REFORMATION AND COUNTER-REFORMATION
THE long-accumulated tension which had grown up during the later Middle Ages as a result of manifold abuses within the Church was brought into the open by the challenge of Martin Luther ( 1483-1546), which began in 1517 in a protest against the "selling" of Indulgences (a practice later condemned by the Council of Trent and went on to a root-and-branch attack on Catholic authority and in particular on the Papacy as the seat of that authority. The new Lutheran Churches built themselves up on a frankly national basis, acknowledging the head of the State as the head of the Church on the ground that complete unity of authority within a Christian national community was necessary. There had been elements in the medieval world itself which had worked in this direction; the leading theoretical example is that of Marsiglio of Padua who in his provocative and influential book Defensor Pacis ( 1324) had attacked the jurisdictional powers of the Church, denied Papal supremacy and called for a transfer of administrative and juridical authority within the Church to the secular power. Such ideas were bound to appeal to the new Renaissance monarchs, with their ambition of complete centralization of authority within their own hands and their lack of scruple in achieving it. In the Northern regions of Germany, Scandinavia and England the Protestant Reformation provided a theoretical justification for the assertion by the monarchs and princes of independence from all external authority in the spiritual as well as in the temporal sphere. The rejection of Papal authority in England by king Henry VIII in the Supremacy Act of 1534, reasserted later by Elizabeth I, is a typical example of the ideas and methods involved ( Doc. No. 1 ).
The Calvinist wing of Protestantism adopted a rather different political attitude. Its ideal of church independence was as pronounced as that of Catholicism; the theocracy which its founder, John Calvin ( 1509-1564), had established at the Swiss city of Geneva had completely subordinated secular government to the ecclesiastical authorities of the Calvinist Church in a regime far more severe than that of the medieval Catholic Church. "New presbyter is but old priest writ large," the English poet, John Milton, was to say a century later. At first Calvinism had favoured a policy of passive resistance to rulers who were "ungodly," but later in the sixteenth century its adherents came to the conclusion that revolt against such rulers in support of the "true religion" was legitimate. The militant fervour thus engendered and strengthened by the conviction of the Calvinist "elect" that they were predestined to salvation, made of the Calvinist movement a powerful political force and contributed greatly to complicate and embitter the religious conflicts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Meanwhile the Catholic Church itself was putting its own house in order as a means of defence against these challenges. The movement of renovation is usually known as the "Counter-Reformation," although the word may be misleading, for it was no mere gesture of reaction against the Protestant revolt, but a genuinely positive overhaul of the entire machinery and discipline of the Church. Dogma was restated and controverted doctrinal positions clarified in the Council of Trent ( 1545-1563), a reformed Papacy shook off the corruption which had settled upon the Holy See during the Renaissance, and new religious orders, particularly the famous Society of Jesus, came forward to perform the tasks demanded by the new situation.
In the relationship of the Catholic Church to the various secular authorities of the now disunited Western Christendom the religious complexion of the secular authority in each individual State became the paramount factor. The claim of the reformed princes to remain autonomous in their religious belief obtained a signal success in Germany in 1555. After three decades of struggle between the old and the new faith the Peace of Augsburg ( Doc. No. 2 ) laid down in 1555 the principle that each German prince was to be left to decide the religious obedience of his territories ( cuius regio eius religio ). This was the first great concession to the new ideology of State control over religion and the Papacy, utterly disagreeing with this legal recognition of the religious schism in Germany, registered a strong protest against it. The protest was followed in 1559 by a general formulation of the Papal attitude in this question by Pope Paul IV in his Bull Cum ex Apostolatus officio pronouncing the deposition of all heretical princes ( Doc. No. 3 ).
The Bull, however, met with little practical response. In the changed conditions of Europe it became evident that, as an efficient policy, the old medieval method consisting in direct jurisdictional actions of the Pope in such cases had lost its former value. The Papacy could no longer depend on the material force of the secular arm to give its decisions the necessary backing. This situation was best illustrated by the individual trial and deposition of Elizabeth I, queen of England. When this queen resumed the reforming activity of her father, Henry VIII, and persecuted her Catholic subjects, she was excommunicated and deposed from her throne by Pope Pius V ( Doc. No. 4 ). She disregarded the sentence which remained ineffective; a confrontation of her case with that of the English king John Lackland (see Chap. III, Doc. No. 6 ) may demonstrate the profound transformation which had taken place in the European atmosphere and legal conceptions in comparison with the medieval order.
It was, however, a century before either side in the passionate religious contest accepted the "de facto" permanent division of Europe into (broadly speaking) a Protestant North and a Catholic South. That century was filled with fierce and long-drawn out wars such as the French Wars of Religion (c. 1560-1598) or the revolt of the Calvinist Netherlands against Catholic Spain at the same period, following on the civil war in Germany. In the face of the very destructive, but on the whole indecisive results, to which all these conflicts led, the minds of certain statesmen began to wonder whether it was any longer a matter of practical politics to continue to insist on the necessity for complete religious uniformity. Thus Henry IV, king of France, who may appear as an indifferentist in religion because he had changed from Calvinism to Catholicism to gain his throne (declaring allegedly: "Paris is worth a Mass"), rated political stability before religious zeal and came to the conclusion that the only solution for the French internal troubles was to abandon the attempt to enforce uniformity of faith and grant toleration to the Protestants, which he did by the Edict of Nantes in 1598 ( Doc. No. 5 ).
Meanwhile in Europe things were moving towards a final conflagration between the two religious ideologies. It broke out in 1618 in the form of the Thirty Years War which made Germany the devastated battle ground for a period of a generation. Again, the result was indecisive and the end of the war was brought about by a general exhaustion on both sides. The Peace Treaties of Westphalia ( Doc. No. 6 ) applied the same principle as the Peace of Augsburg a hundred years earlier; but the division of the churches was internationally recognized in them and put on a contractual basis between the signatory powers. Once more the Papacy unavailingly protested ( Doc. No. 7 ). The Papacy's attitude to the situation had not changed; it continued to deprecate the official admission of toleration and acceptance of the schism in the Church as a fait accompli, for it held that the adoption of these views would lead to religious indifferentism and would deny the principle that the true Christian Faith should be undividingly confessed in all European States.
During the sixteenth century the expansion of Europe into new continents overseas, together with the discovery and conquest of hitherto unknown non-Christian peoples, continued to present the Church with fresh problems (cf. Chap. IV, Doc. Nos. 9 and 10 ). In these the Popes consistently stood out for the principle of the basic equality of the conquered races with the conquerors and the necessity for a just and humane dealing with the natives in the colonial territories. This truly Christian view is expressed in Pope Paul III's Brief, Pastorale officium of 1537 (Doc. No. 8) concerning the treatment of the Indian populations in Spanish America. In its attitude to problems of race and colour the Papacy stood then, as it has done ever since, well in advance of the time.
I. "Act of Supremacy" of Henry VIII, King of England, 1534
Original English text in Statutes of the Realm,
26 Henr. VIII, c. I, iii. 492
The English king Henry VIII wished to obtain a dissolution of his marriage with Katharine of Aragon, for which he had previously received a dispensation from Pope Julius II. The dispensation had been necessary because of Katharine's former marriage to Henry's brother Arthur. After twenty years of their marital life, Henry professed scruples as to the validity of the dispensation; but his real reason for the dissolution of the marriage seems to have been a desire for a male heir, which it was now clear that Katharine could not give him. Having failed to obtain Papal permission for his separation from the queen, Henry took matters into his own hands and, in a series of far-reaching Parliamentary enactments between 1529 and 1534, he secured the rejection of Papal authority over the English Church and the substitution of the king as the Church's "Supreme Head." The Act of Supremacy is the theoretical copingstone of the legal edifice of the English Reformation.
Like all Henry's Reformation legislation, the Act is a Parliamentary enactment; Henry was anxious that representatives of the whole realm should underwrite the changes which he was bringing about. According to his own theory there were in fact no changes; the Act is careful to state at its opening that it is merely reasserting prerogatives of control over the Church which the Crown has always (from the king's viewpoint) rightfully enjoyed.
