. Dom Miguel agreed to these conditions, and in February, 1828, he landed at Lisbon. He was the idol of the Portuguese, and the enemy of Liberalism in religion and in politics. He detested the Cortes both for their civil and ecclesiastical reforms, and, relying upon the popular support, he dismissed the assembly in about three weeks after his arrival.
In May, 1828, he summoned the old Cortes, namely, the clergy, the nobles and the Third Estate, and, as had been expected, the assembly offered him the crown. Dom Pedro, as the grand master of the freemasons of Brazil, and the recognised ally of the Liberal party, was very unpopular with both clergy and nobles, who, therefore, ranged themselves on the side of Dom Miguel. The great majority of the people were undoubtedly on the same side, and the proclamation of Dom Miguel was received with every sign of popular rejoicing. The adherents of the young queen fled to England, but at first, England refused to intervene. The policy of Dom Miguel, however, was not calculated to strengthen his position. A violent persecution broke out against all who were suspected of liberal tendencies. Wholesale arrests and imprisonments or expulsion were the order of the day.
The opponents of Dom Miguel took up their position in the little island of Terceira, one of the Azores, but so long as the powers remained neutral there was no hope of their success. In 1830 the revolution in Paris, and the advent of a Whig Ministry with Lord Palmerston at the Foreign Office in England, en- couraged the hopes of the party. Dom Pedro abdicated the throne of Brazil in 1831, and returned to Europe to fight for the cause of his daughter, Donna Maria da Gloria. He was strongly assisted by France and England, while, on the other hand, the nobles, clergy and vast majority of the people stood loyal to the king of their choice, Dom Miguel.
In July, 1832, Dom Pedro landed at Oporto, and at first his chances of success seemed desperate, but with the assistance of England, France, and Spain, he succeeded in capturing the principal cities, and at last, in May, 1834, Dom Miguel was obliged to sign a convention by which, in return for an annual pension of £1,500, he promised never again to return to Portugal.
This strife between Dom Miguel and Dom Pedro was disastrous for the Catholic Church. Owing to the friendly attitude adopted by Dom Miguel towards the Church and the well-known sympathy of Dom Pedro for freemasonry and Liberalism, the clergy generally supported the cause of Dom Miguel. As a consequence, the victory of Dom Pedro meant the triumph of Liberalism and the persecution of the Church. The Papal nuncio was expelled from the kingdom ( 1833); the tribunal of the Nunciature suppressed; all the bishoprics to which appointments had been made on the presentation of Dom Miguel were declared vacant; the bishops removed, and vicars appointed to administer the dioceses ( 1833).
Of the religious orders the Jesuits were naturally the first victims of Dom Pedro's vengeance. In 1833, before the country was yet conquered, he published a decree ordering them to withdraw from the kingdom. By a further decree of May, 1834, all the religious and military orders were suppressed, their houses and property confiscated and sold to relieve the wants of the Treasury. The tithes were abolished, and, as no source of revenue was provided in their place, the clergy were in great distress. A pension, indeed, had been pro- mised them, but, like the other financial responsibilities of the government, the payments were irregular. Dom Pedro claimed the right of appointing to all benefices in the country, and forbade any priest to undertake the administration of the sacraments unless he had received permission to do so from the government. He went further, and nominated bishops to the vacant sees, and insisted on the patriarch of Lisbon consecrating those selected without having received any confirmation of their appointment from the Pope. In August, 1834, Gregory XVI. delivered an allocution at Rome, in which he deplored the persecutions of the Church in Portugal and threatened to excommunicate those who interfered with the property or the liberty of the Church. But his words had little weight with Dom Pedro and his freemason and Liberal supporters.
Fortunately for the Church, Dom Pedro died in the next month ( Sept., 1834), and Donna Maria da Gloria undertook the work of government. Personally she was of a religious disposition, and most anxious to open negotiations with the Pope, but being to a great extent in the hands of the Liberal party, she was not always able to carry out her wishes. In 1835, her first husband died, and in the following year she married Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, nephew of Leopold I. of Belgium. The old Revolutionary party, feeling that the power was passing away from their hands, and that the Chartists (supporters of the charter of 1826) and the Miguelists were supplanting them, rose in rebellion and forced the queen to accept the constitution of 1822. This was strongly anti-Catholic in some of its clauses, and the religious situation in Portugal was more and more disturbed. Many of the people refused to acknowledge the bishops appointed by Dom Pedro without the approval of the Holy See, while, on the other hand, the attitude of some of the clergy educated in the Liberal university of Coimbra was far from exemplary.
In 1840, a Chartist or Moderate majority was returned to the Cortes, and in 1842, owing to the bold action of Cabral, the charter of 1826 was restored and the ministry wrested from the Liberal party. The return of the Chartist party enabled the queen to open negotiations with the Holy See in 1841. Mgr. Capaccini was entrusted with the work of arranging a settlement of the difficulties existing between Rome and Lisbon. Owing principally to his efforts many of the wounds inflicted on the Catholic Church by the civil strife were healed, and a modus vivendi was arranged. On the one hand, the papal representative abandoned all claims for the restoration of the property owned by the religious orders before the decrees of 1833 and 1834, while, on the other, an agreement was arrived at with regard to the appointments to the bishoprics of Lisbon, Braga and Leiria. Unfortunately, however, the repeated insurrections and changes of ministries and policies in the country prevented the conclusion of a concordat, and matters have remained in the same unsettled state till the present time.
THE CHURCH IN POLAND AND RUSSIA
Pierling, La Russie et la Saint Siège, 4 vols., Paris, 1896- 1907. Theiner, Neueste Zustände der Kath. Kirche beider Ritus in Russland und Polen., Augsburg, 1841. Expositio Documentis munita earum curarum quas Pius IX. in levamen malorum, quibus in ditione Russica et Polonia, Ecclesia. Cath., afflictatur, suscepit, Rome, 1870. Lescoeur, L' Église Catholique et le Gouvernement Russe, 1772- 1875, 2 vols., Paris, 1876. Pelecz, Geschichte der Union der Ruthenischen Kirche mit Rom., 2 vols., Vienna, 1870-80.
WHILE the neighbouring countries were adapting themselves to the demands of the age, Poland remained stationary, contenting itself with a feudal organisation, which, however suitable at an earlier period, was hardly in keeping with the requirements of the eighteenth century. The constitution seems to have been specially devised to secure the division of the country. The king was elected by the nobles, who really ruled the country. Each new ruler was obliged to conclude a special agreement with the Diet before being allowed to assume control. These agreements were known as the Pacta Conventa. Besides, the individual nobles regarded themselves as equal, and hence in the Diet any motion, however pleasing to the majority, might be defeated by the veto of a single member. This provision, the Liberum Veto, deprived the Diet of all possibility of effecting reform; while, to make the situation worse, the nobles reserved to themselves the right of forming private confederations independent of all control. The influence of religion seems to have been the strongest force at work in keeping the Poles together and in delaying the national dissolution.
The influence of Russia in the internal affairs of Poland had been steadily increasing during the latter half of the eighteenth century. On the accession of Catherine II. ( 1762-1796) Augustus III. of Poland was nearing his end, and as the monarchy was elective, one party of the nobles favoured the election of the Prince of Saxony, while another party favoured the pretensions of Poniatowski, a Polish nobleman himself, and a favourite of the Empress of Russia. His candidature was also supported by Frederick the Great of Prussia, who was jealous of the power of Saxony, and both powers, Russia and Prussia, formed a treaty to prevent any reform in the constitution of Poland, and to demand better treatment for the Dissidents.
The Catholic religion was the state religion of Poland, and was professed by about twenty million Poles. The Dissidents were the members of the Orthodox Greek Church principally in Lithuania, and of the Lutheran Church, who resided for the most part around Thorn and Dantzig. Various laws ( 1717, 1733, 1743) were passed restricting the civil and religious liberty of the Dissidents of both classes. It is only fair, however, to remember that these laws were not so much the result of the religious intolerance of the Catholic government of Poland as of political necessity. The Lutheran party in East Poland were intriguing in favour of German or Prussian influence in Polish affairs, while the members of the Orthodox Church were the constant supporters of the Russian faction. The Diet of 1766 confirmed the previous laws made against the Dissidents, who, thereupon, appealed to Russia and Prussia for protection. This was the pretext assigned by Catherine II. and Frederick II. for their interference in the internal affairs of Poland; and the good faith of these two champions of religious toleration can be best estimated by the fact, that no two powers of Europe were more intolerant in their treatment of the Catholics in their dominions than Russia and Prussia.
Augustus III. died in October, 1763, and mainly through the open and secret influence of Catherine II. Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski was elected by the Diet. His opponents attempted to resist him by force, but they were defeated, and fled the country. In September, 1764, Stanislaus Augustus was solemnly proclaimed king of Poland, and the triumph of the foreign factions in Polish affairs was secured. The members of the Greek Orthodox Church presented a petition for religious equality to the Diet in 1766, but it was rejected, and on its rejection, the Greeks formed a confederation at Sloutsk under the protection of Catherine II., while the Lutherans, at the instigation of Prussia, formed a similar league at Thorn. Russia was resolved to carry her projects at the Diet of 1767. Every precaution was taken to win support by threats and promises. The deputies, who led the opposition, were arrested by orders of the Russian government and sent out of the country. In these circumstances nothing remained for the Diet except to proclaim religious equality, the Catholic religion, however, being recognised as the religion of the state. When this measure had been carried the Russian troops evacuated Warsaw. *
Some of the Polish nobles, anxious to maintain the constitution and to oppose the concessions granted to the Dissidents, met and formed what is known as the Confederation of Bar ( 1768). Their motto was "Pro Religione et Libertate," and their banner bore an image of the Crucifixion and of the Blessed Virgin. The religious aspect of the movement appealed to the people, and soon thousands flocked to their standards. Deputies were despatched to the courts of Austria, France, and Saxony to seek for assistance, while Stanislaus appealed to Russia to aid him in crushing the rebellion. The progress of the war was marked by fearful cruelties, especially on the part of Russia. France lent some aid in officers and money, and encouraged Turkey to declare war on Russia owing to the violation of Turkish, territory by Russian soldiers in pursuit of Polish refugees
* Rambaud, Histoire de la Russie, Chapter XXX., p. 464.
( 1768). But the mobilisation of the army of Turkey required some time, and before their forces were ready to take the field the Confederates were practically driven into Austrian territory. Against Turkey, too, the armies of Catherine II. had considerable success, and Austria began to get alarmed at the progress of the Russian power.
Frederick II. now intervened to secure the realisation of the scheme on which he had fixed his heart, namely, the partition of Poland. Such a partition was required to unite East Prussia with the rest of his territory, and to make Prussia a compact kingdom. He warned Russia that the only way of avoiding a conflict with Austria and France was by abandoning the hope of conquests along the Danube in favour of a division of the Polish kingdom, while he secured the support of Joseph II. and his minister, Kaunitz, by pointing out that in such a division lay the best barrier against Russian ambitions in the West. Prussia and Austria had already occupied the portions of Poland contiguous to their respective frontiers, and it only required an agreement between the three powers, Russia, Prussia and Austria, to regularise the occupation. In January, 1772, the partition treaty was concluded between Russia and Prussia, and the agreement of Austria was secured in August of the same year. By this treaty Russia secured the immense territory, known as White Russia, with a population of 1,600,000, Austria, Red Russia and Eastern Galicia, with 2,500,000 inhabitants, and Prussia a large strip of territory, known as Polish Prussia, with the exception of the districts of Dantzig and Thorn. The partition was announced to the king of Poland in September, and both king and Diet were obliged to accept the situation.
From 1773 till 1791 Poland made serious efforts at reform. The schools and universities were improved, the army was reorganised, the finances regulated, and public opinion enlightened as to the necessity of putting an end to the anomalous constitution which divided the strength of the nation and threatened to deliver it an easy prey to the ambitions of the neighbouring states. Frederick William II. of Prussia ( 1786-1797), jealous of the progress of Russia, concluded an alliance with Poland, while at the same time Russia was weakened by its wars with Turkey and Sweden. A new constitution was drawn up, according to which the monarchy was declared to be hereditary in the royal family of Saxony; the Liberum Veto was abolished, and a Diet of two chambers was established. A number of Poles, discontented with these reforms, appealed to Catherine II., who encouraged them to form the Confederation of Targovica, and promised to support them in their opposition to the new constitution by force of arms. A Russian army, 100,000 strong, crossed the frontiers of Poland, and occupied Warsaw. The Poles appealed to their ally, Frederick William II. of Prussia, but he repudiated his pledges, and sent his soldiers into Poland, not, indeed, to aid the Poles in their struggle against Russia, but to assist the Russian Empress in carrying out a second partition of the country. Austria was excluded from any share of the spoils on this occasion. Prussia secured Thorn, Dantzig and the territories which are now known as South Prussia and South Silesia with a population of a million and a half, while Russia secured the eastern provinces of Poland, with three million of their inhabitants. The Diet was forced to confirm this partition, and to accept a treaty with Russia, which practically conferred on Catherine II. the rights of suzerainty over the remains of the old kingdom of Poland ( 1793).
The next year ( 1794) the Poles made another effort to free themselves from the foreign yoke. Their principal leader was Kosciusko, a Polish nobleman who had fought in the American War of Independence, and who, after the second partition, had left Warsaw and retired into Saxony. From Saxony he went to France, where he obtained promises of assistance. On his return to Saxony he worked hard in organising a huge conspiracy in Poland, and the refusal of one of the Polish generals to disband his troops was the signal for a general outbreak against Prussia and Russia. The Russians were driven out of Warsaw, and a provisional government established ( April, 1794). Kosciusko led the Polish troops with remarkable success, but opposed as they were to the armies of Russia, Prussia and Austria there was little chance of ultimate success. The decisive battle was fought at Macejowice ( Oct., 1794) on the Vistula, where the Poles were defeated, and their leader, Kosciusko, dangerously wounded, was left a prisoner in the hands of the Russians. Warsaw surrendered in April, 1795, and the resistance was at an end.
The third partition was now carried out by the three powers, Russia, Prussia and Austria. Russia secured a territory with six million inhabitants, Prussia over three million and a half, and Austria about two million and a half. The worthless king of Poland, Stanislaus Poniatowski, retired as a pensioner to St. Petersburg, and Poland as a separate nation was practically extinct ( 1795).
According to the articles of the first partition treaty it was guaranteed that the Catholics should continue to enjoy all civil rights as heretofore, and they should be allowed the free exercise of their religion with the possessions and churches which they held at the time. The Empress of Russia guaranteed in her own name, and in that of her successors, that she would never use her rights as sovereign to the prejudice of the Catholic religion in the newly acquired territory. Similar pledges were given by Russia in the subsequent partition agreements in 1793 and 1795, as well as in special treaties concluded with the Holy See in 1784, 1798 and 1815.
But Catherine II. had no intention of carrying out her promises. To secure the newly acquired Polish territory permanently for Russia she felt that the populations must be won over to the Orthodox Church. The Ruthenians united with Rome had been permitted by the Pope to retain their Ruthenian rite, but Catherine II. now commanded them to accept the Latin rite or join the Greek Church. Bohusz, the archbishop of Mohilev, was the willing assistant of the Empress in all her schemes. The Ruthenians were forced to accept this decree by force, and many of them, rather than abandon the rite to which they had been accustomed from their youth, seceded from the Catholic Church. To complete the work of conversion Catherine II. sent armed bands into the Ruthenian territory, seized the priests who were refractory, and forced the people to accept the ministrations of the Greek clergy. Pius VI. protested against these violations of sacred treaties and of the natural rights of the people, and besought Leopold II. of Austria to intervene on behalf of the Catholics, but the protests and interventions of Pope and Emperor were unavailing. The Empress suppressed all the Catholic bishoprics of the Ruthenian rite with the exception of the archiepiscopal See of Polock, and expelled the monks of St. Basil who wished to remain in communion with Rome. Before her death in 1796 it is calculated that she had separated eight millions of the Greeks united with Rome from the Catholic Church and incorporated them with the national Church of Russia.
Her successor, Paul I. ( 1796-1801), was more friendly disposed towards the Catholic religion. In his journeys in Italy he had made the acquaintance of Pius VI., and, on his accession to the throne of Russia, he sent a request to the Pope that an apostolic nuncio should be despatched to St. Petersburg ( 1797). Cardinal Litta was selected for this difficult office, and was received in St. Petersburg with respect. He presented a memorial to the emperor requesting the re-establishment of the bishoprics of the United Ruthenians with a metropolitan at Kiew, and the free exercise of the Catholic religion in accordance with the articles of agreement in 1773 and 1793. The emperor received the memorial favourably and restored the bishoprics both of the Ruthenian and Latin rite. For the United Ruthenians he set up the dioceses of Polock, Luck and Brest, and for the Latins the archbishopric of Mohilev with five suffragan sees. The emperor restored a great many of the monasteries that had been seized, handed over the parishes, where the people, in spite of the terrorism, had remained faithful to Rome, to the Catholic priests, and endowed the episcopal sees. Pius VI., from his prison in Florence ( 1798), issued a brief confirming the new episcopal divisions.
Alexander I. ( 1801-1825), who succeeded to the throne of Russia, continued this friendly policy towards the Catholic Church. The presence of such a metropolitan as Bohusz, the archbishop of Mohilev, and metropolitan of the Latin bishoprics acquired by Russia, was more injurious to the Church than the most severe persecution. In his attitude towards the United Ruthenians he had already shown himself the willing accomplice of Catherine II. To more effectually control the Catholic Church in Poland he suggested the establishment of an Ecclesiastical Commission, which should regulate the affairs of the Latin and United Ruthenian dioceses without any reference to Rome. He himself was appointed president of this Commission, and he selected as his assistants clergymen without any other qualification except their willingness to co-operate in his designs. He tried to secure the appointment of his worthless favourites to bishoprics, granted divorce to nearly all applicants without sufficient inquiry and for money, opposed the monks of St. Basil, and accorded secularisation to all who asked it. The Bible Society was introduced from England, and found a generous protector in the person of the archbishop of Mohilev, who issued a pastoral in its favour. So flagrant was his conduct in this matter that Pius VII. was obliged to reprove him sharply in 1816, and to forbid him to have any further connection with the Bible Society.
At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the affairs of Poland required serious attention. Many of the officers and soldiers who, under the leadership of Kosciusko, had bravely defended their country against the foreigner, had fled to France and taken service in the army of the republic. In his wars against Russia, Napoleon was loyally supported by the Polish recruits, who looked to France for the restoration of their independence. In 1807, by the Treaty of Tilsit, Napoleon formed the Grand Duchy of Warsaw chiefly out of Prussian Poland into an independent state, appointed the Elector of Saxony king, and established a liberal constitution. In 1809 Austria was obliged to hand over to the Grand Duchy the Province of Galicia, while Dantzig was declared a republic. This was the most Napoleon would consent to do for his loyal supporters, and on the downfall of Napoleon the affairs of Poland were once again in complete confusion.
At the Congress of Vienna, Austria and Prussia received back a certain portion of the Polish territory that had been taken from them by Napoleon, and the remains of the Grand Duchy were formed into the Kingdom of Poland, with the Emperor of Russia as king of Poland. But the union of the crowns of Russia and Poland was only a personal one, on the model of that existing between Austria and Hungary. Poland, therefore, had its own constitution based to a great extent on that given to the Grand Duchy by Napoleon, and was, practically speaking, independent of Russia. The Emperor Alexander I. was generous in his treatment of Poland, allowing free discussion in the Diet, freedom of the press, and an independent Polish army.