Albeit the Kings Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and so is recognized by the clergy of this realm in their Convocations; yet nevertheless for corroboration and confirmation thereof, and for increase of virtue in Christ's religion within this realm of England, and to repress and extirp all errors, heresies, and other enormities and abuses heretofore used in the same, Be it enacted by authority of this present Parliament that the King our Sovereign Lord, his heirs and successors kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only Supreme Head in earth of the Church of England called "Anglicana Ecclesia," and shall have and enjoy annexed and united to the imperial Crown of this realm as well the title and style thereof, as all honours, dignities, pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities, to the said dignity of Supreme Head of the same Church belonging and appertaining: And that our said Sovereign Lord, his heirs and successors kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempts and enormities whatsoever they be, which by any manner spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity and tranquillity of this realm: any usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign authority, prescription, or any other thing or things to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.
2. Religious Peace of Augsburg, September 25, 1555
Original German text in Dumont, Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens, vol. IV-3, p. 88
Commentary After long years of civil war in Germany between the Catholics and the partisans of Luther and after several fruitless attempts at a religious settlement, the Emperor Charles V empowered his brother, Ferdinand, who was in charge of the administration in Germany in his capacity of King of the Romans, to conclude an arrangement with the Protestants. The arrangement was to secure peace even at the price of concessions to the Lutherans; then the settlement of the disputed questions of faith was to be sought in tranquillity. A preliminary agreement had been reached in the treaty of Passau in 1552 and the peace was concluded after laborious negotiations at the Diet of Augsburg in 1555.In this compact the following features are noteworthy:
1. The famous principle cuius regio, eius religio is contained in Arts. 2, 3 and 10 in which the freedom of worship was recognized only to the Estates, viz. to the heads of territorial units directly subordinated to the head of the Empire. To these Art. 13 adds the free knights ("freie Ritterschaft"), i.e. the nobility holding their titles directly from the Emperor and exempted from the jurisdiction of the territorial rulers.
2. In the Imperial towns Catholics and Protestants were to have equal rights (Art. 14).
3. According to Art. II the subjects of another confession than that of their ruler were to be allowed to emigrate to some other territorial unit where they could worship freely.
4. All the concessions were made only to the adherents of the Lutheran Confession of Augsburg whereas Calvinists, Zwinglians and other non-Catholic denominations were not to be tolerated in Germany (Art. 4).
5. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic clergy over the Lutherans was suspended in Art. 7; and the ecclesiastical property confiscated by the Lutherans up till the treaty of Passau was abandoned by the Catholics according to Art. 6. On the question of the fate of the ecclesiastical estates whose holders (Catholic churchmen) would embrace Lutheranism in the future, no agreement could be reached. Therefore king Ferdinand ruled that such dissenters should automatically abandon the ecclesiastical estates and leave them to the Catholic Church (Art. 5). The Lutherans agreed to this "reservatum ecclesiasticum" only reluctantly and later did not observe it. Several archbishoprics and bishoprics passed into Lutheran hands after 1555 including their estates and appurtenances and these breaches of the Peace of Augsburg contributed greatly to the further religious animosity in Germany which engendered the Thirty Years War.
6. Under these conditions the civil war in Germany was terminated by a "Landfriede" according to Art. I [the term "Landfriede," taken from the medieval legal terminology of feudal Germany, meant renunciation by the feudal lords of private wars among themselves, which otherwise used to be tolerated to a certain extent by the Emperors]. This was to create the necessary atmosphere of appeasement in which the controversial issues of faith were to be settled and the unity of the Church re-established at the next Diet, to be held at Ratisbon (Arts. 12, 20).
This, however, did not happen. The Peace of Augsburg, originally conceived only as a temporary arrangement, remained in force until the Thirty Years War despite the Papal protests which were addressed to king Ferdinand. After this war the Treaties of Westphalia (see Doc. No. 6 in this chapter) re-affirmed its principles with various amendments (such as the admission of Protestant denominations other than Lutherans).
The Articles which have been left out in the following text are of minor importance or deal with irrelevant matters.
We, Ferdinand, by the grace of God King of the Romans, perpetual enlarger of the Empire, King of Germany, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia etc., Infant of Spain, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Luetzelburg [an old medieval name for Luxemburg], Upper and Lower Silesia, and of Suabia, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire in Burgau, Moravia, Upper and Lower Lusatia, Prince-Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Pfirt, Kiburg and Goertz (sc. Gorizia), Landgrave in Alsace, Lord of the Wendish March, of Portenau (sc. Pordenone) and of Salins, etc., recognize publicly and make it known to all that His Roman Imperial Majesty our beloved brother and master has ascertained that for highly pressing reasons the statutes, laws and recesses of the Holy Empire and all the generous, faithful and earnest industry, effort and work which has been applied to them on the part of His Gracious Imperial Majesty, of ourselves and of the Holy Empire's members and Estates have not brought about so far the desired and craved for effect and fruit as the high exigency of the Empire requires it, and that many violent troubles and disorders have occurred in the Holy Empire.--
As long as a complete negotiation and conclusion of a peace is not achieved in the persisting division in religion, both in matters of faith and in profane and secular things, and as long as the question (of division in religion) is not worked out and settled in all respects so that both religious sides may at last learn therefrom where they stand with each other, the Estates and the subjects can not enjoy a sure and permanent security but must stand, each for himself, opposed to one another in an unbearable danger; in order to dissipate such pernicious insecurity and to bring back tranquillity and mutual trust into the mind of the Estates and subjects, and to save the German Nation, our beloved fatherland, from final disruption and ruin, we have reached an agreement and arrangement with the Councellors and Delegates of the Electors, with the present Princes and Estates and with the Ambassadors and Envoys of the absent ones, and they have reached it with us.
1. We therefore establish, order, wish and enjoin that from now on no one, of whatever dignity, status or rank he may be, must for any reason of whatever description and in any manner challenge another, wage war on him, plunder him, invade, overrun or besiege him or collaborate in so doing either for his own or for somebody else's sake; and nobody must penetrate into any castle town, market, fortress, village, farm and hamlet, or seize any such place against the will of the other one by violence and wantonly, or dangerously damage it by fire or otherwise; and no one must provide the offenders of this kind with counsel, help or other assistance or support, nor must any one knowingly and dangerously shelter such offenders, admit them to houses, provide them with food or drink and sustain or tolerate them, but all should have regard for each other with real friendliness and Christian affection; nor must any Estate or member of the Holy Empire make the rights of another suffer by withholding or severing him from the free access to his legitimate sources of supplies, food, trade, rents, money and income; but by all means His Imperial Majesty and ourselves (sc. Ferdinand) should let the Estates, and vice versa the Estates should let His Imperial Majesty and ourselves, and each Estate another, enjoy entirely the "Landfriede" established on the occasion of this religious and general Act.
2. And in order that this "Landfriede" may be established, set up and maintained more solidly--both because of the schism in religion and for the above-mentioned reasons, as the high necessity of the Holy Empire of the German Nation requires it--between His Roman Imperial Majesty, Ourself (sc. Ferdinand), the Electors, Princes and Estates of the Holy Empire of the German Nation:
His Imperial Majesty, Ourself, the Electors, Princes and Estates of the Holy Empire shall not invade, damage or assault any Estate of the Empire because of the Augsburg Confession, its doctrine, religion and faith, or otherwise press him by violent acts and by attacking him in his principalities and lands to abandon, against his own will and conscience, the Augsburg Confession, religion, faith, rites, regulations and ceremonies, as these are established now or may be established in the future, or trouble him or penalize by mandate or in any other form; but they shall be left to enjoy quietly and peacefully their religion, faith, rites, regulations and ceremonies, keeping their property, both movable and immovable goods, land, subjects, lordships, jurisdictions and magistracies; and the achievement of a Christian understanding and agreement in the controversial religious question should not be attempted otherwise than by Christian, friendly and peaceful ways and means; this being guaranteed by the Imperial and royal dignities, the honour of the Princes their honest words and the penalties connected with the "Landfriede."
3. Likewise the Estates espousing the Augsburg Confession shall let His Roman Imperial Majesty, Ourself, the Electors, Princes and other Estates of the Holy Empire who are keeping and supporting the old religion, enjoy undisturbed our religion, faith, rites, regulations and ceremonies; this shall apply to both secular and spiritual Estates, the latter including their Chapters and other ecclesiastical persons irrespective of the place to which they have transferred their residence, provided that their function includes appointments of ministers; and they all shall undisturbedly, keep their property, movable and immovable goods, subjects, lordships, jurisdictions, magistracies, rents, tributes and tithes, enjoy and use them peacefully, quietly and without resistance, help the honest to obtain their rights and not undertake any action or any violence against the same; but always according to the Holy Empire's laws, ordinances, recesses and established "Landfrieden" everyone shall be content to appeal to the appropriate normal law; all this being guaranteed by the honour of the Princes, their honest words and the penalties comprised in the established "Landfrieden."
4. However, all such as do not belong to the two above-mentioned religions shall not be included in this Peace, but entirely excluded from it.
5. And since it was in the negotiation of the present Peace a matter of great dispute on which the Estates of both religions were unable to agree, namely what is to be done about the archbishoprics, bishoprics, priories and other ecclesiastical benefices in places where churchmen, one of them or several, abandoned the old religion, we [sc. Ferdinand] have declared and ordained, and we do so purposely now, on the strength of full power and instructions given to us by His Gracious Roman Imperial Majesty, as follows:
Where an archbishop, bishop, prelate or another priest shall abandon the old religion, he shall abandon immediately, without any objection and delay, his archbishopric, bishopric, prelacy or other benefice, and all fruits and incomes drawn from them; and he shall do so without detriment to his honour. And the Chapters and those to whom it pertains by common law or special custom of the church or Chapter concerned, shall elect a person espousing the old religion and admit him to dispose of that benefice; and the person elected shall enjoy peacefully and without hindrance the established jurisdiction over the Chapters and other churches of the place, their endowments, elections, presentations and confirmations and over the movable and immovable property, without prejudging any ultimate amicable settlement of religion.
6. As some Estates and their forefathers have confiscated certain monasteries and other ecclesiastical property and turned them into churches, schools or charitable and other institutions, these shall be covered by the present Peace and remain confiscated, so far as they did not belong to the immediate Estates of the Empire [i.e. Estates immediately subordinated to the Emperor] or were not possessed by the clergy at the time of the Treaty of Passau or since; and the arrangements which the respective Estates have made with regard to this confiscated and since then variously used property shall stand and no Estate can be reproached or called upon to answer for it whether before justice or extra-judicially for the sake of a durable and permanent peace. We therefore order and enjoin hereby and in virtue of this Recess to the Cameral Judges of His Imperial Majesty and to their assessors not to acknowledge or proceed with any citation, mandate or process regarding these goods confiscated and assigned to other use.
7. In order that the adherents of both aforesaid religions may sit and remain with one another in perpetual peace and good security, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction should not be exercised, used and discharged toward the Augsburg confession, religion, faith, appointment of ministers, liturgy, regulations and ceremonies as they are established now or shall be established in the future (without prejudice, however, to the rights and titles of the ecclesiastical Electors, Princes, Estates, Colleges, monasteries and members of Orders to rents, taxes, tributes, tithes or secular fiefs as above-stated); but to the Augsburg religion, faith, liturgy, regulations, ceremonies and appointments of ministers--as stated in a separate Article below-shall be left a free course without hindrance or damage and also, as stated above, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction toward it shall cease, stop and be suspended until a final settlement of religion shall take place. In other things and cases which do not concern the Augsburg confession, religion, faith, liturgy, regulations, ceremonies and appointment of ministers, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction may and should be exercised, used and discharged as usual and without hindrance by the archbishops, bishops and other prelates as its exercise is regulated in each particular place and as they actually do exercise, use and possess it.--
10. No Estate must try to make another Estate or its subjects abandon their religion or cease its practice, nor protect the subjects of another Estate against their own magistrates or defend them by any means. By this provision, however, nothing is abstracted from the competence of protectors ("Schirm- und Schutzherren") established from of old and these are not referred to in this Article.
11. If, however, our subjects or those of the Electors, Princes and Estates, belonging either to the old religion or to the Augsburg Confession, would like to move with their wives and children, because of their religion, from our territories, towns and localities within the Holy Empire or from those of the Electors, Princes and Estates in order to settle down in another place, free egress and ingress without hindrance shall be conceded and allowed to everybody as also the sale of their goods and property, after payment of a moderately adequate compensation for their serfdom and tax arrears as it is in each particular locality fixed by tradition; and they will not be injured in their honour and duties. Nothing, however, should be detracted or broken off from the rights or customs concerning the serfs as to whether these may be released or not.
12. The settlement of the matter of religion and faith should be sought in fitting and appropriate ways because without durable peace a friendly and Christian settlement of the religious question can not be achieved. That is why we, the Counsellors of the Electors on behalf of these Electors, the present Princes, and the ecclesiastical as well as secular Envoys and Ambassadors of the absent Princes have brought about this agreement for the sake of beloved peace and in order to dissipate the pernicious distrust in the Empire and to avert the final and otherwise imminent destruction of this honourable nation; and in order to facilitate a Christian, friendly and final arrangement on the religious division, we have accepted this agreement as formulated in the Articles above to be kept firmly, lastingly and inviolably, and faithfully observed until a Christian, friendly and final settlement of religion and faith is achieved. As long as such a settlement shall not be arrived at by means of a General Council, of a National assembly, of conferences or negotiations inside the Empire, this Peace shall remain valid in all its Articles and points pending an ultimate agreement in matters of religion and faith. Then perpetual, immovable, unconditional and eternal peace should be concluded and established in the form as above or in any other wise.
13. And the free knights ["freie Ritterschaft"], who are subjected directly to His Imperial Majesty and to us, are included in this agreement in such a way that they should not be violated, oppressed or molested by any one on account of the two religions mentioned above.
14. Since in many Free and Imperial towns the two religions, namely the old religion and the religion of the adherents of the Augsburg Confession, have been in use and practice for a certain time, they should remain so and continue to be exercised in those towns; and the burghers and inhabitants of these Free and Imperial towns, whether spiritual persons or secular, shall live together quietly and peacefully; no portion of them should try to suppress the religion, church customs and ceremonies of the other or to force the other to abandon them; but each part shall let the other one enjoy its religion, faith, church customs, regulations and ceremonies, as also their property and possessions and everything else, in peace and tranquillity according to this agreement, as the Estates of both religions have ordained and established.--
19. We also order and enjoin hereby and on the strength of this Recess of the Empire to the Cameral Judges and Assessors that they have to proceed and render justice according to this Peace and lend the appropriate and necessary assistance of the law to the cited parties irrespective of which of the two afore-mentioned religions they may belong to; and they should not accept any suit or mandate contrary to this Peace or act otherwise against it.
20. It should have been agreed, established and enacted in this Diet by what fitting and suitable ways the necessary and sound settlement and unity in the disputed questions of religion and faith ought to be sought and--with God's grace--carried out and achieved; this, however, can not happen now because of many reasons partly mentioned above. Therefore, the Counsellors of the Electors, the present Princes and Estates, and the Ambassadors and Envoys of the absent ones have arranged with us and we have arranged and decided with them to postpone the settlement of this matter to a future Diet. His Roman Imperial Majesty our beloved brother and master should attend that Diet in person and in modesty for the sake of the removal of the split and division in our holy Christian religion and faith; if His Gracious Imperial Majesty were prevented from doing so, we should visit such a Diet and attend it in person; likewise the Electors and Princes should appear there in person and not stay away except in cases of obvious feebleness of body or poverty, or other plausible reason. In the meantime each of them should make up his mind and prepare himself with his own scholars and theologians in order that not only ways and means of seeking a settlement should be debated but also the substance of the matter may be brought to a decision and, as far as possible, treated and settled in a concrete and fruitful way; all this, however, on the basis and according to the contents of the Treaty of Passau. That is why, in order that such a necessary task, on which not only our bodily welfare but also the salvation and redemption of our souls depend to the highest degree, be not needlessly put off, we have decided in the name and on behalf of His Gracious Imperial Majesty that the future Diet is to be convened and held on the first day of March at the latest in our and the Holy Empire's town Regensburg (Ratisbon); the Electors, Princes and Estates of the Holy Empire are hereby and on the strength of this Recess informed and instructed about it without any further need of summonses and publication. That Diet shall deal first of all with the Christian settlement of the matter of our holy religion and faith; then also with the ultimate adjustment and real putting into operation of the new regulation on the coinage and of the Imperial edicts; and also with other duties and matters which may appear in the meantime and in which His Gracious Imperial Majesty and ourselves shall find it useful and necessary that the General Estates of the Holy Empire should discuss and settle them there, as a quick counsel, arrangement and settlement may be required in them.