The new political organisation of Poland required some changes in the ecclesiastical arrangements of the kingdom. Negotiations were opened up between Pius VII., and Alexander I. in 1815, and in 1817 the Pope published a brief confirming the new ecclesiastical division of the kingdom of Poland. The archiepiscopal see of Gnesen having passed with the Duchy of Posen to Prussia, Warsaw was now declared an archbishopric with seven suffragan sees, Wladislaw, Kalisz, Plotzk, Augustowo, Sandomir, Lublin and Podlachia. At the same time the university of Warsaw was re-established by Papal brief with all the rights that it had enjoyed in the old days when Poland was an independent nation. Alexander I., who is said by some to have died a Catholic, * continued to protect the interests of the Church in Poland till his death in 1825.
His successor, however, Nicholas I. ( 1825-1855), reversed the friendly policy of Russia towards Poland, and restricted the liberties that had been granted by Alexander. The Russian officials acted without regard for the natural feelings of the Poles; murmurs of complaints began to be heard from many, sides; secret societies were formed to overthrow the Russian power; and finally in 1831 a revolution broke out in Poland. The Polish exiles had found a home in Paris, and the government of Louis Philippe encouraged the leaders with promises of sympathy and support. The Russian Grand Duke fled, and a provisional government was established. Appeals for aid were addressed to France, but though the city of Paris, and even the Chamber of Deputies, were in favour of declaring war, the government of Louis Philippe was still too weak to intervene, and the Polish insurgents were left to their fate. General Radzivill led the army of Poland, but was unable to hold in check the overwhelming forces of Russia. The Poles themselves were weakened by divisions between the moderates and the extreme section; revolutions broke out in Warsaw against the provisional government, and shocking scenes were witnessed in the streets of the capital. The Russian army gradually surrounded the city, Warsaw surrendered, and soon the Russian general was able to announce to his imperial master that "Warsaw was at his feet." The constitution of 1815 was suppressed, and Poland was reduced to the level of a province in the Russian Empire. †
Nicholas I. adopted, also, an attitude of opposition
* Shahan, American Cath. Quarts 1905, pp. 545-47.
† Rambaud, Histoire de la Russie, pp. 650-58.
to the Catholic Church. He suppressed ( 1828) the diocesan organisation that had been established for the United Ruthenians, set up two metropolitan sees instead of one, placed the monks of St. Basil under the jurisdiction of the bishops, and placed the whole Church, metropolitans, bishops and clergy under the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Commission having its seat in St. Petersburg. The Latin Church did not escape persecution. The Emperor ordained in 1828 that no novice should be received into the monasteries till permission had been given by the civil authority, and that no student should be received into the seminaries until he presented his titles of nobility, had made his studies at a university, was at least twenty-five years of age, and had obtained the permission of the Minister of Worship. In 1830 the marriage laws were warmly debated in the Polish Diet. The Emperor wished to take away all the jurisdiction in matrimonial suits from the ecclesiastical courts and hand them over to the civil judges. This was warmly resisted by the Poles, and the bishops who led the opposition to the Russian proposals were banished from Warsaw.
The revolution did not tend to change the ecclesiastical policy of Nicholas I. Though Gregory XVI. had sought to conciliate the Emperor by his brief to the bishops of Poland exhorting them to preach submission ( 1832), yet the memorial sent by the Pope at the same time to the Russian ambassador produced no effect. The memorial is, however, useful as indicating the position of the Catholic Church in Russian territory at this period. The Pope demanded that the prohibition against holding communication with the Holy See should be removed, that more dioceses should be created to meet the wants of the people, that the restrictions upon the exercise of episcopal authority should be removed, that the goods of the Church that had been confiscated should be restored, that the education of the clerical students should be left in the hands of the bishops instead of being committed to the care of a Commission, many of the members of which were not even professing Catholics, that more suitable clergy should be promoted to the episcopal sees, that the ecclesiastical discipline with regard to monasteries and the divorce laws should be restored, and that for the protection of Church interests and to prevent misunderstanding, a nuncio should be allowed to take up his residence in St. Petersburg.
Nicholas I. paid no attention to these very reasonable demands. On the contrary, he proceeded more quickly in his work of separating the United Ruthenians from the Catholic Church. He suppressed all their seminaries, and insisted that the clerical students should be sent to St. Petersburg for their education. There, they were placed under the control of professors devoted to the imperial plans. The Ecclesiastical Commission governing the United Ruthenian Church was incorporated with the Commission governing the Russian schismatical Church. Men were appointed as bishops among the Ruthenians who were pledged to secure the apostasy of the Ruthenian Church. The priests who offered any resistance were arrested and sent into Siberia. Churches were everywhere seized, and handed over to schismatical ministers. The people who refused their ministrations were terrorised by bands of soldiers.
When everything was ready, and when the Metropolitan who stood loyal to Rome was dead the three apostate bishops published in 1839 their Act of Union with the Orthodox Church. This was signed by 1,300 priests. The emperor announced to the world that the Ruthenian Catholics had freely selected to abandon Rome and join the Greek-Russian Church. Public rejoicings were commanded, and a medal was struck to commemorate this glorious union. Meanwhile, the unfortunate monks and priests and people, who refused to acknowledge the apostasy, were treated as rebels and expelled from the country, or sent into Siberia as convicts. The people were commanded to accept the religious ministrations of the schismatical clergy, to allow- them to baptise their children, to attend their masses, to receive from their hands the Holy Communion. Many of them refused, and fled to the woods, depending for their salvation on God alone rather than hold any communication with such ministers of religion. The position of these unfortunate people was sad in the extreme.
France and Austria stood by silent witnesses of this oppression. Gregory XVI. remonstrated with the emperor, and his representations having proved fruitless he determined to make a public protest. In July, 1842, he delivered an allocution to the cardinals recounting the misfortunes of the Catholic Church in Russia, and complaining of the attitude of the Emperor. It was high time for Gregory XVI. to make a public protest, for most people who followed the course of events would be likely to conclude that if in his confirmation of candidates appointed to bishoprics, and in his general bearing towards the Emperor, he had adopted a firmer attitude he would have played a nobler part. The explanation of the Pope's apparent weakness is to be sought for in the political condition of Europe at this period. Nicholas I. had placed himself at the head of the anti-revolutionary or possibly anti-liberal party, and was looked up to by all the governments as a kind of dictator. The Pope, therefore, had no hope of gaining any concessions except by mildness and a readiness to meet the wishes of Russia as far as it was possible.
Nicholas visited Rome in 1845, and had an interview with Gregory XVI. Though the communications between Pope and Emperor apparently produced no good effect at the time, yet they: evidently led to an understanding, for two years later a concordat was concluded between the Holy See and Russia ( 1847). * The concordat was signed at Rome in August, 1847, by Cardinal Lambruschini in the name of Pius IX., and by Counts Bloudoff and Boutenieff in the name of the
* Nussi, Conventiones, XXXVI.
Emperor, Nicholas. It contains thirty-one articles dealing with the number and limits of the bishoprics in Russia and Poland, with the endowments of the churches and seminaries, with the method of electing bishops, and appointing parish priests, and with the free exercise of episcopal jurisdiction in ecclesiastical affairs, more especially in regard to the education of the clerical students.
Pius IX., in announcing to the cardinals the conclusion of this concordat, made it clear that there were many other matters on which no agreement could be arrived at, and which were a source of great anxiety to the Holy See. These regarded principally the prohibition forbidding the Catholic subjects of Russia from communicating freely with the Pope, the Russian laws on mixed marriages and divorce, the regulations in connection with passing from the Greek Church to the Catholic Church, and the unhappy lot of the persecuted Ruthenians.
Though the concordat had been concluded, the policy of Nicholas I. was still hostile to the Catholic Church, and the terms of the agreement remained, practically speaking, a dead letter. Like Catherine II., however, Nicholas I. considered himself the champion of religious liberty in the neighbouring countries, a rôle which involved Russia in the disastrous Crimean war. France claimed the protectorate over the Latin Christians of the East, and in the exercise of the protectorate rights demanded from Turkey certain concessions for the Catholics in the Holy Places of Palestine. The Sultan yielded to the request of the French, and the Emperor of Russia, considering this concession as an attack upon his rights as protector of the Orthodox Christians of the East, demanded further guarantees from Turkey which were promptly refused. The object of Russia was to dismember the territory of the Sultan, but France and England joined hands with Turkey against Russia, while Austria and Prussia formed a defensive league to protect themselves against attack from the same power.
The war broke out in 1853, and was ended after the fall of Sevastopol in 1855 by the Peace of Paris ( 1856). The death of Nicholas I. in 1855, and the check received by Russia in the Crimean war led, as shall be seen, to a more liberal treatment of Catholics in the Russian Empire.
THE PAPACY AND ITALY
Duerm, Vicissitudes Politiques du Pouvoir Temporel des Papes, de 1790, à nos jours, Lille, 1890.
Wiseman, Recollections of the Last Four Popes, London, 1858. Artaud, Histoire du Pape Pie VII., 2 vols., Paris, 1836. Idem, Histoire du Pape Léon XII., Paris, 1843. Idem, Histoire du Pape Pie VIII., 2 vols., Paris, 1843. Sylvain, Grégoire XVI. et son Pontificat, Lille, 1890. Mémoires du Cardinal Consalvi, 2 vols., Paris, 1864. Pacca, Memorie Storiche, Rome, 1830. Nielsen, The History of the Papacy in the Nineteenth Century, London, 1906. De Haussonville, L'Église Romaine et le Premier Empire, 5 vols., Paris, 1870. Orsi, L'Italia Moderna, Milan, 1902.
BARNABAS CHIARAMONTI, the future Pius VII., was born of a noble family in Caesena ( 14th Aug., 1742), and at the age of sixteen joined the order of St. Benedict. He was professor in one of the Benedictine houses in Rome when he received from Pius VI. his appointment to the see of Tivoli, from which he was sent to Imola. In 1785 Pius VI. created him Cardinal. During the days of the French campaign in Italy, and the invasion of the Papal States, the diocese of Imola was, from its geographical position, specially open to attack, and the conduct of its cardinal bishop in recommending to his flock obedience to the republic, attracted the attention of those who were anxious that the future Pope should recognise accomplished facts, and adapt his policy to the new ideas of liberty and government.
The state of affairs in Italy at the death of Pius VI. ( 29th Aug., 1799) was comparatively favourable. The Austrians had driven the French out of the northern portions of the Papal States, while Naples had put an end to the Roman Republic. Still, it was not convenient to hold the conclave in Rome, and on the invitation of the Emperor, Venice was selected. The conclave, at which were present thirty-five of the forty-six cardinals, opened on the 30th November, 1799. Consalvi acted as secretary to the assembly. In this position he gave ample proof of the possession of those diplomatic and administrative powers which enabled him to play a most important part in shaping the papal policy during the whole reign of Pius VII. Ercole Consalvi * was born in Rome in 1757, studied theology and law at Frascati and at Rome, received an appointment in the administration of the Papal States in 1786, and in 1792 was appointed auditor in the Rota, the highest of the Roman Courts. He was never ordained a priest, and it was only at the age of forty-three when he was being appointed cardinal that he received the minor orders.
In 1796 Pius VI. appointed him a member of the commission engaged in reforming the papal army, but the undertaking proved a failure, and, on the invasion of the city of Rome by the French troops, Consalvi was arrested ( 1798), and after a while spent with Pius VI. near Florence he was allowed to retire to Venice. While there, he was appointed secretary to the conclave, and as subsequent events proved, no choice could have been more fortunate. Owing mainly to his exertions, the Austrian nominee, Cardinal Mattei, was defeated, and Barnabas Chiaramonti, the zealous defender of the rights of the Holy See, was elected ( 14th March, 1800), and assumed the title of Pius VII.
Pius VII. refused the invitation of Austria to take up his residence in Austrian territory, while, at the same time, he insisted on the latter power restoring the two Legations of Bologna and Ferrara to the Papal States. Pius VII. set sail from Venice on an Austrian boat and landed at Pesaro, from which spot he journeyed quietly to Rome, where he arrived on the 3rd July, 1800, amidst the rejoicings of the populace. The Romans had never taken kindly to the revolution and
* Fischer, Cardinal Consalvi, Mayence, 1899.
the republic. They were delighted to see the Pope once again in their midst, and to find that, instead of a policy of revenge, he had adopted a policy of forgiveness. Meantime, the victory of Napoleon at Marengo ( 14th June, 1800) had changed the position of affairs in North Italy. The Legations that had been held by Austria were now seized by the victorious French, but, on the other hand, Naples surrendered all claims to Rome and to most of the pontifical territory that it had seized.
In August, 1800, Pius VII. created Consalvi cardinal, and on the same day appointed him his Secretary of State. The selection was particularly happy. The new secretary was endowed with all the qualities necessary for a good diplomatist and statesman, and, therefore, well fitted to guide the affairs of the Papacy at a time of exceptional difficulty. He introduced many reforms into the papal administration, compensated those who had bought the national property, encouraged agriculture by abolishing the taxes on corn, and endeavoured by taxation of the clergy and other devices to lighten the National Debt which had assumed alarming proportions owing to the war indemnities paid to France, and the ravages of the revolution.
During the negotiations for a concordat between the Holy See and France Consalvi played the foremost part. His position, in face of the power and obstinacy of the First Consul, was a peculiarly difficult one, but Consalvi's diplomatic genius stood him in good stead, and in the end, to the astonishment of most people, he succeeded in arranging a satisfactory peace. Napoleon was pleased with the Secretary of State, but his satisfaction did not last long. The independent attitude assumed by Pius VII. in regard to the divorce of Jerome Bonaparte, the opposition to the Organic Articles, the demands for the restitution of the Legations held by France, and the refusal of Pius VII. to consider the enemies of France as the enemies of the Holy See, were attributed by Napoleon to Consalvi, whom he pretended to regard as the ally of England. Napoleon, therefore, took measures to secure Consalvi's resignation, but it was only after the Secretary of State had again and again tendered his resignation, that Pius VII. could be induced to accept it, and to appoint Cardinal Casoni to be his successor. During the terms of office of Casoni, Doria and Gabrielli, Consalvi continued to direct in secret the councils of the Holy Father.
From the coronation of Napoleon I. in Paris the difficulties between the Holy See and France continued to increase, and at last Napoleon seems to have taken the desperate resolve of seizing the Papal States, of incorporating them with France, of transferring the Papacy from Rome to Paris, and of reducing the Pope to the position of a dependent upon the charity of the Emperor of France. In February, 1808, General Miollis marched on Rome with a considerable force, and took possession of the city. The cardinals, who were not by birth papal subjects, were commanded to return to their own countries; the Swiss guards were dissolved; the Papal soldiers incorporated into French regiments, and the Noble guards consigned to prison. Cardinal Gabrielli, the Secretary of State, was arrested ( 10th June, 1808), and sent out of Rome; and immediately Pius VII. appointed Cardinal Pacca as his successor.
The selection of Cardinal Pacca as Secretary of State at that particular juncture was most fortunate. Everything pointed to the fact that the crisis in the relations between the Holy See and Napoleon was fast approaching, and the gentle and conciliatory Pope required about him no longer smooth-tongued diplomatists, but men of unbending principle and courage. Of these qualities Cardinal Pacca had already given unmistakable evidence during his stay as nuncio at Cologne in the struggle against Febronianism, and his attitude of stubborn opposition to the insatiable demands of Napoleon soon showed that age had made no change in his firm adhesion to the policy of duty and ecclesiastical independence. The French were not slow to recognise the dangerous character of the new Secretary of State and General Miollis determined to remove him as he had already removed Doria and Gabrielli; but Pius VII. personally intervened, rescued the cardinal from the hands of the French, and assigned him rooms in the Quirinal adjoining the Papal apartments
On 10th June, 1809, the long expected crisis came. The decree of Napoleon, issued at the palace of Schönbrunn, near Vienna, on 18th May, by which the Papal sovereignty was abolished and the Papal States incorporated into the Empire, was published in Rome on the 10th June, and at the same time the Papal colours were lowered from the Castle of St. Angelo to make way for the tricolour. The decisive moment for publishing the Bull of excommunication had come, and on the evening of that same day willing hands were found to post it up at the usual places on the doors of St. Peter's, of the Lateran, and of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. By this Bull, Ouam Memoranda, the sentence of excommunication was levelled against all who presumed to use violence against the Church and her ministers, and, though no names were expressly mentioned, it was evident to both Italians and French that it was aimed principally at Napoleon and his generals.
The Romans were delighted with the action of the Pope, while the French, fearing the effect of such a bold stroke, determined to push matters to extremes, and to remove Pius VII. from the capital of his states. On the morning of the 6th July General Radet surrounded the Quirinal with French troops, and having forced his way into the Pope's apartments demanded that Pius VII. should abdicate his sovereignty over the Papal States. The Pope replied that he was only the guardian of the rights of the Church, and that it was impossible for him to renounce the temporal sovereignty. Thereupon the Pope and the Secretary of State were arrested, placed in a carriage waiting for them outside the Porta del Popolo, and brought to Florence. From Florence they were conducted by Genoa and Turin to Grenoble, where Pius VII. had the happiness of blessing the tomb of his saintly predecessor. Finally, Pius VII. was sent as a prisoner to Savona, while Cardinal Pacca was separated from him, and despatched to Fenestrelle. By a decree of the Senate ( Feb., 1810) Rome was declared to be the second city of the Empire; the Popes for the future were to take an oath of allegiance to the Emperor; their annual allowance was fixed at 2,000,000 francs; and palaces were to be assigned to them in Rome or in Paris according to their wishes.
From the measures taken by Napoleon it is perfectly clear that he was resolved to bring the Papacy under the control of France, to transfer the seat of ecclesiastical government from the Tiber to the Seine, and to use the Pope, the cardinals and the congregations as agents to carry out his scheme of universal domination. The cardinals, with the exception of a few old men, were sent to Paris by General Miollis, and on the refusal of Consalvi and Di Pietro to leave Rome without the Pope's permission, they were arrested in January, 1810, and conducted to Paris. The archives of the congregations were likewise seized and despatched to Paris. Here, the cardinals to the number of twenty-nine lived as the pensioners of the French government, but it is to the credit of Consalvi that in spite of financial difficulties he refused to touch a farthing of the pension assigned to him.
Hardly had Consalvi arrived in Paris when the preparations for the marriage ceremony between Napoleon and Maria Louisa were begun. Thirteen of the cardinals refused to attend the ceremony, the most prominent of whom were Consalvi, Di Pietro, Mattei, and Della Somaglia, while the other sixteen accepted the invitation. As a punishment for the obstinate attitude of the former, Napoleon refused to recognise them any longer as cardinals, and forbade them to use the insignia of their office. Thus was introduced the well-known division between the "red cardinals," who complied with the wishes of Napoleon in reference to the Austrian marriage, and the "black cardinals," who spurned his invitation. At first the "black cardinals" continued to live in Paris in poor lodgings, dependent upon the gifts of the faithful, but in June, 1810, they were sent into exile to different parts of the Empire. Consalvi was conducted to Rheims, where he spent his leisure hours in preparing his Memoirs.
Pius VII. arrived in Savona in August, 1809, and was assigned apartments in the episcopal palace. All his trusted officials were separated from him, a close watch was kept on his correspondence, and though Napoleon made some provision for his personal comfort, he was in reality treated as a prisoner of the Emperor. The minister of Austria endeavoured to bring about a reconciliation between the Pope and the Emperor, but the demands of Napoleon were too exorbitant to admit any hope of peace. As the Pope steadily refused to solve the difficulties that had arisen in France regarding the appointment of bishops, his prison regulations were made more rigorous. In January, 1811, the prefect of Savona invaded his private apartments, seized his papers, and sent them away for examination. His servants were dismissed, the carriages placed at his disposal, but which he had never used, were taken away, and even the Fisherman's ring was confiscated.