21. This session and the vote cast in it as well as the signing of this document shall remain without detriment, damage or prejudice for each one of the participants as far as his customary rights and legal position are concerned.
22. All this and everything as stated above and so far as it concerns His Imperial Majesty our beloved brother and master and ourselves, we promise and pledge ourselves on behalf of His Imperial Majesty and in our own name to observe and carry out steadily, firmly, inviolably and sincerely; and we promise to live up to it straightforwardly, unhesitatingly and without any fraud. In faith thereof we have caused our Royal Seal to be affixed on this Recess.
And we, the delegated Counsellors of the Electors; the present Princes, Prelates, Counts and Lords; and Envoys, Ambassadors and Plenipotentiaries of the Holy Empire's Free and Imperial towns named hereafter, recognize publicly by this Recess that all points and Articles written therein as above have been arranged and concluded according to our right, will, knowledge and counsel; and we confirm them all, as a whole and each one of them, hereby and by the strength of this document. Consequently, we promise and pledge ourselves with good and true sincerity to observe them and carry them out truly, steadily, firmly, sincerely and inviolably so far as they concern or may concern each one of us and his lordship or the friends whose delegates or plenipotentiaries we are; and we promise to live up to it and observe it with all our capability without deception.
We are the hereafter signed Counsellors of the Electors, Princes, Prelates, Counts, Lords, and Ambassadors and Plenipotentiaries of the absent Estates as well as of the Holy Empire's Free and Imperial Towns:
[A list of names follows comprising more than 100 Estates; it begins with the Ambassadors of the Archbishop of Mainz, Elector and Arch-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire for Germany, and ends with the Burgomaster of the free and Imperial town of Augsburg, the hospitality of which the Diet was enjoying].Given at our town and that of the Holy Empire Augsburg, on the twenty-fifth day of September in the year after our beloved Lord's Nativity one thousand five hundred and fifty-five, in the twenty-fifth year of our reign in the Roman Empire and in the twenty-ninth year of that in our other dominions.Ferdinand
3. Bull "Cum ex Apostolatus officio" of Pope Paul IV concern- ing the Deposition of Schismatic Rulers and Pontiffs, February 15, 1559 Original Latin text in Magnum Bullarium Romanum, ed. Cherubini, vol. I, p. 829
Commentary During the Pontificate of Paul IV the growing Protestant schism reached most alarming proportions. The Pontificate began in 1555 when the Religious Peace of Augsburg (see above, Doc. No. 2 in this chapter) stabilized the disruption of the Faith's unity in Germany and ended in 1559 when England entered definitely the path of secession with the ascent to her throne of Elizabeth I. Between the two dates, the wave of Reformation was submerging Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Scotland, Switzerland, Bohemia, shattering the Church of France, and infiltrating into Poland, Hungary and even Spain and Italy.Against this tide of disquieting dangers Pope Paul IV displayed the utmost energy and steadfastness in the cause of orthodoxy and traditional position of the Papacy. He disapproved of the attitude of the German king Ferdinand at the conclusion of the Peace of Augsburg, insisted on full restoration of Catholic order in England under Queen Mary and in the gravely disturbed atmosphere he entertained even fear about potential defections from orthodoxy in the College of Cardinals. His doubts were particularly concerned with the influential Cardinals Morone whose possible future election to the Holy See caused him grave worries. The Cardinal was arrested by order of the Pope and his trial was awaited; it is at this time, shortly before his death in 1559, that Paul IV promulgated the Bull Cum ex Apostolatus officio.In the Bull three elements can be distinguished: It is a disciplinarian act inside the Church. As such, it is a cumulative and general measure covering all the previous individual excommunications and depositions from their function of all Church dignitaries who had deserted orthodoxy; and it afflicts with the same sentence those who would do so in the future.
It foresees the possible election of a Pope of doubtful orthodoxy. This being an expression of the Pope's fears connected with Cardinal Morone, the Bull declares as invalid the election of a candidate to the Papacy who had previously shown connivance with the schismatics, even if he afterwards recanted. The same strict measure is to be applied also to the candidates to other Church dignities. It proclaims the deposition of all schismatic secular dignitaries, including particularly the rulers and monarchs, from their functions. In this the Bull could claim continuity with the old medieval ideology in virtue of which the Pontiffs had performed similar acts in the preceding centuries (see Chap. II, Doc. Nos. 3 and 4, and Chap. III, Doc. Nos. 5-iv, 8, 10 ).
The practical effect of the Bull centred chiefly in its first, ecclesiastical aspect. In the second, concerning the future Popes, the apprehensions of Paul IV did not materialize. Neither Cardinal Morone nor any other doubtful candidate was elected; Cardinal Morone was fully rehabilitated by the next Pope Pius IV and later nominated president of the Council of Trent.
As to the third aspect of the Bull, purely spiritual sanctions were unlikely to disturb the secular potentates adhering to Protestantism and actually had little influence on their political position. Moreover, the whole medieval conception of the Papal competence to depose monarchs from their thrones was to be revised during the next decades among the Catholics themselves. Outstanding thinkers, such as Suarez and Bellarmine, developing a theory which can be traced back to the fifteenth century theologian Torquemada, advocated a new conception to the effect that the Pontiffs only have, in such matters, a declaratory "indirect power" toward the guilty monarch; they should only state that a particular ruler is a major offender, leaving his people--in whom Suarez conceived sovereignty to reside--to carry out themselves the deposition. This theory gradually gained ground, replacing the medieval one, while the applications of the Papal competence to depose monarchs disappeared in the later centuries.
The text of the Bull given below has been made clearer by dividing its long sentences and by leaving out the often repeated enumeration of categories of persons to whom it was to apply.
Paul the bishop, servant of the servants of God, for the perpetual memorial of this matter.
Since the universal supervision of the Lord's flock falls upon us, by virtue of the Apostolic office, though unworthy, we are accordingly obliged, as a faithful guardian, a wise ruler and a watchful shepherd, to keep continual vigilance and to make more careful provision for the expulsion from Christ's sheepfold of those men who, urged on by sin and with presumptuous reliance on their own wisdom, have risen with unexampled venom against the discipline of the orthodox faith and, perverting the knowledge of Holy Scripture by superstitious and lying inventions, are trying to rend the unity of the Catholic Church and the seamless tunic of the Lord. We can not allow these men, who refuse to be the disciples of truth, to continue the teaching of error.
We, as the Roman Pontiff, Vicar on earth of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, holder of plenitude of power over nations and kingdoms, judge of all men and judged by no one in this age, with authority to refute any manifest deviation from the Faith, consider a matter of this kind to be serious and dangerous; we regard it as a matter which involves much danger and calls for fuller and more careful consideration, lest false prophets or others who may even possess secular jurisdiction, may wretchedly ensnare simple minds and drag with them to perdition and damnable destruction peoples committed to their charge and to their rule in spiritual or temporal affairs, and lest it falls to our lot to see in the holy place the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet. We desire to the best of our ability, with the help of God and by virtue of our pastoral office, to control the forces seeking to destroy the Lord's vineyard and to keep away wolves from the flocks, so that we may not appear to be dumb dogs with no capacity to bark and so that we may not be lost with the wicked husbandmen and be compared to a hireling.
We have deliberated fully on these matters with our venerable brethren the Cardinals of the holy Roman Church and, with their advice and unanimous consent, we give the approval of Apostolic authority to general and particular sentences of excommunication, suspension, interdict, deprivation and any other sentences, censures and penalties, unpublished or published by any of our predecessors as Roman Pontiffs, whether in the usual forms or by any special pronouncements; (we also give approval to those sentences) which have come from holy Councils accepted by the Church of God, or from the institutions of the holy Fathers and the statutes or holy canons, and the Apostolic constitutions and ordinances against heretics or schismatics, in whatever form they have been made or promulgated. We re-emphasize that they are to be permanently observed; if they are not at present in full observance, they are to be restored to it. In addition we wish and decree that any persons whatsoever who shall be detected, acknowledged, or proved to have departed from the Catholic Faith in the past, or have fallen into any heresy, or have entered into, fomented or ordered schism, or who shall in the future be detected, acknowledged or proved to have erred (which may God in His loving kindness and universal goodness deign to avert) or fallen into heresy, or have entered into, fomented or ordered schism, shall incur the aforesaid penalties, whatever position, rank, order, condition or pre-eminence they may enjoy, even if they have the dignity of Bishop, Archbishop, Patriarch, Primate or any major ecclesiastical dignity, or the honour of the Cardinalate, or the grant of the office of perpetual or temporary Legate of the Apostolic See in any place, or if they possess the worldly authority and honour of a Count, Baron, Marquis, Duke, King or Emperor.
Further we consider that it is fitting that those who will not abstain from wickednesses for love of virtue should be restrained from them by fear of punishment; and that erring Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals, Legates, Counts, Barons, Marquises, Dukes, Kings and Emperors (who ought to teach others and be a good example to them, so that they may be preserved in the Catholic Faith) sin more grievously than other men, for they send to perdition and destruction not only themselves, but countless others committed to their charge and rule. So, with the advice and consent of our Cardinals, by this our permanently valid enactment, in detestation of so great an offence (than which there can be no greater or more pernicious in the Church of God), out of the plenitude of our Apostolic power, we ordain, declare and define that, by virtue of the aforesaid sentences, censures and penalties remaining in their strength and efficacy, and by the decisions resulting from them in practice, all (the above-mentioned dignitaries) who have aided, acknowledged or connived at the aforesaid falling or entering into heresy, or entering into, stirring up, or ordering schism, together with those who (shall do so) in the future, since they are in this matter more inexcusable than others, shall, in addition to the aforesaid sentences, censures and penalties, be deprived perpetually "ipso facto" and declared fully and totally incapable of the exercise of their function without any legal or practical process. (This is to apply) whether they preside over Cathedral Sees, even if they be Metropolitan Sees, Patriarchates, Primatial Sees, or even if they enjoy the Cardinalate or any kind of Legatine or personal authority, active or passive. They are also to be deprived of monasteries, benefices, Church offices, whether pastoral or not, secular or regular, and of any order whatsoever, which they may have obtained in any way from any Apostolic concession and dispensation, whether titular, "in commendam," administrative or otherwise, or to which they may have any legal claim. They are also to be deprived of any fruits, dues and payments; (and all this is to apply) also to the dignities of Count, Baron, Marquis, Duke, King and Emperor. Even if they have previously abjured heresy of this kind by public confession, they are to be accounted as having relapsed and become corrupt in every respect; nor at any time will they be able to be restored or returned to their former (aforesaid) rank. But they shall be abandoned to the judgment of the secular power for due punishment unless, because of the appearance in them of signs of true penitence and fruits of worthy penance, they shall be confined, by the kindness and clemency of the Holy See, in some monastery or other religious place to spend the rest of their life with the bread of sorrow and the water of affliction. So they are to be held, considered and counted by all who enjoy any rank, grade, order or pre-eminence in any of (the above-mentioned) ecclesiastical dignities or in any greater one, also by those honoured with the Cardinalate, and by those who enjoy any (above-said) earthly pre-eminence; and as heretics they are to be avoided and deprived of all human assistance.
And those who claim the right of patronage or of appointment of suitable persons to (the types of ecclesiastical benefices enumerated above) or to other Church benefices becoming vacant through deprivation in this manner, are bound to present fit persons to churches, monasteries and benefices of this kind within the time laid down by law or by the Concordats or compacts between themselves and the Holy See, whether with us or with the Roman Pontiff reigning at the time in question; this is to be done so that these benefices may not experience hardships because of a long delay in appointment but may, after they have been rescued from the bondage of heretics, be granted to fit persons who will have faithful affection towards their people in the paths of righteousness.
Furthermore, those who shall dare knowingly in any way to receive or defend persons thus accused either as a result of personal confession or legal proof, or who favour them or believe or propagate their doctrines, shall incur "ipso facto" the sentence of excommunication and shall be disgraced. They may not be allowed to take part personally, by letter or messenger or any representative in any public or private transaction or consultation, in General or provincial Councils, the Conclave of Cardinals, any congregation of the faithful, or in the election of any person; nor may they act as legal witnesses. They may not make wills or succeed to an inheritance; nor may any one be legally compelled to satisfy them in business matters. If they are judges, their decisions have no validity and fresh cases may not be brought before them for a hearing; if they are lawyers, their services may in no way be accepted; if they are notaries, documents drawn up by them have no validity or significance whatsoever. Clerics and laity who have obtained from such persons any (of the types of ecclesiastical or secular dignity mentioned above) shall "ipso facto" be deprived of them and the (secular functions and possessions concerned) shall be declared vacant, although those who originally occupied them may be confirmed in their rights and property if they are in the truth of the Faith and in obedience to us and our successors canonically succeeding us as Roman Pontiffs.
We add that if at any time it shall appear that any (of the aforesaid Church dignitaries) or even a Roman Pontiff before his promotion to the Cardinalate or elevation to the Pontificate had fallen away from the Catholic Faith or fallen into heresy or entered into or fomented or ordered schism, his promotion or elevation shall ipso facto, even if it had been made with the harmonious and unanimous consent of all the Cardinals, be null and void. And the argument that they have received the gift of consecration or the possession of administrative authority which results from it, or the enthronement or veneration as Roman Pontiff, or the obedience promised to him by all, or the argument of their career in the previously mentioned offices for any length of time, may have no past or present value; nor may it be held as valid in their favour in any respect. It is not to be regarded as having given or as giving any power of administration in spiritual or temporal matters to such men when raised to (the Church offices above-mentioned). On the contrary, everything whatsoever which is said, done, performed and effected by them and whatever results therefrom, is lacking in force and is of no legal validity; those who have been thus promoted and elevated are to be deprived ipso facto, without any need for a declaratory process, of every dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power. This is to apply without exception to all those thus promoted and elevated, even if they have not previously fallen away (openly) from the Faith, or become heretics, or entered into or stirred up or committed schism.
Those who shall have assisted in the election of a Pontiff who has previously deserted the Faith for heresy or schism, or those who shall have otherwise consented to his election and given him their obedience and paid reverence to him, shall forfeit, with no redress, any obedience or loyalty due to them from subordinate persons, whether secular or regular clergy, laity, Castellans, Seneschals, Prefects, Captains and officials of our dear City and the whole States of the Church, even if these have done homage to those thus promoted and elevated, either by oath or by a contract with obligations and penalties. Such subordinate persons are to avoid the condemned persons as sorcerers, heathens, publicans and heresiarchs; but the fidelity and obedience due from subordinate persons to future (higher ecclesiastics of the ranks mentioned above), who will succeed canonically (to the deposed dignitaries), shall remain in full force. If they wish to call in the help of the secular arm for the greater confusion of the government and administration of those thus promoted and elevated, then those who would desert fidelity and obedience to offending persons (of the type mentioned above) will not be liable--as are those who rend the tunic of the Lord--to the imposition of any censures or penalties.
This enactment is to be binding notwithstanding anything stated previously to the contrary by Apostolic constitutions, ordinances, privileges, indults and Apostolic letters to the above-mentioned (higher ecclesiastics) under any wording and form whatsoever, whatever clauses and decrees they may contain, even if they are "Motu Proprio" and from clear knowledge and from the plenitude of Apostolic power, whether they have been granted in Consistory or in any other way, even if they have been approved and renewed repeatedly or in a session of the Conclave, with an oath or Apostolic confirmation, and incorporated in Canon Law or strengthened by any other authority or sworn to by ourselves. The meaning of any such documents is to be interpreted in the light of the present enactment, with the above provisos inserted where required. In all other respects they are to remain in full force, although in this particular instance we specially and expressly countermand the original provisions, whatever may have been enacted to the contrary.
In order that the present enactment may be brought to the notice of all whom it may concern, we desire that a copy of it (in which, if signed personally by a public notary and sealed by a recognized ecclesiastical dignitary, we command full credence to be placed) should be publicly displayed in the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles by our messengers, and in the Apostolic Chancery and the Campo dei Fiori. Copies of what is exposed there are to be sent to various places. The copies displayed will obtain sufficient publication, exposition and circulation in this way and shall be accounted as authoritative and legally valid and no other proclamation should be required or expected.
It is to be permitted to no man, therefore, to challenge this statement of the things to which we have assented and of those which we have renewed, forbidden, decreed, suspended, willed and enacted, or with rash presumption to contravene it. But if any one should presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the anger of Almighty God and of His blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's, in the year of the Lord's Incarnation 1559 on the fifteenth day (before the) Kalends of March, in the fourth year of our Pontificate.