The question of the appointment of bishops gave rise to apparently insurmountable difficulties, as Pius VII. refused to confer the canonical institution required by the terms of the concordat. Many of the dioceses were vacant, and could not be filled. Napoleon, instead of making peace with the Pope and securing from him the canonical institution, resolved to convoke a council of the bishops of the Empire in Paris ( June, 1811). After the letters of convocation had been issued he despatched three of the court bishops to Savona to re-open negotiations with Pius VII. They arrived in Savona in May, 1811, and to their request that the Pope should accept the Gallican Articles of 1862, Pius VII. returned a decided negative. With regard to the canonical institution of the bishops he was at first unwilling to make any concession, but, wearied by the importunity of the bishops and of the prefect of Savona, and fearing the consequences, if the approaching Council should adopt a schismatical attitude, he at length agreed that the concordat should be amended, so that the Pope should be bound to confer canonical institution on the candidates nominated by the Emperor within six months. If he did not do so for any reason except the personal unworthiness of the candidate, it was arranged that the canonical institution might be conferred by the metropolitan or senior bishop of the province. With this verbal concession the delegates went their way rejoicing, but hardly had they gone than the Pope regretted the weakness he had displayed, and was most anxious to recall the concessions that he had made.
The Council opened in the Church of Notre Dame ( 17th June, 1811), and, as has been pointed out, the Assembly did not prove so compliant as the Emperor expected. The majority soon showed that they were more attached to the Pope and the Church than to the Empire, and that they were unwilling to aid the Emperor in overcoming the difficulties which had arisen only through the war against the Pope. To overcome their obstinacy a verbatim report of the interview with the Pope was read to the assembly, but the bishops, distrusting the accuracy of such a report, or aware of the means by which the concessions had been extorted, refused to ratify the terms of agreement, and on the 11th July, 1811, the Council was dissolved.
Measures were taken to secure that the next assembly of a similar kind would be more compliant. The bishops were interrogated individually, promises of submission were extorted, and a new Council, consisting only of the bishops friendly to the Emperor, was brought together in Paris. In August, 1811, they decided to ratify the concessions of the Pope, and passed a decree declaring that if the Pope did not grant canonical institution within six months, it might be given by the metropolitan or senior bishop of the province A deputation of cardinals and bishops was sent to Savona to communicate the results of the Council, and to urge the Pope to ratify the decree. They so wrought upon the mind of the aged prisoner by representing to him the awful consequences of his refusal that at last on the 20th September, 1811, he consented to approve the decree.
When Napoleon set out on the Russian campaign in 1812 he was determined that, should he return victorious, the resistance of the Pope must be effectively crushed, and the spiritual power wielded henceforth according to the dictates of the conqueror of Europe. To carry out this project, it was necessary to bring the Pope nearer to Paris, and at Dresden, on his march to Russia, he issued the command that Pius VII. should be transferred to Fontainebleau. On the receipt of this order, though the Pope was ill and suffering at the time, he was obliged to undertake the hardship of such a long journey. In June, 1812, he arrived at his new prison, the palace of Fontainebleau, where he was immediately surrounded by the imperial cardinals and bishops anxious to win him over to the designs of their master. Here, as at Savona, the Pope lived in the simplest manner, refusing to utilise the means of comfort placed at his disposal, and devoting himself entirely to prayer and study.
On his return to Paris from the disastrous Russian campaign ( 18th Dec., 1812), Napoleon felt it convenient to open negotiations once more with the Pope. New Year's greetings were exchanged between Pope and Emperor, and in January, 1813, Napoleon suddenly presented himself at Fontainebleau, where he had long secret interviews with Pius VII. The attitude of the Emperor on these occasions has been differently painted, but, as a result of the imperial pressure, and of the exhortations of the court cardinals and bishops, Pius VII. was induced to sign the unfortunate document, afterwards known as the Concordat of Fontainebleau. It was wrung from him in a moment of weakness, when his mental and physical powers were seriously impaired, and when, moreover, he was separated from his trusted counsellors, and deceived by the advice of the imperial ecclesiastics. It is clear that he did not fully recognise the significance of the concession which, by abandoning the sovereignty of the Papal States, and accepting the pension of the French government, would have reduced himself and his successors to the position of dependents. One thing, at any rate, is clear--namely, that if Pius VII. is to be blamed for his share in the concordat, he fully repaired the mistake by his prompt disavowal of the terms once his faithful counsellors were allowed to see him and explain their views.
The agreement was immediately published in France, and as a sign of reconciliation between the Pope and Emperor, the exiled cardinals, not excluding even Consalvi and Pacca, were permitted to rejoin Pius VII. at Fontainebleau. They found the Pope in a state of great despondency, and all their efforts to console him were unavailing. He immediately placed before them the terms of the concordat, and requested them to furnish him with a frank expression of their opinion upon each of the articles. The consultation was carried on under considerable difficulty, especially as some of the red cardinals were justly suspected of being more attached to the interests of the Emperor than to those of the Church. Consalvi, Pacca and Di Pietro were clearly of opinion that the concession should be recalled, and the majority accepted their views. * A document was finished on 24th March, 1813, and was signed and transmitted to Napoleon by Pius VII. In it the Pope confessed that his conscience had been deeply troubled by the concessions that he had made, that he deeply regretted the error into which he had fallen, and that, like Paschal II. in his relations with the Emperor, Henry V., he had determined to revoke concessions which, as Pope, he ought never have signed.
* Rinieri, Corrispondenza Inedita dei Cardinali Consalvi e Pacca, Turin, 1903.
Napoleon received the Pope's letter with surprising equanimity. He ordered that it should be kept a secret, that the bishops should be allowed to remain in ignorance of its existence or contents, and that, in the meantime, the government should act as if the concordat were still in force. He himself set out for the army to conduct his last, and, though unsuccessful, perhaps his greatest campaign. The bishops were appointed to the vacant sees, but in May, 1813, Pius VII. issued a brief declaring all the bishops who had been recently appointed intruders and nullifying their acts. No persuasion or threats could induce the Pope to change his attitude.
The campaign of 1813 proved disastrous for Napoleon, and the allies were slowly closing on Paris. To prevent the Pope falling into their hands he was removed from Fontainebleau in January, 1814, and conducted to Savona. On the 17th March the prefect of Savona announced to him that he was free to go whither he wished. Two days later, he set out on his return journey to Rome. The cardinals were not allowed to accompany the Pope, but were sent to different places in France according to the direction of the Emperor. On his journey to his place of imprisonment at the town of Béziers Consalvi first learned that Napoleon had abdicated, and he immediately journeyed southward to rejoin the Pope, whom he overtook at Imola. Pius VII. re-appointed him Secretary of State, and directed him to proceed to Paris to treat with the representatives of the allied powers.
The reception accorded to Pius VII. on his journey through Italy and on his entry into the city of the Popes was enough to reward him for his years of patient suffering. Two of his faithful counsellors, Pacca and Mattei, were by his side to share in the triumph, as they had shared in his misfortunes. Charles IV. of Spain, Charles Emmanuel IV. of Sardinia, and Queen Maria Louisa of Etruria attended to offer him their congratulations, while the inhabitants of Rome, princes and populace, vied with one another in their anxiety to show their respect for the prince who alone withstood the threats of Napoleon. During the absence of Consalvi, Cardinal Pacca was entrusted with the duties of Secretary of State, and from the stern, unbending character of such a man, encouraged as he was by the conservative counsels of the allied powers, it might be expected that all traces of the French innovation would soon be extinguished. The settlement of affairs in the Papal States was not, however, a matter that could easily be arranged.
The Allies were most sympathetic in their attitude towards the Holy See. They admired the patience and unflinching courage of Pius VII. in his silent struggle against the would-be master of Europe, while at the same time, they felt that religion was the only sure safeguard against future similar waves of revolution and war. The Holy Alliance between Russia, Austria and Prussia, by which the three sovereigns bound themselves to re-settle the public laws and the international relations upon sound Christian principles, was a sign that the rulers wished to make religion the support of their thrones, and to use its influence against the spread of revolutionary theories. The Pope perfectly understood the selfishness and unreliability of such an alliance, and as the head of the Catholic Church refused to commit himself to its principles.
But he was dependent upon the powers for the restoration of the Papal States that had been seized by France and Austria. Consalvi, as has been pointed out, was despatched from Imola to confer with the representatives of the Allies. When he arrived in Paris in May he learned that the diplomatic agents of the allied powers had gone to London. Thither, Consalvi resolved to follow them, and he was agreeably astonished at the friendly reception accorded him by the English people. From London the Papal representative proceeded to the Congress of Vienna, where, though the ablest diplomatists of Europe were assembled, Metternich, Castlereagh, Hardenberg, and Tralleyrand, his great powers of persuasion were generally admired. As the Pope's representative he was granted precedence; and, though he had little confidence in the stability of the arrangements made by the Congress, he devoted himself to securing the rights of the Holy See. He claimed the restoration of the Legations, together with Avignon, Venaissin, Benevento, Pontecorvo, Parma, and Piacenza. *
The greatest difficulty was with regard to the Legations of Bologna, Ravenna and Ferrara, held by Austria Naturally, Metternich wished that his imperial master should be allowed to remain in possession, or that, at least, they should be conceded to the ex-Empress, Maria Louisa; Prussia wished to secure them for the king of Saxony; Russia for Eugène Beauharnais; while Louis XVIII. insisted on their restoration to the Pope. Before a complete agreement had been arrived at, the news came that Napoleon had escaped from Elba, and was on his route to Paris. Pius VII., fearing the power of King Murat of Naples, who had joined Napoleon, entrusted Rome to a provisional government and fled to Genoa, where he was under the protection of the British fleet. After an absence of seventy-eight days he returned to his capital on the 7th June, 1815.
Shortly afterwards the Congress of Vienna settled the question of the Papal States. By the 103rd article of the agreement it was decided that the Pope should receive back the Legations, Ferrara, Bologna, and Ravenna, the Marches, together with Camerino, Benevento, and Pontecorvo. Only a small portion of Ferrara on the left side of the Po was left in the possession of Austria. Consalvi, though he had good reason to be proud of his success, lodged a solemn protest in the name of the Pope against the decision of the Congress on the ground that Avignon, Venaissin, and certain portions of Ferrara had not been restored. Having finished his work at the Congress, the Secretary of State
____________________ * Rinieri, Il Congresso di Vienna e la Santa Sede, Turin, 1903.
was free to return to Rome to devote his energies to the reorganisation of the government and resources of the Papal States.
Already Pius VII. had taken the momentous step of re-establishing the Society of Jesus that had been suppressed by Clement XIV. By the brief, Catholicae Fidei ( 7th March, 1801), * the Pope had sanctioned the organisation in Russia, and in 1804, at the request of King Ferdinand, he had approved of the re-establishment of the society in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Members of the society had returned to the Gesù in Rome, and were regarded with great favour by the people. Cardinal Pacca and many of the Papal advisers strongly urged the advisability of re-establishing the society for the whole Church, and were it not for the confusion caused by the wars of Napoleon it is certain that the Pope would have acceded to their wishes. Immediately on his return to Rome, he decided to proceed at once with a measure which was desired by so many states and peoples, and on the 7th August, 1814, he entered the Gesù in solemn procession, and having celebrated Mass at the altar of St. Ignatius, the Bull, Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum, † was read and duly promulgated. The announcement of the re-establishment of the society was well received in Rome, in Spain, whither Ferdinand VII. invited the Jesuits to return, in Piedmont, then under the kindly rule of Victor Emmanuel I., in Vienna, in Switzerland, and in France. From Portugal and Brazil came the only notes of dissent, and considering the religious state of both countries, and their subjection to the freemason and Liberal parties, any other attitude would have been unintelligible. At the same time the monasteries that had been closed during the French occupation were re-opened; the monks and nuns that had been scattered throughout Italy returned to their homes; and the congregations, including that of the Inquisition and of the Index, were re-constituted.
* Bullarium Romanum XI., 106 sqq.
† Bullarium Romanum XIII., 323 sqq.
The political and financial affairs of the Papal States also required careful attention. The introduction of the French code of laws into the occupied provinces, and the abolition of this code and the re-establishment of the Pope's authority added to the confusion; while, though the suppression of the religious establishments and the sale of ecclesiastical property had produced much revenue, the finances of the states were far from flourishing. Many people, even those least friendly to the French, were dissatisfied with the system of government, and were anxious to have some kind of a constitution on the model of France or Spain, according to which the people might be associated in some measure with the government. Consalvi, though strongly conservative, was not a man blind to the new spirit of liberty that had arisen in Europe, and he set himself to introduce a new constitution.
In 1816, a Motu Proprio, establishing the new form of government in the Legations, was published. * By this document the Papal States were to be divided into sixteen delegations on the model of the French departments, and over each "delegation" an official or "delegate" was appointed. The latter was to be assisted by a provincial consultative council, the members of which were not elected by the people, but nominated by the central authority in Rome. The French regulations with regard to taxes and customs were allowed to remain, and promises were made to improve the state of education. Consalvi laboured hard to improve the judicial procedure, which, owing to the confusion between the canon law and the French code, was in a state of complete disorder. In 1817, the first portion of the new code regulating the administration of justice was published. With regard to the financial affairs all the efforts of the energetic Secretary of State proved unable to set them on a satisfactory basis.
Nor were the reforms of Consalvi received with universal satisfaction. His position at Rome was a par-
* Bullarium Romanum XIV., 47 sqq.
ticularly difficult one, owing to the opposition of those cardinals and others who were jealous of all innovation, and who regarded the state of affairs before the revolution as alone consonant with strict ecclesiastical principles. These men regarded Consalvi as a liberal of the most pronounced type, and they looked upon his reforms as dangerous both in themselves and in the precedent which they introduced. They were the Zelanti of their day, and their leader, as might be expected from his previous history, was Cardinal Pacca.
On the other hand, many of the Italian people were entirely dissatisfied with the policy of the Restoration in Italy, and were anxious for a United Italy, in which the foreigners, especially the Austrians, should have no political power. A secret league, known as the Carboneria, was formed in Naples, and from Naples the society spread rapidly into the Papal States. They had their secret meetings, their mystic rites, their oaths and their passwords. They aimed at the overthrow of the "priestly" government. In 1814 Cardinal Pacca issued an edict against such secret societies, but in spite of all the measures taken the members continued to increase, and in 1817 a proclamation was issued calling upon the people to rise in rebellion. The ringleaders were arrested, tried and condemned to death, but the Pope commuted the sentence into perpetual imprisonment. In 1821 Pius VII. issued a brief solemnly condemning the society known as the Carboneria. The brief seems to have had good effect, for, though other secret societies sprang up to take the place of the condemned one, the Carboneria lost its popularity in Italy.
Nor were the Papal States the only subject occupying the attention of the Pope and his Secretary of State. The ecclesiastical affairs in France, Spain, Germany and Austria were in a very unsettled condition, and it was necessary to conclude arrangements with the different countries on the lines of the concordat of 1801. In Spain, Ferdinand VII. agreed to return to the concordat of 1753; a temporary agreement was made with Louis XVII. for France in 1819; a concordat was concluded with Bavaria in 1817, with Naples in 1821, and with Russia in the same year. Though the negotiations with Austria did not lead to a settlement, yet a better understanding between the two powers was arrived at after the visit of Francis I. and Metternich to Rome in 1817. The Kings of Naples and Prussia, the Prince of Denmark, and the Crown Prince of Bavaria also visited the Holy Father, while the exiled Kings, Charles IV. of Spain and Charles Emmanuel IV. of Savoy, found a refuge under the protection of the Papal court, as did also the family of the arch-persecutor of the Holy See, the ex-Emperor Napoleon.
The long imprisonment of the early years of his pontificate, and the cares of his sacred office, told steadily on a constitution that was never robust. In July, 1823, Pius VII. took ill suddenly, and was obliged to retire to bed. He lingered for about six weeks, during which time he received all the consolations of religion in a spirit of faith and resignation. Prayers for his recovery were offered up wherever the news of his illness had arrived, but it was the will of Providence that the suffering pontiff should be relieved from his earthly cares, and on August 16th, 1823, he calmly passed away. The aged Secretary of State did not long survive his master. The opponents of his policy gained the upper hand after the death of Pius VII., and although Leo XII. was personally kind towards Consalvi, and appointed him Prefect of the Propaganda, still another policy was in the ascendant at the Vatican, and Consalvi retired in a great measure from public life. He died in January, 1824.
After the usual funeral services for Pius VII. had been observed the cardinals met at the Quirinal (2nd Sept., 1823) to elect his successor. Forty-nine members of the Sacred College took part in the conclave. The Catholic powers pretended that they had no interest in the election, and that they would allow the cardinals full freedom of choice, but in reality Austria, France and
Sardinia spared no pains to secure the election of a Pope friendly, or, at least, not unfriendly, to their particular interests. The cardinals were divided into two sections, the Zelanti, anxious to uphold strict ecclesiastical principles in defiance of state or popular aggression, and the Moderates, who were attached to a programme of compromise. Cardinal Severoli was the candidate favoured by the Zelanti, while the Moderates cast their votes in favour of Cardinal Castiglioni, afterwards Pius VIII. On the 18th September, Severoli had secured twenty votes, and his election would probably have followed at the next scrutiny had not Cardinal Albani, in the name of the Emperor of Austria, vetoed the election. As a result of this action the parties in the conclave were considerably changed, and on the 28th Cardinal Della Genga, himself a leading member of the Zelanti, secured thirty-four votes, and was proclaimed under the name of Leo XII. ( 1823-1829).
The new Pope was born at Spoleto in 1760, ordained priest in 1783, appointed private secretary to Pius VI. in 1792, and sent to Cologne as nuncio in succession to Pacca in 1794. In Germany, during the wars of the Revolution, his position was a peculiarly trying one, and he was unable to take up his residence at Cologne. He remained for the most part at Augsburg or at Vienna. He returned to Rome for a short period after the election of Pius VII., and was despatched to the Diet at Regensburg in 1805 to watch the interests of the Holy See in the Empire, and, if possible, to negotiate an imperial concordat. The overthrow of the Empire put an end to all such schemes, and the papal nuncio immediately devoted his energies to the negotiation of a concordat for the Confederation of the Rhine.
During the occupation of the Papal States by the forces of France the future Pope remained in retirement, but on the return of Pius VII. to Rome he was called to take an active part in the government of the Church, having been created a cardinal in 1816, and appointed vicar of Rome in 1820.
At the time of his election Leo XII. was so weak, and his appearance was so sickly and emaciated, that another conclave in the near future was regarded by many as an absolute certainty. The state of the Pope's health amply justified such surmises, but in a short time he recovered and was able to devote himself to strenuous work. The whole policy of the Papal court underwent many changes. Cardinal Della Somaglia took Consalvi's place as Secretary of State, but though the latter no longer retained tile guidance of affairs, still his advice was eagerly sought for and availed of by the Pope. In fact, the programme sketched by Consalvi in one of his interviews with Leo XII. seemed to have guided the whole policy of the pontificate.