[The signatures of the Pope and of thirty-one Cardinals follow, by which particularly the provisions concerning the candidates to the Papacy were to be corroborated.]
4. Bull "Regnans in Excelsis" of Pope Pius V excommunicating
and deposing Queen Elizabeth I of England, February 25,
Original Latin text in Magnum Bullarium Romanum, ed. Cherubini, vol. II, p. 303
After the death of the English king, Henry VIII, and the reign of Edward VI, in which the advance of Protestantism within the schismatic Anglican Church continued, Queen Mary, a daughter of Henry VIII, made official restoration of Catholicism. Mary, however, died childless and her successor Elizabeth I, another daughter of Henry VIII, immediately broke with Rome by inducing Parliament to proclaim her as Supreme Governor of the Church of England in 1559. The new settlement was buttressed by the Act of Supremacy (see Doc. No. 1 in this chapter).
For the first ten years of the reign, Catholics who did not accept the new position were debarred from public offices and fined for non-attendance at Anglican services, but there was no physical persecution. Such was the situation at the date of Pope Pius V's sudden excommunication and deposition of Elizabeth in the present Bull, which is an individual application of the general Papal theory as stated by Pope Paul IV (see the preceding Document). The sentence is in line with similar Papal actions against European rulers in the Middle Ages (see in Chap. II, Doc. No. 4, and in Chap. III, Doc. No. 8 ). However, from the practical point of view it proved to be ineffective. The Bull came a year too late to give any assistance to the last armed Catholic rebellion in England (the Northern Revolt of 1569) and its result was to stiffen the attitude of the Elizabethan government and so to make conditions worse for the English Catholic community and the devoted missionaries (such as Blessed Edmund Campion) who were to arrive from the Continent to attempt the reconversion of the country. The Pope's attitude may be ex- plained by the difficulties of direct communication with Catholic sources inside England. Elizabeth's government had set up a virtual "Iron Curtain" in religious contact with Catholic continental States, and Pius V was therefore forced to rely largely on the opinions of exiled Catholic refugees from England, who were necessarily out of touch with the situation inside their homeland and who appear to have taken an optimistic view of the effects of the Papal action. Perhaps it was from these sources also that Pius V obtained the information (mentioned in the Bull) that Elizabeth had introduced Calvinist organization and practices into the Anglican Church. Other evidence, however, makes clear that she was, throughout her reign, markedly anti-Calvinist, and did in fact even persecute the Puritans, the Calvinist wing of the Church of England.
Pius the Bishop, servant of the servants of God, for a perpetual memorial of the matter.
He who reigns on high, to Whom is given all power in Heaven and on earth, has entrusted His holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which there is no salvation, to one person alone on earth, namely to Peter the Prince of the Apostles, and to Peter's successor, the Roman Pontiff, to be governed (by him) with plenitude of power. Him alone He appointed Prince over all nations and kingdoms, to root up, pull down, waste, destroy, plant and build, so that he might preserve his faithful people linked together by the bond of mutual charity in the unity of the Spirit, and might present them, saved and blameless, to their Saviour.
In the fulfilment of this office, we, called by the goodness of God to the government of the aforesaid Church, spare no labour, striving with all zeal to preserve intact that unity and Catholic religion which its Author has allowed to be disturbed with such great tribulations for the proving of His people's faith and for our correction. But the number of the ungodly has grown so strong in power, that no place is left in the world which they have not tried to corrupt with their abominable doctrines; among others assisting in this work is the servant of vice, Elizabeth, pretended Queen of England, with whom, as in a place of sanctuary, the most nefarious wretches have found refuge. This same woman, having acquired the kingdom and outrageously usurped for herself the place of Supreme Head of the Church in all England and its chief authority and jurisdiction, has again plunged that same kingdom back into a wretchedly unhappy condition, after it had so recently been reclaimed for the Catholic Faith and prosperity.
For having by force prohibited the practice of the true religion
(which had been formerly overthrown by Henry VIII, an apostate from it, and restored by Mary, the legitimate queen of famous memory, with the help of this See) and following and embracing the errors of heretics, she has altered the composition of the royal Council representing the nobility of England and has filled it with obscure heretical men; she has suppressed the followers of the Catholic Faith, appointed shameful preachers and ministers of impieties, and abolished the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, fastings, choice of meats, celibacy and Catholic ceremonies; and she has commanded that books containing manifest heresy should be distributed throughout the whole kingdom and that impious rites and institutions (accepted and observed by herself according to Calvin's precept) should be observed by her subjects also. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices and to bestow these and other ecclesiastical things upon heretics and she has also presumed to decide legal cases within the Church. She has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Roman Church or to obey its orders and its canonical sanctions. She has forced most of them to assent to her wishes and laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the Roman Pontiff and to recognize her by oath as sole mistress in temporal and spiritual affairs; she has imposed pains and penalties on those who would not obey her commands and has exacted them from those who persevered in the unity of faith and the aforesaid obedience; she has cast Catholic bishops and rectors of churches into prison, where many of them, worn out with long weariness and sorrow, have miserably ended their span of life. All these things are clear and notorious to all nations and proved by the most weighty testimony of so many that there is no room whatever for excuse, defence or evasion.
We have seen that the impieties and crimes have been multiplied, one upon the other, and that also the persecution of the faithful and the affliction of religion through the pressure and action of the said Elizabeth grows greater every day, and since we understand her spirit to be hardened and obstinate--so that she has not only set at naught the pious prayers and warnings of Catholic princes concerning her soundness of mind and conversion, but she has not even allowed the Nuncios of this See to cross into England for this purpose --we are necessarily compelled to take up against her the weapons of justice, although we can not disguise our sorrow that we are thus forced to proceed against one whose ancestors have deserved so well of the Commonwealth of Christendom. But being strengthened by the authority of Him, Who willed to place us on the supreme throne of justice though unequal to so great a burden, out of the plenitude of our Apostolic power we declare the aforesaid Elizabeth to be heretic and an abetter of heretics, and we declare her, together with her supporters in the above-said matters, to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the Body of Christ.
Furthermore we declare her to be deprived of her pretended claim to the aforesaid kingdom and of all lordship, dignity and privilege whatsoever.
Also we declare that the lords, subjects and peoples of the said kingdom, and all others who have sworn allegiance to her in any way, are perpetually absolved from any oath of this kind and from any type of duty in relation to lordship, fidelity and obedience; consequently we absolve them by the authority of our present statements, and we deprive the same Elizabeth of her pretended claim to the kingdom and of all other claims mentioned previously. And we command and forbid all and sundry among the lords, subjects, peoples and others aforesaid that they have not to obey her or her admonitions, orders or laws. We shall bind those who do the contrary with a similar sentence of excommunication.
Because it would be too difficult for the present words to be conveyed to those who need them, we desire that copies of them bearing the signature of a public notary and the sign of a prelate of the Church or his office, should have the same authentic strength before justice and extra-judicially and produce everywhere the same effect as this present document would produce, if submitted or shown.
Given at Rome at St. Peter's, in the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 1570, on the fifth day (before the) Kalends of March, in the fifth year of our Pontificate.
5. Edict of Nantes enacted by Henry IV, King of France,
April 13, 1598
Original French text in Dumont, Corps universel diplomatique du droit
des gens, vol. V-1, p. 545
The wars of religion in France had been terminated by the ascent to the throne of the formerly Huguenot (French Calvinist) Henry IV. The Edict of Nantes represents Henry's solution to secure a religious "modus vivendi" for the restoration of political harmony in his kingdom; the enactment was issued after the conclusion of the Peace of Vervins with Spain ( 1598) had freed the land from foreign war.
The Edict is a bulky and detailed document of ninety-two articles (and a few annexes) from which the most important general provisions have been selected here. Members of both the Catholic and "so-called Reformed" religions are to be personally equal before the law and are to be capable of holding any public office (Arts. XXII and XXVII). Certain localities are to be set aside in which Huguenot worship is to be freely public (Art. IX), but its public practice outside these areas (the greatest centres of Huguenot population, enumerated in the Edict) is forbidden in Art. XIII. An attempt is to be made at a fresh start in mutual harmony by the ending of hatreds deriving from the religious wars (Arts. I, II and XCII). Catholic ecclesiastical possessions seized by the Huguenots are to be returned to their proper use (Art. III), while Catholics are ordered, in Art. VI, not to give physical molestation to Huguenots. An annexe to the Edict singles out certain towns to be garrisoned by the Huguenots under royal authority; these were to be their "cities of refuge."