The new Pope had little interest in political affairs, or in diplomatic schemes. He devoted himself to a complete revival of the spiritual life of the Church, and in his own life, his simplicity, his zeal and industry, he set a bright example. He tried to reform the congregations, and to keep a close watch on the proceedings of the officials, who were not well pleased with such careful attention. The theatres were reformed as well as the Roman inns, and though some of the regulations of the new pontiff were regarded as of too strict a character, still, in judging them, it should be remembered that men's minds were greatly disturbed at the time, and that the spirit of unrest and of atheism was only too apparent even among the students of the Roman universities. These latter occupied a place in the Pope's schemes of reform. A new regime and programme of studies were adopted; the secular as well as the ecclesiastical branches were organised on more modern lines; the national colleges in Rome received special assistance, while the Collegium Romanum was entrusted to the Jesuits.
The tone of his Encyclicals reflected the aims of his pontificate. In his Encyclical letter, Ut primum ( 3rd May, 1824) he warned the bishops against the two great dangers of the age, religious indifference leading finally to atheism, and the bible societies, which, under the pretence of spreading God's word among the masses, unsettled their religious beliefs and brought the Sacred Books into contempt. The bible societies had been already condemned by Pius VII. In May, 1824, Leo XII. issued a Bull proclaiming a year of jubilee. Owing to the disturbances in Rome it had been impossible to observe the usual jubilee in 1800, but the new Pope was determined that the year 1825 should not pass unnoticed, and that the occasion of the jubilee should be availed of to begin a great revival of religion in Rome itself, in Italy, and throughout the world. It began with solemn ceremonies on the 24th December, 1824, and in the following year, during which the benefits of the jubilee were reserved for those who visited Rome, crowds flocked from all parts to the centre of Christendom. King Francis I. of Naples, the Infante of Spain, and the Queen-dowager of Sardinia were amongst the pilgrims. Very generous donations were received, and were devoted by the orders of the Pope to the spread of the faith in the heathen countries. In December, 1825, the jubilee was extended to the whole Christian world.
The affairs of the Papal States also claimed the attention of the Pope. In the Campagna and along the sea coast brigandage had become so universal that life and property were felt to be insecure. Leo XII. adopted energetic measures to put an end to such disorder, and partly owing to the sternness of the military authorities, partly to the successful preaching of an aged priest, the power of the brigands was completely broken. The secret societies, especially the Carboneria and the freemasons, still continued their propaganda in the Papal States, and even in Rome itself. They aimed principally at securing adherents among the university students, and in order the better to further their political aims they encouraged opposition to the Catholic Church, and even to Christianity. In 1824 the Pope sent Cardinal Rivarola into Ravenna, one of the hot-beds of the Carboneria, to crush the movement, and in 1825 he pub- lished a Bull against secret societies, in which he renewed all the condemnations previously issued by his predecessors. It was directed principally against the Carbonari and freemasons who, under colour of a political campaign, were making such dreadful havoc with the religious faith of the younger generation of Italians. But neither the condemnation of the Pope nor the efforts of his legate were sufficient to prevent the spread of the secret societies in the Papal States.
Though not anxious about political intermeddling, Leo XII. succeeded in maintaining a good understanding with the principal powers. He followed the course of events in France under Charles X. with interest; the Spanish colonies of South America, which had become independent, received new bishops; concordats were arranged with Holland and Hanover; while for a brief period during the Greek war of freedom great hopes of a reunion between the East and the West were entertained at Rome.
The Pope attended the ceremonies of Candlemas Day, 1829, in the Sistine Chapel, and a few days later it was announced that he was seriously unwell. His condition was so serious that on the 9th February he requested that the last Sacraments should be administered, and on the next evening ( 10th Feb., 1829) he calmly passed away. His pontificate was not marked by any striking events, but the example of his own life and the measures which he took to promote a revival of faith and religious life were particulary required at the period. On account of his strict views, and his unwillingness to dabble in political concerns, Leo XII. was far from popular with officials and statesmen, and his death was hailed by such parties as a great relief.
In February (22nd) the cardinals assembled at the Quirinal for the election of a new Pope. * Fifty members of the sacred college took part in the deliberations. The appointments made by Leo XII. had not changed the balance of parties amongst the cardinals, and once
* Dardano, Diario dei Concla i del 1829, 1830, 1831, Florence, 1870.
more, as at the former election, the Zelanti and the Moderates were sharply divided. France, Austria, Spain and Sardinia followed the course of events with the greatest interest, and their diplomatic representatives spared no pains to communicate their views to the individual cardinals. France and Austria desired the election of a Moderate, while Sardinia, desirous of lessening foreign influence in Italy, naturally preferred the election of a Zelante. After a conclave, lasting five weeks, Cardinal Castiglione, bishop of Frascati, secured the required majority, and was proclaimed Pope, with the title of Pius VIII., on 31st March, 1829.
Francesco Xavier Castiglione was born in 1761, studied under the celebrated canonist Devoti, whom he assisted in the publication of the Institutiones Juris Canonici, was appointed bishop in 1800, banished by Napoleon to Mantua and Milan during the French occupation of the Papal States, recalled by Pius VII. at the Restoration, and created a cardinal. He was a man of good literary ability, sound ecclesiastical principles, and great piety of life. He began his pontificate by forbidding his relatives to come to Rome lest even the suspicion of nepotism should interfere with his measures of reform.
His pontificate, however, lasted too short a time (twenty months) to enable him to realise his plans. The severities of his predecessor were abolished, but the condemnations of religious indifferentism, bible societies, and secret associations were renewed. A few days after his elevation to the See of Peter the news that the Emancipation Bill had been passed and had received the sanction of George IV. reached Rome, and was the signal for general rejoicing in the city. Such an event seemed to augur well for the new reign. The first stage of the mixed marriages controversy was reached by the letter of Pius VIII. to the Prussian bishops in 1830, by which he permitted "passive assistance" at such marriages in case nothing better could be done. The revolution in Paris and the revolutions in Poland and
Belgium disturbed the last few months of the Pope's reign. Nor did the Papal States escape the dangers that then threatened Europe. Before the storm burst Pius VIII. was called to his eternal reward ( 1st Dec., 1830).
The conclave for the election of his successor met ( 14th Dec., 1830) under peculiarly difficult circumstances. The revolution that had already spread over most of Western Europe, had reached the Papal States, and the greatest vigilance was required to prevent a rising in the city of Rome itself during the interregnum. About forty-five cardinals assembled in conclave. The Catholic nations again professed absolute neutrality, but their actions were not in accordance with their professions. Austria, France, Spain, Naples, and Sardinia took active measures for the support of their own particular interests. Cardinals Pacca, Di Gregorio and Giustiniani were the favourites at first, and it seemed likely that the latter might have been elected had not the representatives of Spain solemnly interposed its veto. He had been formerly nuncio in Spain, and was under suspicion on account of his supposed connection with the Carlists. Finally, after a conclave lasting fifty days, Cardinal Capellari was elected Pope ( 2nd Feb., 1831), and in honour of the founder of the Propaganda, of which institution he himself was the Prefect, he assumed the title of Gregory XVI.
Bartolomeo Alberto Capellari was born in 1765. Early in life he joined the Camoldolese monks, and took up his residence at Rome in one of the houses of that order ( 1791). Here he was favourably known on account of his intellectual gifts, and his work in defence of the Church and the Holy See, published during the stormy days of 1799, brought him into prominence as an ecclesiastic of ability and courage. During the French occupation of Rome he fled to his old monastery of Murano near Venice, but on the restoration of Pius VII. he returned, was appointed cardinal in 1826, and was assigned the responsible office of Prefect of the Propa- ganda. His election to the Papacy gave general satisfaction to the people and the Catholic powers alike; while, on the other hand, there were not a few who feared that a life spent in such a strict monastic order as was that of the Camoldolese monks, was not a suitable training for a Pope at such a peculiarly delicate crisis in the history of the Church.
The revolution had already spread over the greater part of Italy. The Congress of Vienna, instead of attempting some plan of unification, had left Italy as it had been before, divided into a number of little states, and, worse than all, had left Austria in possession of the fairest and richest provinces of the peninsula. Naturally enough, Louis Philippe, who owed his throne to the forces of revolution, was anxious to show his sympathy with similar movements in the neighbouring countries, and more especially in Italy. He loudly proclaimed the doctrine of non-intervention--that is to say, that the Italian states should be allowed to settle their forms of government without any dictation from outside powers, and to this principle, of non-intervention, obviously directed against Austria, he pledged the support of the government of France. The revolution soon broke out in Modena, and spread into the Papal States. Bologna was the stronghold of the liberals, of the Carbonari, and of the revolutionaries. Two days after the election of Gregory XVI. the rebellion began in Bologna, and spread quickly into Romagna, Umbria, the Marches and Ancona. Cardinal Benvenuti, who had been sent to quell the insurrection, fell into the hands of the insurgents, and was brought a prisoner to Bologna, where a provisional government had been elected. A conspiracy was formed in Rome itself, but the revolt in the capital was practically confined to the foreign element, and was easily suppressed. The people as a body were certainly opposed to the revolutionary party, and co-operated actively with the soldiers in putting an end to the rebellion.
It was clear, however, that the papal army was unable to cope with the insurrectionary movement in the provinces, and the new Secretary of State, Cardinal Bernetti, found himself in the disagreeable position of being obliged to seek the armed intervention of Austria. An Austrian force was speedily despatched to the Papal States. The provisional government fled from Bologna to Ancona, where in a short time most of the leaders surrendered. The rapid and unopposed march of the Austrian soldiers does not speak well for the popularity of the provisional government, just as the generous treatment meted out to the leaders of the rebellion took away all foundation for any charges of harshness or severity that might be levelled against the Papal regime ( March, 1831).
The intervention of the Austrians put an end to the insurrection, but the principle of foreign intervention once invoked cannot be set aside at will. If the foreigners were entitled to assist the Pope with a military force, they claimed the right of dictating to him the reforms which he should introduce into the Papal States. The representatives of Austria, Russia, Prussia, France and England drew up a memorandum of the reforms which, in their opinion, should be undertaken ( May, 1831). According to this memorandum the five great powers demanded that Gregory XVI. should proclaim a general amnesty, that elective councils, communal, municipal and provincial, should be established, that laymen should be appointed to the judicial posts and to the civil service, and that an assembly of nobles should be formed as a council of state to assist in administration and in finance. Such demands were in themselves not unreasonable, but if the attitude of England, Russia, Prussia and Austria towards the introduction of such reforms in their own provinces be considered, their memorandum to the Pope must be regarded as an act of unparalleled hypocrisy.
The amnesty was proclaimed for all political prisoners with very few exceptions; laymen were appointed as judges in the provincial courts; courts of appeal were set up; the municipal and provincial councils were estab- lished; but, as in 1816, not on the principle of election but of nomination. It was also arranged that the officials of the legates in the administration of the provinces were to be laymen. In regard to a lay council of state the peculiar mixture of the spiritual and secular power in the Papal government made the situation an exceedingly embarrassing one. The Papal States were looked upon as the domain of the Head of the Catholic Church, and, hence, the division of the government between the Pope and his ecclesiastical council, the college of cardinals, on the one hand, and a lay council of state on the other, was attended with so great inconveniences that Gregory XVI. shrank from effecting such an innovation. Nor were the great powers anxious to force him to such a step. When the first burst of reforming zeal had passed they began to realise the incongruity of forcing the sovereign of the Papal States to introduce reforms which they themselves had steadfastly rejected in their own dominions.
The reforms granted did not, however, satisfy the popular demands, and the starving condition of the lower classes, brought about in great measure by the ruin of commerce, agriculture and industry caused by the revolutionary movement, made them an easy prey to agitators and conspirators. Further reforms were demanded and were conceded, at least, in part. A new rebellion broke out in the Papal States, and once more the Secretary of State was reluctantly obliged to sue for Austrian intervention ( Jan., 1832). In reply to this invitation the Austrian general, Radetzsky, occupied Bologna, while, as a counter move, France seized the port of Ancona, and settled a garrison there in spite of the protests of Gregory XVI. and of Metternich. The French were at first on the side of the Liberals, but the assassination of the Papal governor of Ancona opened their eyes to the character of that section, and they adopted a friendly attitude towards the Pope. Both powers, Austria and France, maintained their garrisons in the Papal territories till 1838, notwithstanding the protests of the Secretary of State who refused to avail of their services to preserve order.
The experiences of the effect of the revolutionary principles in his own states tended to prejudice the mind of Gregory XVI., not alone against popular agitation, but even against certain liberal theories of government which, under other circumstances, might have been more favourably received at the Papal court. Thus, it is clear that Gregory XVI. viewed with no small alarm the rebellion in Belgium, though it was a rebellion of a Catholic people driven to such a step mainly by the religious bigotry of Holland, while at the same time he wrote rather strong letter to the bishops of Poland against their associating themselves and their religion with the political struggle then being waged in that unhappy country against the Russian tyrant. At the same time, it is only fair to state that in this latter case Gregory XVI. was neglecting no means of urging Russia to a more just treatment of her Polish subjects, and he feared that the success of his representations would be endangered by what he well knew must prove a hopeless struggle. In these circumstances, too, one can well understand how, though personally friendly to Lamennais, Lacordaire, and Montalembert, Gregory XVI. could not approve the wild theories of religious and political freedom that had been put forward by them in their paper, L'Avenir, and how he was obliged to issue such a strong condemnation of the anarchical and indifferentist principles underlying the new Liberal movement as is contained in the Encyclical, Mirari vos ( 1832). *
Nor was the condemnation of the party of L'Avenir the only warning which Gregory XVI. was obliged to issue. The writings of Hermes, professor of philosophy in Bonn, were brought under the notice of the Holy See after they had been the subject of heated controversy in Germany, and in 1835, when the teaching had been carefully examined by Reisach, Rector of the Propaganda,
____________________ * Bullarium Romanum XIX., 126 sgq.
and the distinguished theologian, Perrone, it was condemned by a papal brief to the archbishop of Cologne. The Abbé Bautain, professor of philosophy in Strassburg, put forward theories on the relation between faith and intellect, which, by conceding too much to faith, seemed to cut away the very foundations of revealed religion. His denial of the powers of the human intellect to arrive at a correct knowledge of God, or to establish a rational motive for belief, was derived principally from the author's adoption of Kantian principles, and was hardly distinguishable from the traditionalism of the de Lamennais school. He was condemned by the bishop of Strassburg in 1834, and the condemnation was approved by Gregory XVI. on 9th December of the same year. The Abbé Bautain undertook a journey to Rome in defence of his views ( 1838), but failed, and in 1840 he made his submission. In 1840, too, an attack was levelled against the teaching of Rosmini, who was accused of favouring Jansenistic ideas, but after careful inquiry Gregory XVI. merely ordered that both parties should keep silent.
It cannot be denied that Gregory XVI. made serious efforts to introduce reforms and improvements into the Papal States, that in regard to the administration of justice, the expenditure of the taxes, and the encouragement of agriculture, commerce, and education he appreciated the prevailing defects, and sought to apply a remedy. But the peculiar situation of his government, the constant disturbance caused by secret conspirators, who were often foreigners, the fear that concession would only lead to further impossible demands, tended to diminish the extent of the reforms. In one point, however, neither the earnestness nor the success of Gregory XVI. can be questioned, and that is, in regard to the favour and assistance freely given by him to the encouragement of the arts and science.
He established two museums at the Vatican, one for Etruscan, and the other for Egyptian antiquities, and set up another at the Lateran for Christian antiquities.
During his reign, Rome became once more what it had been before the Revolution, and what Consalvi had aimed to make it, the patroness of the arts and science. It was then that the great painters, Overbeck, Küchler, who became a Franciscan friar (+ 1886), Minardi, Podesti, and Camuccini were at work under the constant encouragement of the Pope, while at the same time sculptors like Thorvaldsen, Fabris and Tadolini received every token of favour and approval. *
It was then, too, that scholars like Angelo Mai, Giuseppe Mezzofanti, and Gaetano Moroni were assisted in the literary works, some of which, even to-day, are regarded by experts as masterpieces in their own departments of knowledge. Mai, who was a noted linguistic student, and who, both before and after his appointment to the office of librarian in the Ambrosian library at Milan, had become famous on account of his discoveries of manuscripts and for his critical editions, was summoned to Rome by Pius VII., and appointed librarian of the Vatican. Here he continued his researches with the same energy and success, under the constant patronage of Pius VII., Leo XII., and Pius VIII. In 1838, Gregory XVI. raised both Mai and Mezzofanti to the rank of cardinal. The Pope, too, spared no pains to assist Moroni in his preparation of the Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica, which is a mine of information on matters of ecclesiastical history. The Roman University and the Propaganda owed much of their success at this period to the munificence of Gregory XVI.
The relations of the Holy See with the different states required the watchful attention of Gregory XVI. and of his Secretary of State, Cardinal Bernetti. In 1831 was published the Bull, Sollicitudo ecclesiarum, which declared that in accordance with its usual practice the Holy See would acknowledge the de facto government in any country without examining or deciding the question of its rightful title. This position, though the
____________________ * Nielsen, op. cit., Vol. II., p. 81.
natural one to be adopted by the Head of the Catholic Church, was resented by some of the powers, more especially by Spain, which feared lest the Pope should acknowledge the independence of the rebellious Spanish colonies in South America. Nor was it received with favour by the enemies of Dom Miguel in Portugal. The difficulties between these countries, Spain and Portugal, continued to disturb the whole pontificate of Gregory XVI. With Prussia Gregory XVI. was involved in a serious conflict on the question of mixed marriages. This continued till the accession of William IV., when an arrangement was arrived at. The unhappy state of Poland, and the ruthless persecution carried on there by Czar Nicholas I., gave the Polish question a notorious prominence during the first half of the nineteenth century. During the rebellion of 1831, when Poland, deserted by France, was engaged in a hopeless struggle, Gregory XVI. intervened, requesting the bishops to advise peace and submission. Such an advice was not due to any want of sympathy with the aspirations of Poland, nor to the Pope's neglect of Polish interests, but to the fact that Gregory XVI. recognised the utterly hopeless nature of the struggle, and feared that continued resistance would only increase the persecution which he himself was endeavouring to allay by diplomatic negotiations with the Czar. * The apparent silence of Gregory XVI. in face of the repeated acts of violence on the part of Russia was severely criticised in many quarters, and the Pope was blamed for sacrificing Polish Catholic interests to the political interests of the Papal States. But in 1842, when all hopes of an agreement were gone, Gregory XVI. gave an answer to his critics by publishing the correspondence between the Vatican and Russia, by means of which it was seen that the Pope had not been an indifferent witness of the sorrows of Poland, and that he had left no means untried to put an end to the persecution. In 1845, the Emperor
____________________ * Lescoeur. L'Église Catholique et le Gouvernement Russe, 2e éd,. Paris, 1903, pp. 110-113.
of Russia visited Rome, and was received by Gregory XVI. In this interview the Pope introduced the subject of Poland, and clearly laid before the Emperor what he thought of the Russian policy in that country.
With the government of Louis Philippe, Gregory XVI. was involved in serious difficulties. The Pope had endeavoured to hold himself entirely aloof from French political quarrels, and to confine himself strictly to the attitude laid down in the Bull, Sollicitudo ecclesiarum ( 1831). He acknowledged the government of Louis Philippe, and he exhorted the French bishops to accept loyally the ruler that the majority of the people had chosen. But at the same time he refused to close the gates of Rome against the Bourbon pretenders if they wished to visit Rome, as formerly Pius VII. refused to deny a refuge to the family of Napoleon when other states were closed against them. In 1839, therefore, Gregory XVI. received the Duke of Bordeaux in audience, and thereby gave offence to the government of Louis Philippe. Besides, the resurrection of the Catholic party in France, the gradual disappearance of the old Gallican spirit to make way for a closer dependence on and loyalty to Rome, and, above all, the efforts made by the Catholics to overthrow the university monopoly in education, forced the government to adopt a less friendly attitude towards the Papacy. The friends of the university blamed the Jesuits as being the real leaders in the struggle for liberty of education, and, as if to counterbalance the agitation against the university, the Liberal party opened a bitter campaign against the Society of Jesus. The professors, Michelet and Quinet, did not hesitate to attack the Jesuits in their lectures, while Père Ravignan and his friends missed no opportunity of defending themselves.