The phrase "so-called Reformed religion" was not intended to be pejorative. Henry uses the official title of the religion to which he once belonged and the insertion of the qualification "so-called" is explained by the fact that he is legislating as a Catholic king for a predominantly Catholic kingdom.
Pope Clement VIII viewed the promulgation of the Edict with misgiving, but issued no official condemnation since Henry assured him that the concessions were made purely by reason of the expediency of the moment. In France the Edict met with many criticisms from Catholic quarters and the Parliament of Paris in spite of the Edict's strict final injunctions had to be compelled by the king to register it as a law to be applied in the kingdom. It did not prove to be a permanent settlement. In 1629 the Huguenots were forced by Cardinal Richelieu, after they had attempted to revolt with English support, to forfeit their military privileges. And in 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked by king Louis XIV (see Chap. VI, Doc. No. 2 ).
Henry, by the grace of God King of France and of Navarre, to all present and future greeting.
Among the infinite graces which it pleased God to bestow upon us, one of the most significant and remarkable is that He gave us the strength and power not to succumb to terrifying troubles, confusions and disorders which existed at our accession to the kingdom, which was divided into so many parts and factions that the most just of them was in the minority; nevertheless He so strengthened us against this vexation that we finally overcame it and now have reached the harbour of salvation and repose of this State.--
Having truly and happily triumphed by the grace of God (in the civil war), and as arms and hostilities have been given up by all in the whole of the kingdom, we hope that there will be equal success in the other matters which remain to be settled therein, and that by this means we shall arrive at the establishment of a good peace and quiet repose, which has always been the goal of all our vows and intentions and the prize which we desire for the many trials and labours through which we have passed in the course of our life. Among the aforesaid matters, in which it has been necessary to preserve patience, one of the principal has been the complaints that we have received from several of our Catholic provinces and towns, to the effect that the practice of the Catholic religion has not been everywhere re-established as laid down by the Edicts made previously for the pacification of disputes connected with religion. Likewise supplications and remonstrances have been made to us by our subjects of the so-called Reformed religion, both about the lack of execution of that which has been granted to them by the aforesaid Edicts, and about that which they desire to be added thereto for the practice of the aforesaid religion, for the liberty of their consciences and the safety of their persons and fortunes; they profess to have good reason for new and greater apprehensions because of the recent troubles and currents of which they believe that the leading motives and pretexts were aiming at their ruin.--
In order that we might not take upon ourselves too much business at one time, and also because the fury of arms is not at all congenial to the appropriate and satisfactory framing of laws, we have always put off this task from one occasion to another. But now that it has pleased God to begin to make us enjoy better quiet, we have judged that we could not employ it better than in attending to that which concerns the glory of His Holy Name and His service, and in ensuring that he can be worshipped and prayed to by all our subjects; and if it has not pleased Him yet to allow that there should be a single common religion, let there at least be a single intention, with an arrangement so that there is no more trouble or tumult between our subjects.
For these reasons, having well and carefully weighed and considered this whole problem with the advice of the princes of our blood, other princes and officers of the Crown, and other great and prominent persons of our Council of State being present with us,
We have by this perpetual and irrevocable Edict pronounced, declared, and ordained and we pronounce, declare and ordain:
Art. I. Firstly, that the memory of everything done on both sides from the beginning of the month of March, 1585, until our accession to the Crown and during the other previous troubles, and at the outbreak of them, shall remain extinct and suppressed, as if it were something which had never occurred. And it shall not be lawful or permissible to our Procurators-General or to any other persons, public or private, at any time or on any pretext whatsoever, to institute a case, lawsuit or action in any Court or judicial tribunals whatever (concerning those things).
Art. II. We forbid all our subjects, of whatever rank and quality they may be, to renew the memory of these matters, to attack, be hostile to, injure or provoke each other in revenge for the past, whatever may be the reason and pretext; or to dispute, argue or quarrel about it, or to do violence, or to give offence in deed or word, but let them restrain themselves and live peaceably together as brothers, friends and fellow-citizens, on pain of being liable to punishment as disturbers of the peace and troublers of public quiet.
Art. III. We ordain that the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion shall be restored and re-established in all places and districts of this our kingdom and the countries under our rule, where its practice has been interrupted, so that it can be peacefully and freely practiced there, without any disturbance or hindrance. We forbid very expressly all persons of whatever rank, quality or condition they may be, under the aforesaid penalties, not to disturb, molest or cause annoyance to clerics in the celebration of the Divine worship, the enjoyment and receipt of tithes, fruits and revenues of their benefices, and all other rights and duties which belong to them; and we ordain that all those who during the disorders have come into possession of churches, houses, goods and revenues belonging to the said clerics, and who retain and occupy them, shall give back the entire possession and enjoyment of them, with such rights, liberties and safeguards as they had before they were seized. We also forbid very expressly those of the so-called Reformed religion to hold prayer meetings or any devotions of the aforesaid religion in churches, houses and dwellings of the above-said clerics.--
Art. VI. And in order not to leave any cause for discords and disputes between our subjects, we have permitted and we permit those of the so-called Reformed religion to live and dwell in all the towns and districts of this our kingdom and the countries under our rule, without being annoyed, disturbed, molested or constrained to do anything against their conscience, or for this cause to be sought out in their houses and districts where they wish to live, provided that they conduct themselves in other respects according to the provisions of our present Edict.--
Art. IX. We also permit those of the aforesaid religion to carry out and continue its practice in the towns and districts under our rule, where it was established and carried out publicly several distinct times in the year 1597, until the end of the month of March, notwithstanding all decrees and judgments to the contrary.--
Art. XIII. We forbid very expressly all those of the aforesaid religion to practice it in so far as ministration, regulation, discipline or public instruction of children and others is concerned, in this our kingdom and the countries under our rule, in matters concerning religion, outside the places permitted and conceded by the present Edict.--
Art. XXI. Books dealing with the matters of the aforesaid socalled Reformed religion shall not be printed and sold publicly, except in the towns and districts where the public exercise of the said religion is allowed. And with regard to other books which shall be printed in other towns, they shall be seen and inspected by our officials and theologians as laid down by our ordinances. We forbid very specifically the printing, publication and sale of all diffamatory books, tracts and writings, under the penalties contained in our ordinances, instructing all our judges and officials to carry out this ruling strictly.
Art. XXII. We ordain that there shall be no difference or distinction, because of the aforesaid religion, in the reception of students to be instructed in Universities, Colleges and schools, or of the sick and poor into hospitals, infirmaries and public charitable institutions.--
Art. XXVII. In order to reunite more effectively the wills of our subjects, as is our intention, and to remove all future complaints, we declare that all those who profess or shall profess the aforesaid socalled Reformed religion are capable of holding and exercising all public positions, honours, offices, and duties whatsoever, Royal, seigneurial, or offices in the towns of our kingdom, countries, lands and lordships subject to us, notwithstanding all contrary oaths, and of being admitted and received into them without distinction; it shall be sufficient for our courts of Parliament and other judges to ascertain and enquire concerning the life, morals, religion and honest behaviour of those who are or shall be appointed to offices, whether of one religion or the other, without exacting from them any oath other than that of well and faithfully serving the King in the exercise of their functions and keeping the ordinances, as has been perpetually the custom. During vacancies in the aforesaid positions, functions and offices, we shall make--in respect of those which shall be in our disposition--appointments without bias or discrimination of capable persons, as the unity of our subjects requires it. We declare also that members of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion can be admitted and received into all Councils, conferences, assemblies and gatherings which are connected with the offices in question; they can not be rejected or prevented from enjoying these rights on grounds of the said religion.--
Art. XCII. And for greater security of the behaviour and conduct which we expect with regard to it (sc. the Edict), we will, command and desire that all the Governors and LieutenantsGeneral of our provinces, Bailiffs, Seneschals and other ordinary judges in towns in our aforesaid kingdom, immediately after the reception of this Edict, swear to cause it to be kept and observed, each one in his own district; likewise the mayors, sheriffs, captains, consuls and magistrates of the towns, annual and perpetual. We also enjoin our said bailiffs, seneschals or their lieutenants and other judges, to cause the principal inhabitants from both religions in the above-mentioned towns to swear to respect the present Edict immediately after its publication. We place all those of the said towns in our protection and safe keeping, each religion being placed in the safe keeping of the other; and we wish them to be instructed respectively and by public acts to answer by due legal process any contraventions of our present Edict which shall be made in the said towns by their inhabitants, or to make known the said contraventions and put them into the hand of justice.