The government, fearing the strength of the Catholic party, and anxious to avoid an open conflict at all risks, resolved to lay the matter before Gregory XVI., and to request him to use his influence to force the Jesuits to withdraw from France. Naturally, the Pope was not willing to yield to such a demand, but the French minister insisted that in case of his refusal France would break off relations with the Holy See, and adopt measures for the expulsion of the Jesuits. In these circumstances it was thought best that the Pope should advise the Jesuits to yield for a time and to close their schools ( 1845). The society immediately obeyed the Papal instructions, but as a sign of the change that had come over the French Catholics, it should be noted that the bishops were practically to a man in favour of the society, and denounced its suppression by the government in the strongest terms.
In 1836, Cardinal Lambruschini succeeded Bernetti in the office of Secretary of State. He had been general of the Barnabites, and was well known for his strictness both in his practice and in his opinions. Like Gregory XVI., he dreaded the civil results of yielding to popular clamour or the threats of revolutionaries, but it is to be feared that he carried his principles too far in refusing to undertake necessary reforms, and in suppressing every indication of discontent. The political situation in Italy had undergone a change since the days of Pius VII., Leo XII., and even since the coronation of Gregory XVI. Then, the opponents of the Holy See were principally the Carbonari and the other secret societies which aimed at overthrowing by revolutionary methods the religious as well as the civil power of the Holy See.
Since that time a new element had made its appearance in Italian politics--namely, the "Young Italy Party." Its founder was Guiseppe Mazzini, who had been himself a member of the Carbonari, and who was arrested at Genoa in 1830, and on his release was sent into exile. While in prison he realised that the Carboneria was useless, that its aims were not such as would attract the nation, and that a new society should be established, the motto of which should be the unity and independence of Italy. To drive out the Austrians from the fair plains of Italy, to overthrow the rule of the petty Italian princes, and to unite all Italy in a free republic, was his policy. To Charles Albert, the young king of Sardinia, he looked as a leader, and to the younger generation of Italians he appealed for support. The Italian exiles joined the young Italian party with enthusiasm, and on their return to the Papal States they endeavoured to win recruits. But except from the Italian students they did not find an enthusiastic response. The inhabitants of the various states of Italy differed too widely in their habits and ideals to permit the national idea to be readily accepted. Besides, the position of the Holy See was a grave stumbling block in the way, and most people hesitated to accept the principle that the Papal States should share the same fate as the other Italian principalities.
But there were other schemes for the unification of Italy besides the republicanism of Mazzini. To meet the difficulty about the Papal States it was proposed that Italy should be organised on the federal basis, that the Italian kingdoms should unite in a great confederation on the model of the Swiss or American confederation, and that the Pope should be accepted as the permanent president, just as the Emperor had been the head of the Germanic confederation. Such a plan, it was hoped, would save the position of the Pope as a temporal ruler, and would obviate the conflict between religion and national sentiment, which the Carbonari and many of the Young Italy Party were endeavouring to provoke.
The priest, Vincenzo Gioberti, * of Piedmont, was one of the foremost exponents of the federal idea. In 1843 he published the pamphlet known as Del Primato morale e civile degli Italiani, which created an enormous sensation in Italy. Against the Young Italy Party he urged that the Pope, instead of being the ruin, was the glory of Italy, that Italians should be proud to have in their midst the ruler of the Catholic Church, that they ought to freely allow him the presidency of their
* Bati, Vincenzo Gioberti, Florence, 1891.
national confederation, and that, while relying on the sword of Sardinia to secure unification, they ought not forget that Rome must be the heart of such a movement. Count Caesare Balbo warmly seconded the federal plan in his book, Delle Speranze d'Italia ( 1843). These two men, by substituting public agitation for private conspiracy, and by casting over their schemes the glamour of religion, produced a wonderful effect in rousing the national instinct of all educated Catholics
Cardinal Lambruschini was, however, as opposed to the federal scheme as to the demands of the Young Italy Party. Whatever attitude he might have finally taken up, or whatever reforms he might have been inclined to make, the insurrection of 1843 organised in the Papal States by the adherents of Mazzini forced him to adopt stern repressive measures. The outbreak began in Bologna, but the vast body of the people refused to take part in the insurrection, which was quickly suppressed. Still, though the first attempt of the Young Italy Party had failed to effect a change of government, it had made the question of national unity a burning one, and urged many of its opponents, for example, D'Azeglio and Capponi, to raise the cry for a reform of government in the Papal States, and especially for such a reform as would include the separation of the spiritual and temporal jurisdictions.
Thus, in the beginning of 1846, the state of affairs in Italy was decidedly serious. The older secret societies had become merged into the Young Italy Party, which, although professing respect for religion, was determined to sacrifice the temporal power of the Pope on the altar of national unity. On the other side was the federal party equally committed to the policy of unification, but of a unification on the basis of federalism which, instead of destroying the Papal sovereignty, would, they said, increase it, by giving the Pope the position of president of the confederacy. Both parties looked to Charles Albert of Sardinia for a realisation of their hopes, and the young king, spurred on by his hatred of the Austrians, and by his natural desire of leading a united Italy, was not averse to encourage both sections. The Jesuits were regarded as the advisers of Cardinal Lambruschini in his stern Non Possumus attitude, and disturbances broke out against the society in different cities of Italy. The literary attack upon the Jesuits was led by the above-mentioned Padre Gioberti in two works, Prolegomeni al Primato and Il Gesuita Moderno, while the society was defended by Francesco Pellico, the brother of the famous author and patriot, Silvio Pellico, and, curiously enough, by Padre Curci.
Nothing was wanting to make it clear that, as in the time of Pius VIII., another political storm was about to burst over Italy. Fortunately, too, for Gregory XVI., as it had been for Pius VIII., Providence had ordained that he should not be called upon to withstand it. In May, 1846, he complained of erysipelas in the face, and on the 1st June he passed away. The question of Italian unity still remained to confront his successor.
It is difficult to form an exact estimate of the character and policy of Gregory XVI. Personally he was a man of great faith and piety. As Pope he lived the same hard, simple life to which he had been so long accustomed as a Camaldolese monk. He brought to his task ability, earnestness, and untiring energy. Nor can it be said that he was opposed entirely to all reforms, for his work in the Papal States and in the Church generally would disprove such a statement. But, on the other hand, his pontificate fell upon evil days. It opened amidst a wild revolutionary outburst, before which the thrones of Europe tottered. When the tempest abated the Papal States were still troubled by secret societies and intermittent insurrections. Frightened by such scenes, Gregory XVI. detested the much-abused cry of liberty. He made little or no distinction between agitators, and he feared the policy of concession, lest, if once adopted, it might force him to advance along the route too quickly. Cardinal Lambruschini, his Secretary of State, was a man of the same unyielding char- acter, to whom reform meant revolution. Had the Pope shown himself more conciliatory, had he endeavoured to win to his side the friends of religion and the Holy See by meeting them half way, he could not, indeed, have succeeded in averting the revolution; but he might have made the position of his successor towards the unification movement a little less difficult than it proved to be.
THE CHURCH IN FRANCE
(a) THE SECOND REPUBLIC, AND THE SECOND EMPIRE.
The Cambridge Modern History, Vol. XI., Chapter X, XVII. Ollivier, L'Empire Libéral, 12 vols., Paris, 1895, et sqq. Debidour, Histoire des Rapports der l'Église et de l'État en France de 1789 à 1870, Paris, 1896. Baunard, Un Siècle de l'Église de France, 1800-1900, Paris, 1901. Bourgain, L'Église de France et l'État au XIXe Siècle, 2 vols., Paris, 1901. Cabane, Histoire du Clergé de France pendant la Révolution de 1848, Paris, 1908. Lecanuet, Montalembert, 3 vols., Paris, 1902. Salomon, Mgr. Dupanloup, Paris, 1904. Veuillot, Louis Veuillot, 3 vols., Paris, 1901-4.
THE Revolution by which Louis Philippe lost the throne in France broke out on the 23rd February, 1848, and on the following day a provisional government was established. It consisted of two parties--namely, the Republicans, who sought merely political changes in the government, and the Socialists, who demanded not merely a republic, but an entire social revolution. The representatives of the latter in the government were Louis Blanc, Marrast, Flocon and Albert.
Unlike the Revolution of 1830, the movement was not directed against the Church as well as the monarchy. The attitude of the Catholic party during the reign of Louis Philippe, its organisation, its policy of independent opposition, and its leaning towards democracy rather than towards absolutism, had extinguished in great measure the hatred of the Church that appeared to be so widespread in 1789 and in 1830. The Paris mob carried the cross in procession through the streets of Paris from the Tuileries to the church of St. Roch, while the cries of "Vive le Christ" resounded on all sides; the clergy were everywhere invited to bless the trees of liberty, and were treated with the greatest respect; while the provisional government proclaimed religious freedom and the right of founding religious associations. In these circumstances, it is not strange that the Catholic leaders announced their adhesion to the provisional government. Louis Veuillot, in L'Univers, Lacordaire and Montalembert, declared that Catholics should rally to the new regime. The archbishop of Paris, Mgr. Affre, ordered prayers for those who had been slain in the tumults, went around the hospitals to comfort the wounded, and helped the authorities to restore public order. The rest of the bishops followed his example, while the Papal nuncio, having been notified of the change, entered into communications with the. provisional government, and assured them that Pius IX. would bless their work. This spontaneous alliance of the Catholics with the Revolution has been severely criticised, but it is difficult to see why they should have acted otherwise. They were under no special obligations of gratitude to the worthless Louis Philippe; and their opposition to the provisional government, though, possibly, it might have proved embarrassing, could have ended only in a new era of persecution for the Church.
But the good relations between the Church and the provisional government did not long continue. The Socialist party, led by Ledru-Rollin and Louis Blanc, got the upper hand, and inaugurated the new regime by declaring that it was the duty of the government to find employment for every man able and willing to work, and in accordance with that policy national workshops were established. These men represented the spirit of the revolution of 1789, and they made no secret of their opposition to the Church. Amongst the most extreme section of an extreme party stood the former Abbé de Lamennais, and no man, and no journal, were more bitter in attacks upon the Catholic party for its alliance with monarchy and reaction than were de Lamennais, and his newspaper, Le Peuple Constituant.
The Catholic party replied to these charges, but their efforts were unable to prevent outbreaks against the clergy and the Jesuits in some of the provinces. These outbreaks were, however, confined to certain districts, and had no influence on the friendly attitude adopted by the Catholics towards the proposed republic.
The provisional government convoked a general assembly elected by universal suffrage to which should be committed the task of drawing up a new constitution. The election was fixed for the 23rd April, 1848, and all parties, pure republicans, socialists, and Catholics, threw themselves into the electoral campaign with great energy. L'Univers advocated loyalty to the republic, but in return for its support, the republic must grant the Church the same liberty as she enjoyed under the republican government of the United States. Montalembert took up the same position; and Lacordaire, who was the most democratic of the Catholic leaders, founded L'Ère Nouvelle to support his dream of an alliance between the Church and democracy. The result of the elections was not unfavourable to the Catholics. Fourteen ecclesiastics, amongst them being three bishops, Mgrs. Parisis of Langres, Fayet of Orléans, and Graveran of Quimper, were returned together with a strong body of Catholic deputies. The assembly met on the 4th May, and the republic was solemnly proclaimed amidst scenes of the greatest enthusiasm. Lacordaire, who appeared among the deputies in the white robes of his order, received a regular ovation from the Paris mob. Montalembert and he were convinced that religion was secured, and that the new era had really begun.
But they were soon undeceived. The majority of the new assembly, whether republicans or royalists, were thoroughly opposed to the socialism of Louis Blanc and Ledru-Rollin. They disapproved of the national workshops, and resolved to suppress them. This was a dangerous experiment, considering that over 100,000 men were engaged in these institutions; and it was used by the leaders of the socialists to stir up a new revolu- tion. The workmen were armed and were in possession of the whole east side of Paris. They erected barricades in the streets, and demanded the dissolution of the assembly and the re-establishment of the national workshops. The assembly, however, was firm, and instructed General Cavaignac to suppress the disturbance. The insurgents fought with extraordinary fury, but after a sanguinary struggle of three days (24th to 26th June) they were overpowered. The prisoners were shot or transported, the Socialist journals suppressed, and though men like Proudhon and Leroux still endeavoured to keep their programme before the eyes of the assembly, the Socialist party, as such, was practically annihilated. Mgr. Affre, the archbishop of Paris, who had hastened to the barricades in the hope of preventing bloodshed, was shot.
The assembly devoted itself to the task of framing a new constitution. It accepted the republican form of government, proclaimed liberty of worship, liberty of education, the rights of property, and the duty of the state to find work or assistance for the citizens. They rejected the proposal for the re-establishment of divorce. When the constitution (116 articles) was completed it was solemnly proclaimed in the Place de la Concorde. The markedly religious character of the ceremony was sufficient to show that Catholicity was still strong in Paris. The hymn, Veni Creator, was first intoned, and when the articles had been read, Mgr. Sibour, the new archbishop of Paris, celebrated Mass, and imparted his blessing to the assembled multitudes.
According to the new constitution the president should be selected by universal suffrage. There were three candidates, Ledru-Rollin put forward by the Socialists, General Cavaignac by the republican democrats, and Louis Napoleon, son of the ex-king of Holland, by the Bonapartists and Royalists. None of the candidates was completely agreeable to the Catholics. Ledru-Rollin was impossible; General Cavaignac would give no guarantee on the subjects in which the Catholics were deeply interested--namely, liberty of education and association--while Prince Louis Napoleon, though more favourable, was not sufficiently explicit. Still the three million votes, which were said to be at the disposal of the Catholic party were worth capturing. The prince entered into communication with Montalembert and Louis Veuillot. He gave them favourable assurances on the question of education, and when the revolution broke out in Rome ( 1848) he dissociated himself from his revolutionary nephew, Canino-Bonaparte, and seemed to. support the maintenance of the Temporal Power of the Pope. In the end the majority of Catholics, save the small party of L'Ère Nouvelle, rallied to his side, and he received 5,400,000 votes as against 1,400,000 cast for General Cavaignac, and 370,000 for Ledru-Rollin ( 10th Dec., 1848).
It was a good omen for the Catholics that M. Falloux, one of their prominent leaders, was offered and accepted the Ministry of Education in the new government. The first question, however, that demanded the attention of the president was the revolution in Rome, on account of which Pius IX. had fled to Gaëta, from which he addressed an appeal to the Catholic powers. After some negotiations for a united intervention on the part of France, Austria, Spain and Naples the French government determined to take independent action, and General Oudinot, with a small force, was despatched to Rome ( April, 1849). He anticipated no opposition but on his approach to the city he was met by a stubborn. resistance, and was obliged to fall back and await reinforcements. The reinforcements were despatched immediately, and in the beginning of July the French. army occupied Rome, put an end to the Roman republic, and restored the Papal government.
The new elections were held in May (1849), and the results were favourable to the Catholics. The three parties, the Catholics under the leadership of Montalembert, the Orleanists under Thiers, and the Legitimists under Berryer, united in their opposition to the Socialists and extremists. The Catholics enjoyed more liberty than they had been accustomed to under the government of the Restoration, or that of Louis Philippe. The bishops were allowed to assemble in provincial councils, and several of these assemblies were held during the years 1849 and 1850. * But liberty of education was still the watchword with the Catholic party. The constitution of 1848 guaranteed such liberty, but that of 1830 had contained a similar declaration; and the Catholics were determined that the constitution in this instance should be carried out. In January, 1849, M. Falloux established two extra-parliamentary commissions to report on primary and secondary education. The Catholic party and the friends of the Senate were represented by their most prominent men. Montalembert and the Abbé Dupanloup were the prominent men on the Catholic side. The scenes of 1848, and the rapid rise of the Socialist party had alarmed moderate men of all sections, and had determined them to support M. Falloux in giving a more religious tone especially to the primary schools. It was soon discovered that the Minister of Education, M. Falloux, though willing to do much to satisfy the Catholic party, was anxious to secure a compromise, more or less acceptable to the University. The idea of a compromise was attacked by the more advanced section of the Catholics led by Louis Veuillot, against the advice of the moderate element led by Montalembert and the Abbé Dupanloup, and, as a result of these internal dissensions the Catholic party was broken up. The discussion on the Education Bill opened in the Chamber of Deputies in January, 1850, and was finished in March, when the Bill was carried by 399 votes against 237.
The measure was very favourable to the Catholics, especially as regards primary education. † The curès were appointed superintendents of the schools, every minister of religion might open a school, the members of religious orders were accepted as teachers on the recom-
* Collectio Lacensis, Freiburg, 1873, Vol. IV.
† Sévestre, Le Concordat de 1801, p. 120.
mendation of their superiors, the congregational teachers were exempted from military service, the official inspection was confined to purely secular matters, the municipalities were at liberty to choose religious or lay teachers for their schools, and the lay teachers were obliged to give instruction in the catechism. As a consequence of the law the number of purely Catholic schools rapidly increased. The majority of the councils declared in favour of congregational teaching, and the orders already engaged in the education of boys and girls extended the sphere of their labours, while in many dioceses new orders were founded to meet the new educational situation.
The portion of the law (sect. III.) regarding secondary education was not so favourable as might have been expected. But the monopoly of the University was broken. Every priest or member of a religious order might open a secondary school without the university certificates which were formerly required. The ordinances of 1828, which ordered all the boys in seminaries to wear the ecclesiastical habit, which limited the number of boarders that might be kept at such institutions, and forbade them to permit extern students to attend their classes, were completely abolished. Instead of the university control a general Council of Instruction, assisted by departmental boards, both nominated, and composed of the distinguished public men, lay or cleric, together with members of the provincial nobility, was charged with the superintendence of education. The results of the new law were soon apparent, for before two years had passed 257 new Catholic schools had been founded, and in 1854 the free secondary schools numbered 1,081, with 21,195 students, while, on the other hand, 52 state lycées were closed on account of the decrease in attendance. * In that year a change was introduced into the Councils of Instruction that was dangerous to the free schools. These bodies were henceforth composed of state officials or of nominated members, and sixteen superintendents of education were entrusted with the
* Baunard, op. cit., pp. 123-4.
work of watching over secondary education. Most of the men on these bodies were recruited from the friends of the University, and thus, indirectly, the university monopoly was in part, at least, re-established. But, notwithstanding this check, the free schools continued to increase, and, according to the statistics of 1900, while the number of students in the government lycées or communal colleges was set down as 81,321, the students in the free schools reached the total of 91,140. *
Meanwhile, the relations between the president and the Chambers became strained. Disputes broke out about the army, the executive power, the salary of the president, and the revision of the constitution. Before his opponents had their forces sufficiently organised the president dissolved the assembly, re-established the universal suffrage, and appealed to the people to sustain him ( 2nd Dec., 1851). His principal opponents were arrested during the night, the remnants of the assembly were dispersed by the police, the slight attempts at resistance quickly suppressed, and Napoleon remained dictator of France. He reintroduced the constitution that had been adopted by Napoleon I., with a nominated council of state, a senate, and an elective legislative body. This was approved by 7,481,000 against 647,002 votes. All that was wanting to the president now was the title of Emperor. This was accorded to him by the senate, and the decision of the senate having been confirmed by a plebiscite ( 10th Dec., 1852), he assumed the title Napoleon III.
The Education Law of 1850 destroyed the Catholic party in France, or, rather, it brought to a crisis the differences of policy which already existed in its ranks. † On the one side were Montalembert, Lacordaire, and the Abbé Dupanloup, representatives of the school of Liberal Catholics, and attached to a great extent to the programme of L'Avenir. Their organ was the L'Ami de la Religion, and later on, Le Correspondant. On the
* Baunard, op. cit., p. 127.
† Falloux, Le Parti Catholique, &c., Paris, 1856.
other were grouped the Conservatives or Ultramontanes round Louis Veuillot, Mgr. Parisis, and Mgr. Pie, with L'Univers as their principal organ. Both parties appealed to Rome on the question whether bishops should take the places given them on the central and departmental Councils of Education. Pius IX. replied that the bishops should certainly accept the places assigned them in the administration of the law, and earnestly recommended both parties to cease their strife, and unite again in defence of Catholic interests. Had the division been created by a mere question of tactics the Pope's advice might have been followed, but as it was, when the party of L'Univers regarded their opponents as Gallicans, and the party of Montalembert looked upon Veuillot and his colleagues as dangerous reactionaries, common action was impossible. Hence, the strife continued with disastrous results for the Catholic Church.
In 1849 a provincial council was held in Paris, and in one of its decrees a sharp reproof was given to lay editors who undertook to settle questions that were of a purely ecclesiastical nature. * Mgr. Sibour promulgated this decree in 1850, and directed it in a special manner against L'Univers. Louis Veuillot published the condemnation in his paper, accompanied by a notice of appeal to Rome. Immediately all the leading Catholics took sides, the liberal party supporting the archbishop or keeping silent, the others approving the appeal. The Pope did not wish to interfere in such a delicate question, and through the exertions of the Papal nuncio at Paris an agreement was arranged, but in the circumstances a permanent peace was impossible. On the question of the Coup d'État ( 1851) the Catholics were again divided, Montalembert, after some hesitation, having adopted an attitude of opposition to Louis Napoleon, while the majority of the Catholics accepted the change. The group of Catholic members that for nearly twenty years had done such good work, gradually dwindled away, and became merged with the other parties in the Chamber.
* Collectio Lacensis, Vol. IV., p. 27.
The publication of Montalembert work, Des Intérêts Catholiques au dix-neuvième siècle, in September, 1852, showed that the trouble was too deep-seated to be easily removed.
In the same year, 1852, a new element of dissension was introduced by the publication of the Abbé Gaume book, Ver Rongeur des Sociétés Modernes ( 1851). In this work it was contended that the use of the pagan classics in the education of youth was one of the great sources of modern corruption, and that, therefore, they should be abandoned entirely, or almost entirely, in the schools, and their places taken by the Christian classics. If, by such a change, the pupils would lose something in style, they would, he maintained, gain much in their moral and Christian education; while, so long as the existing system, by which boys and girls spent the best part of their lives in studying pagan and sometimes immoral literature, was in force, it could hardly be expected that they would grow up good Christians and good citizens. The publication of the book provoked a storm of opposition. Louis Veuillot defended the thesis of the Abbé Gaume in L'Univers, while the most prominent opponents on the Catholic side were the Abbés Landriot, Martin, Leblanc, and the two Jesuits, Cahour and Daniel. * They pointed out that the Catholic Church had always been the patroness of classical studies, that from the beginning they had been used in the Christian schools, and that the Abbé Gaume and his friends were endeavouring to break with a glorious tradition, and to furnish a weapon of attack to those who maintained that the Church was opposed to all true culture. The dispute grew warmer day by day, and Mgr. Dupanloup, then bishop of Orleans, interfered by a letter on education addressed to the priests of his seminary. He hoped by this means to put an end to the controversy, but his letter only added fuel to the flame. Some expressions in the letter were very severely criticised by Louis Veuillot in L'Univers, and the bishop of Orleans replied by prohibit-
* Daniel, Des Études Classiques dans la société Chrétienne, Paris, 1853.
ing the reading of the newspaper in all educational institutions in his diocese.
Although the vast majority of Catholics, both clerics and laymen, were opposed to Veuillot on this question, it did not follow that they approved the action of the bishop of Orleans. The latter followed up his condemnation by drawing up four propositions on the question of classics, and the rights of editors to interfere in the government of seminaries. These resolutions he sent around to the bishops for their approval and signature ( 1852). Many of the bishops attached their names to the document, but a strong body of them, notably Cardinal Gousset and Mgr. Parisis, resented such a step taken by an individual bishop as an unwarrantable intrusion on the rights of the Holy See; and thus the question of the classics had introduced a new subject of dissension among the episcopal body itself. In view of the attitude of some of his colleagues, and the probable attitude of Rome, the declaration was practically dropped. The controversy on the classics was also closed by Louis Veuillot when he perceived that the great body of Catholics were against him ( 1852). In 1853, Pius IX. addressed an Encyclical to the French bishops approving of the use of pagan as well as Christian classics in the educational curriculum of the colleges and seminaries.
But, hardly had the controversy on the classics begun to die out than another one was started. The translation of a book by Donoso Cortes was published under the title Essai sur le Catholicisme, le Socialisme, et le Libéralisme, in the Bibliothèque Nouvelle. In this book views very sharply opposed to those held by some of the liberal school of Catholics were expressed. The book was attacked by Abbé Gaduel, one of the vicarsgeneral of the bishop of Orleans, and was vigorously defended by Louis Veuillot. On account of the thinlyveiled charges of Gallicanism made against him by Louis Veuillot, Abbé Gaduel complained to the archbishop of Paris, who issued a strong condemnation of L'Univers ( 1853). The condemnation brought out again more clearly than before the two parties into which the French Catholics, clergy and laity, were then divided. Some of the bishops publicly espoused the cause of L'Univers, and strongly supported the appeal to Rome. Louis Veuillot was himself in Rome at the time of the condemnation, and though the Pope clearly disapproved of the style often adopted by him towards his opponents, still he sympathised in the main with his policy. The situation was a difficult one, but Pius IX. managed to settle the controversy by inducing Louis Veuillot to write to the archbishop praying him to withdraw his prohibition, while at the same time the Pope addressed an Encyclical, Inter Multiplices, to the French bishops, in which, amongst other things, he advised them to encourage the Catholic press. On the receipt of the Encyclical Mgr. Sibour immediately withdrew his prohibition ( 8th April, 1853).
While the Catholics in France were wasting their time in idle discussions, and bandying about the epithets "Gallican" and "Ultramontane," the faith of the educated classes was being gradually sapped. The philosophy of Hegel, transplanted from Germany, had taken root in the Paris University, and was gradually threatening the very foundations of Christianity. The philosophical publications of the distinguished Oratorian, Père Gratry, are sufficient to show how, even in Catholic circles, the scholastic principles were being gradually deserted. But Hegelianism was too subtle ever to become very popular in France. Another man was at work, Auguste Comte, whose theories, in the hands of his disciples, were destined to play a prominent part in the struggle against Christianity. In his book, Cours de Philosophie Positiviste ( 1830-42), he formulated the system of Positivism, according to which it is impossible for men to affirm anything definitely about the existence or non-existence of a Supreme Being, or about his nature and attributes. These speculations were, according to him, beyond the sphere of scientific knowledge, which is confined merely to phenomena. Though the works of Comte, on account of their obscurity, were never destined to have a great circulation, and though the man himself, towards the end of his life, brought his party into ridicule by his fanciful theories, yet his disciples, Littré and Taine, soon popularised his teaching, and gave it practical application. The existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the Divinity of Christ, the possibility of miracles, were set aside as unfit for the present advanced stage of human development. Such theories as these spread like wildfire in the universities, in the secondary schools, in the training colleges for primary teachers, and soon became the fashionable views in educated circles.
These doctrines of relativism and materialism, applied to history, produced a veritable revolution. If men's minds could acquire certain knowledge only of phenomena and their relations, it followed that everything supernatural should be eliminated from scientific history. Hence, as in Germany, a new school of historians appeared, who, applying their philosophic principles to the New Testament, rejected the Divinity of Christ, His miracles, and everything that flavoured of the supernatural. The first real exponent of this system in France was Havet, in his book, Le Christianisme et les Origines du Nouveau Testament. But there was still wanting the writer who would do for France what Strauss, in his Life of Christ ( 1835), had done for Germany. This deficiency was, however, made good, when, in 1862, Ernest Renan published his Vie de Jésus. In this book he brushed aside all that was divine in Christ, and painted Him as a man, amiable and clever, no doubt, but still merely human. The book was cleverly written. The writer had the texts and the old worn-out objections at his fingers' ends, and he wove them together in their most seductive form. Replies were published by Freppel, then professor at the Sorbonne, by Père Gratry, in his Critique de La Vie de Jésus, and by Louis Veuillot, but the harm was already done, and for one who read the replies hundreds eagerly devoured the book itself.
While the educated classes were thus being seduced from Christianity, the masses of the people were being alienated from the Church, but for totally different reasons. It was being urged upon them incessantly that the Church was the enemy of freedom and of democracy, that she was the ally of the governments and of the employers, and that there could be no hope till the authority of the Catholic religion was overthrown by a great social revolution directed against both throne and altar. Later on, the anti-Christian Evolutionist school, with, such leaders as MM. Bourgeois, Paul Bert, Clemenceau et Jaurès, made its influence felt on the same side.*
Nor were these movements without organisations. The society of the Solidaires ( 1862), founded in Belgium, and bound by an oath never to seek the ministrations of religion, even at the hour of death, spread into France. La Ligue d'enseignement, founded also in Brussels ( 1865), with its programme of neutral schools, found favour in France, owing mainly to the assistance of Duruy, the Minister of Education, and all the eloquence of the bishop of Orleans, who denounced it in his letters and pamphlets, could not succeed in preventing its gaining ground. The International League of Workers, the statutes of which were drawn up by Karl Marx, opened a committee in Paris ( 1865), and began an active and successful campaign in France. As an indication of the success with which these bodies had laboured against Christianity it will be sufficient to point out that when Le Siècle opened a subscription list to erect a statue to Voltaire ( 1878) immense sums were supplied from all quarters of the empire.
Napoleon III. was rather friendly disposed towards the Catholic Church in the beginning of his reign. He allowed the bishops to assemble in provincial councils, and to communicate freely with Rome. Their salaries were notably increased, the cardinals were assigned seats in the Senate, pensions were provided for aged and in-
8 Dupanloup, L'Athéism et le Peril Social, 1866.
firm priests; chaplains were appointed for the army and navy; the religious orders of men and women were facilitated in their work, and measures were taken to suppress all public crimes against morality and religion. He opened negotiations with Rome in 1854 with a view to the abolition or modification of the Organic Articles, but the negotiations produced no result. In return for this friendly attitude the majority of the Catholics gave him their strong support. Louis Veuillot, in L'Univers, and most of the bishops and clergy were on that side; while, on the other hand, Montalembert was opposed to the Emperor. As a friend of liberty he attacked the absolutism of the government, and, as a good Catholic, he objected to the identification of the interests of the Church with that of a government, which, on account of its almost total disregard for popular representation, was certain to rouse strong opposition in the country.
But, in 1859, a change came over the policy of Napolon III. He suddenly adopted a more liberal attitude, and abolished some of the restrictions by which he had broken the power of the Chamber, the Senate and the press, and at the same time, under the advice of men like Prince Napoleon, Persigny, Pietri, &c., he grew jealous of the increasing strength of the Church. In his younger days he had been devoted to the cause of Italian liberty, and at the Congress of Paris in 1856 he had an understanding with Cavour in regard to the Austrian provinces in Italy. In 1858, an Italian named Orsini made an attempt on his life, and Napoleon III. seems to have understood this as a warning to him to carry out the liberation of Italy, to which, as a youth, he had been pledged. He met Cavour at Plombières ( 1858), and the plan of campaign against Austria in Italy was arranged. The semi-official pamphlet, Napoleon III. et l'Italie, made it clear to all that the Emperor was committed to the policy of Piedmont.
For a time the Italian question, involving as it did the Papal States, brought together the Catholics of France. The bishop of Orleans, Mgr. Dupanloup, was as strong in defence of the Papal States as was Mgr. Pie, of Poitiers. The Catholics were alarmed for the very existence of the Papal States, and the Emperor was obliged to reassure them. He pledged himself to preserve intact the territories of the Pope, and, on the day of his departure for the war, he attended a religious ceremony at Notre Dame to beg the blessing of God on the campaign. He set out, as he announced, to defend the Papal States as he had already defended them in 1848. But after the Austrians had been defeated at Magenta and Solferino, people began to suspect that Napoleon III. was not sincere in his protestations, and that he meant to allow Piedmont to seize the Papal territory. The French bishops issued pastorals strongly defending the necessity of the Temporal Power, and calling upon the government to take action against the party of revolution. In October, 1859, the editor of L'Univers was forbidden to publish these in the columns of his paper under threat of immediate suppression.
In order to settle the affairs of Italy it was determined to convoke a congress of the great powers of Europe. To prepare the way for the recognition of the revolution, and the practical abolition of the Papal sovereignty, another semi-official pamphlet appeared in Paris, Le Pape et le Congrès ( 1859), in which the Pope was advised to give up all claims to his former states, and content himself with a small territory where he might still be a free and independent sovereign. Such a publication roused the Catholics of France to renewed efforts. Liberals or Conservatives, supporters of L'Univers, Le Correspondant, or L'Ami de la Religion, all were united in denouncing such treachery from a government that was so deeply pledged to the defence of the Papal States. An address to the Pope was organised in the columns of L'Univers, but the address was prohibited by the government. The Pope rejected the counsels of the Emperor, and in the Encyclical, Nullis Certe ( January, 1860) reproved him warmly for the difference in the tone adopted before and after the war.
The Encyclical was published in L'Univers on the 29th January, and on the same day the journal was suppressed. L'Univers did not reappear till 1867.
Henceforth, the good relations between Napoleon III. and the Church ceased. At an earlier period Montalembert had been hostile to the government on account of his attachment to liberty; others had taken up the same attitude by reason of their royalist sympathies, but now all were united in their opposition to the policy pursued by the Emperor in Italy. The Education Law was changed for the worse by a series of administrative decrees, and Duruy, a noted friend of neutral schools, was appointed Minister of Education ( 1863); the central council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was dissolved ( 1862); the bishops who had taken a prominent part in defence of the Holy See were looked upon with disfavour, and some of them were cited before the Council of State for abuse of their power; religious orders were attacked, and their rapid growth in numbers and in wealth was held up by the ministers as one of the great dangers for the state. The publication of the Syllabus in 1864 led to new difficulties in France. The Emperor issued a circular prohibiting the publication of the document in France till it had been examined, and the Syllabus was denounced as being contrary to the constitution of the empire. Mgr. Pie led the way in opposition to this decree, while his opponent, Mgr. Dupanloup, published a commentary on the Syllabus, which went a good way in removing the misunderstandings which existed regarding certain propositions. The nomination of candidates to the vacant bishoprics was a constant source of friction.
In politics, Napoleon III. was gradually driven to accept a more liberal regime, and in 1869 he fell back upon the Third Party in the Chamber, led by M. Ollivier, who undertook to follow a line of action equally removed from the reactionary policy of the royalists and the revolution of the radicals. These latter were a medley of many parties, and adopted the programme of Gambetta, liberty of the individual, of the press, and of association; the separation of Church and State; free, lay, and compulsory education; the suppression of permanent armies, and the responsibility of all officials. This was the famous programme of Belleville, which has been followed so closely in later years by the majority of French politicians. The people, however, ratified the revision of the constitution effected by Ollivier ( 1869) by 7,000,000 to 1,500,000, and the empire seemed safe.
But a new danger was at hand. For years past the policy of France had been to keep Germany divided, and to prevent the rise of a united, powerful nation on her eastern frontiers. But the victories of Prussia over Denmark and Austria, and the position Prussia attained as head of the German League, threatened to create the very situation France had always feared; while, on the other hand, the reform of the military organisation effected in France in 1868, seemed to make the moment opportune for suppressing her victorious rival. Prussia, too, was anxious for war, though for a different reason; and in these circumstances very little was required to provoke a formal declaration. The misunderstandings about the election of a Hohenzollern prince to the vacant throne of Spain furnished such an excuse, and, owing mainly to the action of Prince Bismarck, war was declared on 19th July, 1870. As the events proved, the French Minister of War was entirely mistaken in his calculations. Before the recruits could be got ready, and before the general concentration could be effected, Marshal Bazaine had suffered a terrible defeat at Gravelotte (18th Aug.), and was shut up in Metz with the remnant of his army. Then came the surrender at Sedan, and the overthrow of the imperial government in Paris (4th Sept.). A new government was established with General Trochu as President, and Gambetta Minister of the Interior. The Germans surrounded Paris in September, and laid siege to the city. The new government, under the lead of Gambetta, was established at Tours, and desperate efforts were made to recruit new armies. In October, Marshal Bazaine surrendered Metz, and the German forces, thus set free, had no difficulty in annihilating the army of the North and the army of the Loire. In these circumstances there was no longer any hope of relief for Paris, and on the 28th January, 1871, the terms of surrender were signed.
(b) THE THIRD REPUBLIC
Hanotaux, Histoire de la France Contemporaine (1871-1900), 4 vols., Paris, 1903- 1908.
Lecanuet, L'Église de France sous la Troisième République, 1870-78, Paris, 1907. Debidour, L'Église Catholique et l' État sous la Troisième République, 1870-1906, 2 Vols., Paris, 1906-9. Sévestre, L'Histoire du Concordat de 1801, Paris, 1905. Livre Blanc du Saint Siège, sur la Séparation de l'Église et de l' État en France, Rome, 1905.
The National Assembly met at Bordeaux ( Feb., 1871). The majority of the deputies were strongly royalist in their sympathies, and though they decreed the downfall of the empire, they selected no form of government to take its place, but as a temporary expedient they appointed Thiers chief of the executive power. They moved from Bordeaux to Versailles in March, 1871, and, immediately, disputes began to break out between themselves and the Paris populace. The latter had possession of some pieces of artillery which the Assembly naturally demanded. This led to a new revolution in Paris, and the establishment of the Commune (18th March). For a time the wildest savagery reigned in Paris, but he Assembly ordered Marshal MacMahon to advance on the city, and suppress the Commune. The second siege of Paris began on 8th April, 1871, and by the 21st May a breach was made in the walls at St. Cloud. The Communards disputed every inch of ground, and fell back slowly before the troops, till after seven days' hard fighting, during which no quarter was asked or given, the remnant of the Communards was annihilated or captured in the cemetery of Père la Chaise.
The Assembly was strongly royalist, but as the royalists were divided into several sections, a centre party was formed which elected Thiers president in August, 1871. Soon, however, disputes began to break out between the president, who wished to have a republican constitution permanently accepted, and the royalists, who regarded his regime as only a temporary expedient. In May, 1873, the rupture between the republican president and the royalist Chamber was completed, and Thiers resigned his office. The royalists of all shades of opinion rallied together against the republicans, and Marshal MacMahon was elected president; but it was understood that as soon as the royalists were ready with a candidate for the throne, the rule of MacMahon should cease. The representative of the Legitimist line was the Comte de Chambord, grandson of Charles X., and the House of Orleans had for its head at that period the Comte de Paris, * grandson of Louis Philippe. A fusion was effected between the Legitimists and the Orleanists, and the Comte de Paris visited his rival at Frohsdorf, and acknowledged the superiority of his claims. Negotiations were opened up between the royalist government in France and the Comte de Chambord, but, owing to the stubborn attitude adopted by the latter on some points of detail, notably whether the flag of France should be the tricolour or the white flag of the Bourbons, the negotiations broke down, and on the 5th November, 1873, MacMahon was elected president for seven years. The republican party, profiting by the dissensions and blunders of the royalists, gradually improved their position, and the adoption of the new constitution in 1875 guaranteed the existence of the republic.
During the war with Prussia nothing could have been more loyal than the attitude of the leading Catholic clergy and laymen. The bishops published most patriotic pastorals urging upon all Frenchmen the duty of defending France in her hour of trial. They opened subscription lists to assist the wounded; they allowed their seminarists to join the ranks, and they encouraged
* Flers-Majendie, Le Comte, de Paris, London, 1889, Chap. III.
the clergy to offer their services as chaplains. During the whole disastrous campaign the Catholic chaplains were always at the post of danger; they accompanied the prisoners to Germany; and many of the clergy, on account of encouraging their flocks to resist the Germans, were arrested and sent out of the country. It is no wonder that Bismarck remarked that when the Germans arrived in France they found nobody ready to resist except the Catholic clergy. They accepted loyalty the government of National Defence, but under the influence of men like Gambetta, the new government became unfriendly to the Catholic Church. It allowed the party of revolution and irreligion to organise their forces in Paris. The schools of the religious were closed in several parts of the capital, and the teaching congregations forbidden to teach. A commission was appointed in October, 1870, to prepare a scheme for lay education. When the members of the government were obliged to escape from Paris owing to the siege they fled to Tours, and the archbishop, Mgr. Guibert, generously placed his palace at their disposal, but he was unable to influence seriously their antiCatholic policy. *
The government of Defence was unwilling to take the responsibility for an inglorious peace, and in January, 1871, the people were called upon to elect a National Assembly. In February (8th) the elections were held, and the vast majority of the new assembly were strongly Catholic. But at the same time they were royalists, divided into different sections, Legitimists, Orleanists, Bonapartists, and their divisions prevented them from doing any effective work. The Catholic body and, especially, the bishops had been divided on the question of Infallibility, and it was not in a moment all these dissensions could be healed. But the royalist tendencies of the majority of the National Assembly were sufficient to rouse all the energies of the radical, social, anti-Christian party, and the Commune was proclaimed in Paris ( May, 1871). The separation of Church and State was decreed,
* Lecanuet, L' Église de France, 1870-78.
the budget of worship declared suppressed, and the property of the religious orders placed at the disposal of the nation. The churches of Paris were desecrated, and the most sacred things treated with the greatest profanation. The priests were arrested in dozens, and Archbishop Darboy, * of Paris, who refused to flee from danger, was committed to prison, where he was treated with the greatest severity. When MacMahon forced his way into the city the revolutionaries determined to shoot the prisoners. The archbishop of Paris and many of the priests, both regular and secular, were condemned to death, and died like Christian heroes. Such dreadful savagery evoked a cry of horror from all parts of the civilised world. The National Assembly, on the contrary, was thoroughly Catholic and thoroughly patriotic. They decreed that God had been too long forgotten in France, that He alone could save the nation and heal its wounds, and that public prayers should be offered up throughout France for peace and concord ( May, 1871). At the same time they took steps to repair the damages inflicted by the war, and especially to pay off the heavy war indemnity, without which the Germans refused to evacuate France. A national subscription was opened. The bishops of France headed the list, and lent to the movement their most energetic support. On the question of the Papal States the government of M. Thiers was most sympathetic, but in the circumstances it was utterly impossible that France could enter upon a new military campaign for the restoration of the Temporal Power. Hence, the attitude adopted by the militant Catholics and by the bishops towards the government on this question was most imprudent. They insisted on the French government breaking completely with Italy, and by so doing, they gave the anti-Catholic republican party an opportunity for asserting that the Catholic royalists were endangering the safety of the country by rashly provoking another war, the very thing most feared by the vast body of French peasantry. The Catholic and royalist
* Foulon, Histoire de la vie et des Oeuvres de Mgr. Darboy, Paris, 1889.
party was henceforth regarded as immoderate and incompetent.
There is no doubt that the vast majority of the Catholics, and especially of the priests and bishops, at this period were strongly royalist. Mgr. Dupanloup was an Orleanist, and used his influence to bring about a fusion between the Orleanists and the Bourbons, while the other great leader, Mgr. Pie, was a Bourbonist, and rather encouraged the inflexible attitude of the Comte de Chambord. On the other hand, it should be remembered that the Catholic clergy had good reason, too, for their opposition to the republican party. The men most in view on that side were Gambetta and Jules Simon, and both men made no secret of their unrelenting opposition to the Catholic Church. Thus, in the eyes of the Catholics, the republicans were regarded as anti-Catholic, while, in the eyes of the republicans, the Catholic Church became identified with the cause of royalty.
Under the government of Thiers, and especially of MacMahon, a wave of religion certainly passed over France. Great national pilgrimages were organised to Lourdes, Paray-le-Monial, La Salette, Chartres. The leading men of France, peers, deputies, and members of the Academy, took part in these ceremonies of reparation. Prayers were offered up to beg that God might have mercy on France. The Organic Articles were allowed to drop, meetings of the bishops were permitted, and full scope given to the religious press. From the time when devotion to the Sacred Heart began to spread in France, the idea of building a great national church in honour of the Sacred Heart had been before the minds of many Catholics. It was thought that the suitable time had come for making reparation to Jesus for all the impieties committed during the Commune by consecrating France to the Sacred Heart, and by erecting in honour of the Sacred Heart the Basilica of Montmartre. In July, 1873, the subject was discussed in the Chamber of Deputies, and by 389 votes to 146 it was declared that the erection of the church was a matter of public utility. The budget of worship was increased between 1870 and 1876; a military law was passed granting the soldiers time to fulfil their religious duties ( 1872), and a law establishing military chaplaincies was carried by 384 against 231 ( 1874).
But the question of education was regarded by both parties as the most important for the future of religion in France. The republican policy with regard to primary education was clear and concise. Primary education, according to it, should be gratuitous, compulsory and lay. The great representative of the party in these matters was M. Jules Simon, and he proposed a measure in favour of making education obligatory in 1871. In itself this was harmless enough, but taken in conjunction with the programme of his party, it was significant. A counter project favourable to the Catholic schools was brought forward by the committee charged with the examination of this bill, but the Chamber did not proceed any further in the matter, and the primary schools remained as they were under the empire.
When, by the law of 1850, the monopoly of the university was broken, and the liberty to found free secondary schools was granted to Catholics a central education council, composed of representatives of the university, of the clergy, of the magistracy, of the Council of State, and of the Administration, had been erected; but Napoleon III. changed the constitution of this body by substituting the principle of government nomination for that of election. It was now proposed ( Jan., 1873) that a return should be made to the old system, and that a central council should be set up, composed of 38 members, four of whom should be archbishops or bishops. This project was warmly supported by Mgr. Dupanloup and the Duc de Broglie, and was carried by a large majority ( March, 1873).
But although the Law of 1850 gave the Catholics redress in the matter of secondary education, the University still retained the monopoly in its own department. No free university could be opened, and no degrees conferred except by the university body. The disruption of the Catholic party in 1850 prevented any united effort being made under the Empire for redress of this grievance, but the question soon came before the National Assembly. In December, 1874, the discussion on the University Bill began. Its great opponents were M. Paul Bert and Jules Ferry, while its great defenders were Mgr. Dupanloup and M. Wallon, Minister of Education. In July, 1875, the Assembly adopted the law by 316 votes against 266. According to this law the Catholics might open free universities, and the students frequenting such institutions could obtain their degrees from a mixed jury, composed half and half of professors in the state universities and the free universities. These juries were to be selected by the Minister of Public Instruction. Immediately the Catholics set to work to avail themselves of the advantages conferred on them by the law, lest when the National Assembly should be dissolved, and a new body elected to take its place, the measure might be repealed. A Catholic university was set up in Paris with three faculties, law, literature, and science. Mgr. Guibert was the generous patron of this institution, but the man who really put life into the new university was Mgr. d'Hulst, then vicar general of Paris. * Universities, more or less complete, were also established at Lille, Angers, Lyons, and Toulouse.
The Assembly, having given a constitution to France, and having proclaimed that public prayers should be offered up in the churches till the election of the new Chamber, was dissolved in 1875. During the election struggle the republican party, especially Gambetta, was most active. They took advantage of the division in the ranks of their opponents, and of the mistakes in policy of which they had been guilty; while, on the other hand, the royalists and Catholics had no common programme or policy. The people were disgusted with their helplessness, and feared that they were determined to plunge France again into war with Italy or Germany. The result of the elections was that the royalist and
* Pechenard, L'Institut Catholique de Paris, 1875-1901.
Catholic party retained a very narrow majority in the Senate, while in the Chamber of Deputies they found themselves in a minority. During the year 1876 the republican majority attacked the Church at nearly every point, in regard to the abolition of the Catholic universities, the primary schools, the religious orders, and the budget of worship; but their attacks were in vain so long as the Catholics still retained control of the Senate, and MacMahon occupied the presidential chair.
The relations between Marshal MacMahon and the Chamber of Deputies were gradually becoming more strained. The crisis came in May, 1877. In February of that year Pius IX. had entered another solemn protest against the Italian occupation of Rome, and had called upon all Catholics to use their influence with their respective governments to put an end to the painful situation in Italy. The French Catholics felt themselves under a special obligation to respond to this appeal, and it can hardly be denied that in the peculiar circumstances of the country some of their protests were too vehement. This agitation led to violent debate in the Chambers, in which Gambetta and his followers denounced Clericalism as the real enemy of the country. A resolution requesting the government to put an end to such ultramontane and unpatriotic agitations was carried by 348 against 114 votes ( 4th May, 1877). M. Jules Simon, the Prime Minister, rather favoured the republicans, and the president felt so irritated at the tone of the discussion and the result of the debate that he dismissed the ministers, and called upon the Duc de Broglie to form a new ministry. The Chamber was prorogued for a month, and then dissolved (22nd June). The elections were fought with vigour on both sides. The aged president hastened hither and thither through France in the hope of arousing his supporters. But the results were again unfavourable ( Oct., 1877). Marshal MacMahon wished to resign, but his friends besought him to postpone such a step. M. Dufaure was called upon to form a ministry of moderate republicans. But when the senatorial elections were held the republican party secured a majority in the Senate, and the position of the president was no longer tolerable. He resigned office, and in January, 1879, M. Grévy was elected president. Then, for the first time, the republican party got control of the whole machinery of government, and were free to carry out their antireligious programme.
For years the campaign against Christianity had been steadily pushed forward in France. In the philosophic schools of the university different systems were advanced, Relativism, Positivism, Evolution, but all of them opposed to revealed religion. Renan continued his work of attacking the origins of Christianity, while new systems of civic morality were being developed in the University and among the people. The Ligue d'Enseignment, founded to support the neutral schools, spread its branches rapidly through France. In 1877 it had as many as 60,000 adherents. With the Ligue d'Enseignment * the freemason society went hand in hand, and although the total number of freemasons in France was reckoned as only 203,000 in 1874, yet on account of its splendid organisation, and the presence in its lodges of nearly all the great republican leaders, it was able to shape the policy of the republican party.
On the other hand, the Catholic bishops were divided, first, on account of their different religious views, liberal or conservative, and, in the second place, by their difference in politics. There were able men in both their parties, men like Guibert, Dupanloup, Pie, Landriot, and Perraud, but common action between these men was nearly impossible. Many of the bishops and clergy, both regular and secular, were undoubtedly opposed to the republic, and in this way gave some grounds for the assertion made by their opponents, that all good republicans should be hostile to the Church. The identification of the Church with the blundering policy of the royalist politicians was a mistake that has cost the Church dearly; but it was a mistake that is intelligible,
* Lecanuet, p. 482.
if it be remembered that the leaders of the Republican party then were frankly anti-Catholic, and spared no pains to prevent the clergy from rallying to the support of the republic. They wished to identify the Church and royalism in order to ruin the Church with the masses, and unfortunately they played their game with complete success. *
The Republicans secured complete control by the election of M. Grévy ( 30th January, 1879). In March, Jules Ferry opened the campaign by introducing a new law on education, according to which the testimonial of the superioress which had been hitherto accepted as a sufficient certificate for the women teachers belonging to religious congregations, should be disallowed; the superior council of education should be reformed so as to make it representative only of the university; the mixed juries for the free universities should be abolished, nor should these institutions any longer arrogate to themselves the titles of universities; and, what was worst of all, no members of unauthorised religious congregations should be allowed to take part in public or private education. This latter, the famous clause VII., was directed principally against the Jesuits. The bishops led the way in denouncing these measures, and numerous protests poured in from the country against them. In spite of these protests, the measure was carried in the Chamber of Deputies by 352 votes against 159, but in the Senate, clause VII. was rejected at the first reading ( 15th March, 1880).
The government, disappointed at the defeat, determined to arrive at the same result by an application of the laws against unauthorised congregations. Two decrees were published (29th March), by the first of which the Society of Jesus was to be dissolved within three months, and by the second, the other congregations were commanded to seek for authorisation within the same period under threat of enforcing against them the existing laws. Leo XIII. protested against these attacks upon
* Bodley, France, pp. 232, 434, &c.
the religious congregations, and he was supported by a great body of the French Catholics, but notwithstanding this the Jesuits, except those engaged in teaching, were expelled in June, 1880. The Pope made a secret proposal to the government that the religious orders should make a declaration of loyalty to the republic, and that the further application of the decrees should be suspended. M. Freycinet accepted this, but the imprudent disclosure of the arrangement by a royalist paper led to M. Freycinet's resignation. M. Jules Ferry was called upon to form a ministry, and he carried out the decrees against the unauthorised religious orders of men. They were expelled, but their houses were left in care of a few of the community, and later on, in one way or another, a great many of the congregations returned. *
In these same years, 1879 and 1880, a great many of the civil officials were dismissed as being too Catholic and royalist in their tendencies. New magistrates and new prefects were appointed who would undertake to support the policy of the government. The question of the primary schools soon claimed special attention. The policy of the Republican party to make the schools gratuitous, compulsory, and lay was carried by stages from 1881 till 1886. It was in the latter year that the law on Primary Education, which governs the schools till the present time, was passed. Thenceforth, the public schools of France were to be lay and neutral. The change from the congregational teachers to the lay teachers in boys' schools should be carried out within five years, and might be carried out immediately wherever a supply of qualified lay teachers could be found. In the girls' schools the change was to be effected on the death or resignation of the existing teachers. No religion whatever was to be taught in the public schools. They were to be strictly neutral, but in reality many of them became hotbeds of infidelity. The free schools were not forbidden. They were allowed to continue open,
* De T'Serclaes, Le Pape, Léon XIII., Vol I., Paris, 1904, Chap. XII.
and now began the struggle between the public, or neutral, and the Catholic, or free schools. In nearly every village in France free schools were opened, and French Catholics contributed generously to their support. The government spared no pains to make the position of the free schools as difficult as possible, by establishing severe conditions for the qualification of teachers, and by imposing military service on the teachers ( 1889), yet the number of free schools and the attendance at them continued to increase. The public schools imposed an immense burthen upon the revenues of the state. Thus, in 1881, the budget for Primary Education was only eighty-two million francs, while in 1895, a sum of one hundred and eighty-nine million francs had to be provided, together with the interest on a sum of six hundred and fifty million francs spent on school buildings since 1873. * At the same time, while the expenses were increasing the number of children in attendance fell by 90,863 between the years 1892 and 1897; while during this period the free schools increased the number of their pupils by 65,811. So long as the religious congregations remained the public schools were in danger, and, hence, the necessity for suppressing the religious orders.
During the years while M. Jules Grévy was president of France ( 1879-1887), besides the action against the religious congregations and the laws on education, other measures were passed very hostile to the Church. The clergy were excluded from the boards of hospitals and public institutions of charity ( 1879); the military chaplaincies were suppressed ( 1880); the religious cemeteries were declared to be public ( 1881); the hospitals were laicised ( 1881); a divorce law was carried in 1884, and the Pantheon was secularised in 1885. † Thus, the Republican party was steadily banishing Christianity from the life of the country.
The bishops protested most energetically against
____________________ * Baunard, op. cit., p. 327. † Sévestre, op. cit., p. 162.
these measures, but so long as the vast body of them were regarded as royalists, and so long as the Church was identified with that party in the minds of ordinary Frenchmen, there was no hope of success. Hence, Leo XIII. set himself from the very beginning of his pontificate to bring about a better understanding between the Catholics of France and the Third Republic, but his efforts were continually thwarted by the stubborn attitude of the royalists, and the offensive anti-Christian tone of the republicans. He had already tried to save the religious congregations in 1880 by inducing them to make a declaration of their loyal acceptance of the republic, but the premature publication of this arrangement by a royalist newspaper rendered futile his intervention. In 1883 the Pope again addressed a letter to President Grévy, in which he enumerated all the attacks that had been made upon the Church during the previous three years, and implored the president to moderate the war against religion. The president sent a most respectful reply acknowledging the influence of the Pope's counsels of loyalty to the republic, but professing his inability to interfere. A little later he addressed to the clergy and people of France the Encyclical, Noblissima Gallorum Gens, * in which he exhorted them to unite in defence of their threatened institutions.
But this policy of the Pope, though the only prudent one in the circumstances, was surrounded with considerable difficulties. In accordance with the exhortations of the Pope's letter the Comte de Mun, already well-known in Catholic social work on account of his Cercles Catholiques, set himself to organise a Catholic party in France. Its aim should be to vindicate the liberty of the Church, a Christian education for the children, and social reforms. The scheme was well received by the French Catholic journals, and the Osservatore Romano was loud in its praise. The result of the elections held shortly after the Comte de Mun had
____________________ * Lettres Apostaliques de Léon XIII., Vol. I., p. 226.
published his programme were more favourable to the Conservatives than formerly. But soon the opposition began to be felt. The royalists began to express the uneasiness they had hitherto concealed. They objected to the formation of a distinct party, and they scouted the idea of placing social reform at the head of their programme. Forty-two of the Catholic and Conservative press declared themselves hostile to the plans of Comte de Mun. Some of the bishops were friendly, some of them were silent, while others, like Mgr. Freppel and Mgr. Thibaudier of Soissons, took the field openly against the projected party. In these circumstances the work of Comte de Mun was more likely to divide than to unite Catholics; the Osservatore Romano became more reserved in its attitude, and on the 9th November, 1885, the Comte de Mun published a letter renouncing the idea of the establishment of a Catholic Party. * A similar attempt was made in 1891, when the Union de la France Chretienne was founded, but as Leo XIII. was just then engaged in rallying all Catholics to the Republic, he expressed his disapprobation, and the scheme dropped; and again in 1897, when the Fédération électorale was established in Paris, under the presidency of Étienne Lamy, and was abandoned owing to internal dissensions.†
The Republican majority, also, was endangered by internal divisions, but their opponents were unable to profit by these as they might have done. The alliance of Catholic journals with men like Leo Taxil and Edouard Drumont, and their approbation of the immoderate attacks of the latter upon the Jews, was only playing into the hands of their enemies. Nor was the tone of the newspapers most patronised by the clergy, L'Univers, L'Autorité, and La Croix, likely to bring about peace or to raise the Catholic Church in the estimation of the average Frenchman. The intermeddling, too, of a certain section of the Catholics with the brain-
____________________ * De T'Serclaes, op. cit., Vol. II., p. 314sqq. † Botta, La grande faute des Catholiques. Paris, 1904.
less schemes of General Boulanger, was lamentable in the extreme. * It gave the republicans the opportunity of rousing the enemies of the Church by the old cry of Gambetta against Clericalism, and of holding the waverers by the cry of plots against the republic. The law obliging the ecclesiastical students to military service of one year was the answer given by the Radicals to these attacks ( July, 1889), and when the elections came around in the same year the Conservative and Catholic parties were completely overwhelmed.
Leo XIII. saw more clearly every day the utter madness of the policy pursued by Catholics towards the republic. He himself was moderate and considerate in his relations with the government, and he realised that the opposition of the leading clergy and laity to the form of government desired by the majority of the French people was the very thing which the enemies of the Church most desired, and out of which they derived most profit. He resolved, once more, to rally the Catholics to the support of the republic. For this purpose he made use of the activities of Cardinal Lavigerie,† of Algiers. The latter, at a banquet given in honour of the officers of the French squadron, declared that the time had come when all men should unite under the republic. They need not sacrifice their own private convictions, but without a loyal acceptance of the form of government approved by the nation they could not hope to reform the evils already existing, or to avert the greater dangers that still menaced them ( 12th Nov., 1890). The publication of the cardinal's speech raised a veritable storm of controversy in France. Some of the bishops wrote to Rome for direction, and the Cardinal Secretary of State replied exhorting the Catholics to forget their differences, and to remember that the Church is not the enemy of any form of government.
In February, 1892, the Pope addressed a letter to Cardinal Lavigerie approving the wisdom of his policy.
____________________ * Bodley, France, p. 550. † Baunard, Mgr. Lavigerie, Paris, 1896.
Cardinal Richard issued a reply which was favourable, and the example of the cardinal was followed by several of the bishops. Finally, the Pope addressed a letter to the French people ( 16th Feb., 1892), exhorting them to rally their forces on the constitutional ground of loyalty to the existing form of government. But the letter did not produce the effect which he had desired. Its object was defeated, on the one hand, by the radical republican party, who, by new measures of persecution, endeavoured to irritate the Catholics, and, on the other, by the extreme royalists, who persisted in regarding the Papal interference as an unwarrantable attack upon themselves. The result was a more hopeless division among the French Catholics. *
Still, the Papal Encyclical was not without its influence on the political life of France. The group of Ralliés, as the men who accepted the policy of the Pope were called, secured a fair measure of success in 1893, and the moderate men of the republic were not indisposed to join hands with the new group in order to repress the revolutionary socialist party of the Extreme Left. The election, too, of M. Casimir-Périer as president in 1894 raised new hopes that the anti-clerical regime was at an end. But the Radical party immediately began a series of bitter attacks against the president, and, feeling that he was deserted by the Chamber, M. Casimir-Périer resigned after six months' tenure of office.† In January, 1895, M. Felix Faure was elected president. The radical policy was continued under his rule, and a new law was passed imposing very severe taxations upon all the religious congregations, whether authorised or unauthorised, except those engaged in works of charity ( April, 1895). The new taxes were so high that they threatened the very existence of the poorer communities. The bishops protested against the measure, and, with the exception of Mgr. Fuzet of Beauvais, counselled the religious
____________________ * T'Serclaes, Vol. II., pp. 310-544. † Bodley, pp. 248sqq.
bodies to refuse payment of the new imposts. The Pope left the matter entirely in the hands of the bishops and the religious superiors in France. A great agita tion was begun in the country, but some of the autho rised religious congregations rejected the policy of passive resistance, separated themselves from the others, and agreed to pay the new taxes.
Ministry succeeded to ministry in France, but the power continued to pass steadily from the moderates to the radicals. The unfortunate agitation raised by the condemnation of Dreyfus in 1894, and by the attempts made to secure the revision of his sentence, threatened to shake the very foundations of the state. The im moderate language of some of the Catholic public men, and of their journals gravely compromised the interests of the Church. The results of the election in 1898 were unfavourable to the Catholics, while their participation in the royalist anti-Semitic and nationalist movement, which threatened to overturn the Republic in the early days of the presidency of M. Loubet ( 1899), led to a new intervention of the Pope in favour of his old policy of rallying to the republic ( 25th May, 1899). The only perceptible effect of his intervention was the dissolution of the Catholic Federation that had been formed under the presidency of M. Lamy.
It was then that the Radical anti-Christian bloc was formed to carry on the war against the Catholic Church. M. Waldeck-Rousseau undertook the office of First Minister, while M. Delcassé assumed charge of the Foreign Office. The new ministry strove to maintain good relations with the Pope in order to secure the French Protectorate then menaced by Germany, while at the same time, to please its radical supporters, the home policy was strongly hostile to the Church. M. Waldeck- Rousseau proposed a law according to which every can didate for a government office should be obliged to spend a certain number of years in the public primary or secondary schools ( Nov., 1899). This was a blow aimed at the free colleges, but its unfairness was so apparent that the committee charged with introducing the report to the Chamber rejected it.
At the same time he determined to take severe measures against the religious congregations, and in order to prepare the way he began by attacking the Assumptionists. This society published La Croix, which distinguished itself by the violence of its articles during the election campaigns, and during the Dreyfus agitation. The premises of the newspaper were in vaded by the police; all the papers and documents were seized; twelve of the society were placed upon their trial and condemned to pay a fine, and, what was worse, the court declared the congregation of the Assumptionists dissolved ( Jan., 1900). Rumours were spread that the government had discovered an immense sum of money in the office of La Croix, and that this was collected to aid in the overthrow of the republic. The archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Richard, and several of the bishops protested against this act of violence, but the only reply of the government was the withdrawal of the salaries of six bishops. In the interests of peace the Pope recom mended the Assumptionists to hand over the incrimi nated journal to a body of laymen ( April, 1900). About the same time the bishops were warned to remove the religious congregations from the control of their semi naries, and to prohibit them from undertaking missions in their dioceses. In order to avert the persecution which he saw was being prepared against the congregations, Leo XIII. remonstrated energetically through his nuncio in Paris, and offered to take measures himself on any complaint which the government might formu late to him against particular congregations. Later on, in March, 1900, he addressed a personal letter to M. Loubet, the president, on their behalf, and finally on 23rd December, 1900, he espoused the cause of the per secuted religious in a firm though moderate letter addressed to the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris.
But the government had made up its mind to crush the religious orders, and no remonstrance of the Pope could divert them from their path. So long as the re ligious were allowed to conduct primary schools and free colleges the Radical party were in danger, and, as M. Waldeck-Rousseau himself admitted, the govern ment regarded the law on religious associations which he was about to introduce as of immense importance, mainly on account of its relation to the problem of education.* Before the discussion began, M. Waldeck- Rousseau distributed a report amongst the deputies, in which the number of unauthorised congregations was set down as 3,216, while the total value of the property held by the religious bodies was fixed at over a thousand million francs. That this sum was grossly exaggerated is clear from the fact that five years earlier the revenue authorities had valued the same property at only one- third of this amount, but the report served the purpose for which it was intended--namely, to damage the re ligious orders, and to excite the greed of certain classes by holding out the hope of reducing taxation by appro priating for Treasury purposes such immense wealth.
The discussion of M. Waldeck-Rousseau's famous Associations Bill opened in January, 1901. It was opposed in the Chamber of Deputies by MM. de Mun,† Piou, Lerolle, as well as by moderate republicans like M. Ribot, but their opposition was useless, as the bill was passed by 303 votes against 244. It was carried in the Senate in June of the same year, and pro mulgated on the 2nd July, 1901. The law dealt with associations in general, the conditions for their judicial existence, and their privileges, and was very liberal in its provisions except with regard to the religious con gregations. For these it was laid down that no congre gation could be established in the future without the permission of the government, that the unauthorised congregations already in existence should apply for authorisation within three months, under pain of being dissolved and their property realised, and, finally, that
* Speech at Toulouse, 28th Oct., 1900.
† Les Congregations Religieuses devant la Chambre, Paris, 1901.
no member of an unauthorised congregation should be permitted to teach. Congregations applying for autho risation should be obliged to submit their statutes for approbation, and specially severe conditions were laid down for congregations in which Frenchmen were asso ciated with subjects of other nations, or in which the superior lived outside France. The congregations, too, should submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the local bishop, and their request for authorisation should be accompanied by a guarantee from the bishop that the congregation was under his rule. M. Waldeck- Rousseau declared that the measure was not meant for the destruction of the religious congregations, that it was aimed only at a few establishments which were hostile to the republic, and that the others, by apply ing for authorisation, would only secure their legal position in France. But, whether the president of the council was sincere or not in his declarations, the Radical bloc were determined to use the Law of Associa tions for the destruction of the religious congregations.
The Pope protested against the law ( 6th July, 1901), but, at the same time, opened negotiations with the government so as to secure that the conditions for autho risation might not be opposed to the canon law. His efforts in this respect were unavailing, and some of the orders, notably the Jesuits, determined to leave France without demanding authorisation ( 1st Oct., 1901). They handed over their thirty colleges to secular priests or laymen. The Benedictines and the Carmelites did like wise, as did also several of the religious orders of women. New decrees, prescribing the conditions for the secularisation of members of the religious associa tions, were issued ( Nov., 1901), and the Council of State decided ( Feb., 1902) that the schools conducted by the religious orders were to be considered as new establish ments, and, therefore, subject to the law.
The elections of 1902 were decidedly favourable to the Radical party, and M. Waldeck-Rousseau and his colleagues resigned in order to make room for a more Radical ministry. M. Combes became President of the Council and Minister of Worship. He was determined to crush the religious congregations, and he began by the decrees against the free schools (27th June, 15th July), by which he ordered 2,635 schools to be closed. Most of the congregations had submitted a demand for authorisation in accordance with the law of 1901, and the demand was supported by a petition, signed by 74 of the bishops. Mgr. Fuzet of Rouen, Le Nordez of Dijon, Geay of Laval, Le Camus of La Rochelle, Lacroix of Tarentaise, did not sign the document. This petition was condemned by the Council of State as an abuse of power, and the salaries of the three bishops who had taken a leading part in the movement were suppressed. The demands for authorisation were sub mitted to the Chamber, and the discussion began in March, 1903. M. Combes moved in the Chamber of Deputies that the requests for authorisation from the religious orders of men should be rejected en masse without any further consideration. It was in vain that M. Waldeck-Rousseau protested against this abuse of the Law of Association. The majority of the Chamber voted with the First Minister ( 26th March, 1903), and by a decree of the Council of State the conclusions of the Chamber did not require ratification by the Senate. Twenty-five congregations devoted to education, twenty-eight devoted to preaching, and the monks of the Chartreuse, were summarily suppressed. In May, eighty-four of the teaching orders of women were sup pressed. The expulsion of these different bodies gave rise to violent scenes in Paris, and in different parts of France. Many of the army officers and magistrates, who refused to carry out the instructions of the govern ment, were dismissed.
In November, 1903, a law was passed forbidding any person to teach in a secondary school without a univer sity degree, and submitting such schools to a very severe inspection. But these measures did not satisfy the Radical majority, who demanded complete suppression of congregational education. Such a law was carried ( 5th July, 1904), and a week later decrees were issued suppressing 2,398 congregational schools. In Septem ber, 1904, M. Combes declared in a speech at Auxere that out of a total of 16,904 congregational schools he had already closed 13,904, and on the very day of his resignation he signed a decree ordering the suppression of 500 more. Thus, the Radical bloc had secured its object. By the suppression of the religious bodies the Catholic primary schools were practically extinguished, and the position of the free colleges rendered exceed ingly difficult.
By these measures a great portion of the programme of Gambetta had been realised. It only remained to break off official relations with the Holy See, and to abolish the concordat; and the work of decatholicising France would be complete. The suppression of the French embassy to the Vatican was first undertaken. Shortly after the advent to office of M. Combes the French government made representations to the Holy See on the form of the Papal briefs, appointing bishops in France ( Dec., 1902).* The government objected to the words, Nobis nominavit, in these letters as implying that the president of the republic had merely the right of presenting to vacant sees, and that the Pope was en tirely free to accept or reject the presidential nominee. The Secretary of State replied by pointing out that this formula had been generally adopted since the concordat, that it had been accepted by M. Thiers in 1872, that it was only in conformity with the letters sent by the president of the republic, petitioning for the institution of a bishop, but that for the sake of peace the Pope would consent to suppress the word "No bis," provided that the formula used in the letters of the president were still maintained ( March, 1903).
The attack on the formula was, however, only the expression of the views of M. Combes on the relative
* Livre Blanc du Saint Siège, Rome, 1905.
rights of the Pope and the President in the appointment of French bishops. M. Combes professed to believe that the Pope was obliged by the concordat to appoint the nominee of the president except there were grave sus picions in regard to his faith or morality; and, hence, he abolished the preliminary informal interview about the qualifications of the episcopal candidates, which had been customary between the nuncio in Paris and the Minister of Public Worship. This informal discussion prevented the presentation of unacceptable candidates, and reduced the dangers of the deadlock which might be entailed by a formal rejection of the government can didate by the Holy See. M. Combes announced to the nuncio in Paris that the government had selected three bishops for three vacant sees, and requested him to secure canonical institution ( 23rd Dec., 1902). Two of the candidates were unacceptable, but M. Combes issued an ultimatum to the Holy See demanding the appointment of all, or otherwise the French government would make no further nominations, and the dioceses would be left vacant ( 10th Jan., 1903). A little later (21st March) he announced his decision in the Chamber of Deputies, and though the Pope and the nuncio spared no pains to bring about an agreement, the President of the Council held steadfastly by his decision, and these dioceses were left without bishops.
The next difficulty between the Vatican and France was in connection with the visit of M. Loubet to King Victor Emmanuel III. at Rome. Since the occupation of Rome in 1870 the Pope had forbidden Catholic rulers to visit the King of Italy at Rome; and that prohibition had been carefully observed hitherto. Hence, when un official announcements began to appear in 1903 that M. Loubet intended to make a voyage to Rome, the Secre tary of State protested ( June, 1903). In spite of the protest on the part of the Pope, M. Loubet arrived in Rome in April, 1904, as the guest of Victor Emmanuel III., and the Holy See immediately issued a protest to France and to all the Catholic powers. In the notes sent out to the other powers it was stated that if the Papal nuncio were not withdrawn from Paris it was on account of the specially grave circumstances of the country. This form was published in one of the French papers, and the government of France, interpreting the phrase as a threat, demanded explanations. Without waiting for them, however, it promptly recalled M. Nisard, the ambassador at the Vatican, and left the embassy to the care of a chargé d'affaires ( 21st May, 1904).
The final rupture was brought about by the action of the bishops of Laval and Dijon, against whom serious charges of a non-political character had been forwarded to Rome. They were requested to come to Rome to answer these charges, and on their refusing to do so they were summoned to appear before a certain date under threat of censure. The French government pretended that the concordat had been violated by the Holy See in threatening the dismissal of these bishops, and on the 30th July, 1904, diplomatic relations between France and the Vatican were formally broken. The French chargé d'affaires was recalled, and the nuncio at Paris received his passport. Thus another portion of the programme was carried, and the way was prepared for the separation of Church and State.
M. Combes immediately announced that the govern ment would undertake the suppression of the concordat, and in October, 1904, the Chamber approved his decla rations by 318 votes against 230.* But owing to the debates on espionage in the army the ministry of M. Combes was obliged to resign, and M. Rouvier became President of the Council ( 21st Jan., 1905). He pledged himself, however, to carry out the programme already prepared. The Bill on the subject was brought forward by M. Bienvenu-Martin, and the debates on the subject began in the Chamber of Deputies in March, 1905. In July, 1905, the project became law, and the separation of Church and State in France was accomplished.
By the Separation Law† the republic guaranteed
* Sévestre, op. cit., Chap. IV.
† Idem., Appendix E.
liberty of conscience and liberty of worship, without any restrictions except those necessary for the preserva tion of public order. No public assistance was to be given thenceforth to any form of religion, except in case of chaplaincies to lyceums, colleges, schools, hospitals, and prisons. These chaplaincies might still be con tinued. An inventory of the goods of all religious establishments was to be made by officials appointed by the government, and within a year from the promulga tion of the law the goods, movable and immovable, of the bishoprics, church committees, and parochial com mittees were to be transferred to the new Associations of Worship to be formed under the law. If no such Asso ciation should be formed the property was to be handed over by a decree of the Council of State to charitable in stitutions situated in the same district. The Associa tions of Worship were to be composed of seven, fifteen, or twenty-five members according to the population of the parish; and several of them, for example all those situated in a diocese, might unite together under a central council. They should have charge of all the ecclesiastical property and church revenues, and should render an annual account to the government of their receipts and expenses. They might form a reserve fund, but the amount of this fund was strictly limited.
The clergy who, at the promulgation of the law, were over 60 years, and had given thirty years' service in the ministry, were to receive an annual pension equal to three- fourths of their actual salary; those who were over 45 years of age, and had served for twenty years, were to receive a pension of one-half their salary; while the others were to receive their full revenue for the first year after the promulgation of the law, two-thirds for the second, one-half for the third, and one-third for the fourth year. After that the state refused all responsi bility for their support. The buildings which served for public worship or for the residence of its ministers remained the property of the state, but the churches, cathedrals, &c., should be placed at the disposal of the Associations of Worship. The houses of the arch bishops and bishops should be given in charge to the Associations for two years free of cost, while the pres byteries and seminaries should be handed over to them free of charge for five years.
After the Separation Bill had become law, it re mained to see whether the French bishops and the Pope would agree to accept the Associations of Worship. These were formed entirely independent of the bishops. They had complete control of the ecclesiastical property, and they might use their power to obstruct the bishop, and to produce a schism. On the other hand, the Pope was now free to appoint bishops without the interfer ence of the government, the bishops were free to come together in council, and nearly all the old restrictions were abolished. The Pope protested against the Law of Association in January, 1906. The French bishops met in May, and condemned the proposed Associations of Worship, though they suggested the formation of other Associations which would be in accordance with canon law, and which the government might be induced to accept. Finally, in August, 1906, Pius X. published the Encyclical Gravissimo officii munere, in which he con demned the Associations of Worship as opposed to the constitution of the Church. The government counted on the disobedience of some of the bishops, but at their meeting in September, 1906, they were unanimous in accepting the Papal decision. Very few associations were formed, and at the expiration of the year allowed by the law the whole ecclesiastical property passed into the hands of the state. The seminaries and episcopal palaces were seized, and the presbyteries handed over to the communes. The question of the cathedrals and churches was more important. The government issued a circular ordering the clergy to ask the permission of the civil authorities for holding religious service, but Pius X. forbade them to comply with such an order ( 1906). The government in revenge, seized the papers of the nunciature in Paris.
Since that time several forms of agreement in regard to the churches have been prepared, but for one reason or another all have been rejected. The churches are still open for divine service, but the clergy have no legal security of tenure. By means of voluntary associations, which have been established in most of the dioceses, funds have been provided for the maintenance of public worship, and for the support of the clergy. Similar efforts have been made, and with considerable success, to re-establish several of the free primary schools closed by the suppression of the religious con gregations. It is impossible to foresee accurately what the results of the Separation Law may be, but that a new spirit of courage and of liberty animates the eccle siastical body is undoubtedly apparent.
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