We command our beloved and loyal people who hold our Courts of Parliament, "Chambres des Comptes" and courts of aids that immediately after the present Edict has been received, they are bound, all business being suspended and under penalty of nullity for any acts which they shall make otherwise, to take an oath similar to the above and to make this our Edict to be published and registered in our above-mentioned Courts according to its proper form and meaning, purely and simply, without using any modifications, rectifications, declarations or secret registering and without waiting for further order or commandment from us; and we order our Procurators-General to demand and ensure immediately and without delay the aforesaid publication.--
For such is our pleasure. As witness thereof we have signed the present enactment with our own hand, and in order that it may be sure and stable permanently, we have placed and affixed our Seal to it.
Given at Nantes in the month of April, in the year of grace 1598, the ninth year of our reign.
6. Religious Clauses of the Peace of Westphalia
(Treaty of Osnabrueck, October 24, 1648)
Original Latin text in Luenig, Das Teutsche Reichsarchiv,
"Pars generalis", vol. I, p. 831
The Peace of Westphalia brought to a close the Thirty Years War. This war had begun as a dispute over the throne of Bohemia, but had rapidly developed into a struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism in Germany. At first the Catholics, headed by the Austrian Habsburgs, had the better of it, the high-water mark of their success being the Emperor Ferdinand II's Edict of Restitution of 1629, which restored to Catholic hands all ecclesiastical property acquired by the Protestants since the Treaty of Passau in 1552 (see about the so-called "reservatum ecclesiasticum" in Germany above, Doc. No. 2 of this chapter). The Catholic success was, however, shortlived, for the next decade saw the intervention of Sweden and France (although the latter was a Catholic Power) in support of the German Protestants. When it finally became clear that neither side could hope to secure a decisive ascendancy, negotiations for a settlement were begun and these were brought to fruition in the Peace of Westphalia, embodied in two treaties (the French and Swedish sections of the settlement were signed at the Westphalian towns of Muenster and Osnabrueck respectively).
The important religious provisions are contained in the Treaty of Osnabrueck between the Emperor and Sweden from which the Articles given below are taken. The Treaty of Muenster was mostly concerned with political matters other than religion. But even this treaty, although concluded between two Catholic Powers, France and the Emperor, explicitly rejected in advance protests against the Peace made on the grounds of Canon Law, Concordats with the Papacy or Papal privileges. That, however, could not prevent Pope Innocent X from attacking most emphatically the religious clauses of the Peace of Westphalia in his condemnatory Bull Zelo domus Dei (see the next Document).
While not abandoning hope of a final reunion of Christendom (Art. V, sec. 14), the Peace confines itself to obtaining a practical compromise settlement. Restitution of ecclesiastical property on either side is to go back no further than the year 1624, with the principle of cuius regio, eius religio, laid down in the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, as the basis of the future order (cf. the Religious Peace of Augsburg above, Doc. No. 2 in this chapter). The Treaties of Passau and Augsburg are confirmed as still binding in principle, although new territorial modifications were bound to reflect on their provisions (Art. V-1). A certain amount of individual toleration is given to Catholics living in Protestant territories and vice versa (Art. V-34), while Catholic Canon Law is no longer to claim authority over Protestant states (Art. V-48). Another interesting innovation of the Peace of Westphalia, as compared with that of Augsburg, is that the toleration previously enjoyed by Catholics and Lutherans only is to be extended to Calvinists also but to no other sects (Art. VII, sec. 1 and 2).
The recognition of the validity of religious changes made before 1624 was to the advantage of Protestantism, for it disposed of Ferdinand II's Restitution Edict of 1629. As already mentioned, any protest from the Papacy or from any other authority against this was specifically ruled out in advance in the Treaty of Osnabrueck (Art. XVII-3) and also in the Treaty of Muenster.
The spirit of political expediency--as manifested in Catholic France's support of the Protestant side against her traditional Habsburg enemies of Austria and Spain--is dominant in the Peace of Westphalia; the settlement was a noteworthy step on the path to an international order divorced from religious considerations in politics. The Peace remained valid and was a fundamental law of the German Constitution until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.
Art. V, sec. 1. The arrangement initiated at Passau in 1552 and the religious peace confirming it in 1555, as also those things agreed upon at Augsburg in 1566 and afterwards in various general assemblies of the Holy Roman Empire, have been confirmed in all their details by the unanimous consent of the Emperor, Electors, Princes and Estates of each religion; they are to be considered as being ratified from beginning to end and are to be observed in a faithful and inviolable manner. Therefore those things which have been decreed by this common agreement of the parties on certain disputed articles of the previously mentioned arrangements shall be observed in legal and other matters, until by God's grace unity shall be reached in religion; (this agreement shall apply) notwithstanding gainsaying or protest put forward by any authority whatever, ecclesiastical or political, inside or outside the Empire at any time; all such protests are proclaimed to be null and void by virtue of the present statement. In all other matters there shall be exact and mutual equality among all the Electors, Princes and Estates of each religion, as far as is conformable to the interests of the commonwealth, the constitutions of the Empire and the present agreement, so that what is just for one party shall also be just for the other; and all violence and physical force in these as in other matters shall be perpetually forbidden for either side.
Art. V, sec. 2. The point from which should be commenced the restitution of ecclesiastical possessions and the reversal of any political changes which have been made in their regard shall be the first day of January, 1624.--
Art. V, sec. 14. As for ecclesiastical possessions, whether they be Archbishoprics, Bishoprics, Prelacies, Abbeys, Bailiwicks, Provostships, Commanderies, or free secular foundations, or any others, with the revenues, rents and all other things of whatever description, situated inside or outside the towns; the Catholic Estates or those following the Augsburg Confession, whichever possessed them on the first day of January, 1624, shall possess them entirely, unreservedly, peacefully and without disturbance, until a settlement is reached (which may it be God's Will to bring about) over the conflicts concerning religion; and it shall not be lawful for either of the parties to disturb the other judicially or by any other means, nor cause it any trouble or annoyance. And in the event that it may not be possible to settle amicably the religious differences (which may it not be God's Will to allow), the present agreement shall serve as a permanent law and the Peace shall have perpetual validity.-Art. V, sec. 34. It has also been decided that those adherents to the Confession of Augsburg who are subjects of Catholics, as also Catholics who are subjects of Estates of the Confession of Augsburg, who did not enjoy before 1624 at any time the public or private practice of their religion, or who after the publication of peace at any time in the future shall profess and embrace a different religion from the lord of their territory, shall be allowed patiently and with a free conscience to frequent privately their place of worship without being subjected to enquiry or disturbed; and they shall not be prevented from taking part in the public exercise of their religion in their neighbourhood where and as many times as they wish, or to send their children for education in schools belonging to their religion or to private tutors at home.--
Art. V. sec. 48. Let diocesan law and all ecclesiastical jurisdiction in all its forms directed against the Electors, Princes, Estates (including the free nobility of the Empire) and subjects espousing the Confession of Augsburg be suspended pending the Christian settlement of the religious differences both between the Catholics and the followers of the Confession of Augsburg and also between the Estates themselves of the Confession of Augsburg, and let diocesan law and ecclesiastical jurisdiction limit themselves to the boundaries of their own territory.--
Art. VII, sec. 1 and 2. By the unanimous consent of His Imperial Majesty and of all the Estates of the Empire, it has been found good that the same right or privilege which all the other Imperial constitutions, the religious peace, the present public treaty, and the settlement of grievances contained therein, accord to Catholic Estates and subjects and to those of the Confession of Augsburg, be also accorded to those who call themselves the Reformed; saving always the pacts, privileges, undertakings and other arrangements which the Estates calling themselves Protestants have laid down between themselves and their subjects and by which regulations have been provided, up till now, concerning religion, the practice of it and matters connected with it, for the Estates and subjects of each place; and saving also the liberty of conscience of each person. And since the differences of religion between the Protestants have not been ended so far, being reserved for a future settlement, and since for this reason they form two parties, it has been accordingly agreed between both parties with regard to the law of the Reformation that if any prince or any lord of territory, or patron of any church, would pass hereafter to the religion of another party, or if he should have acquired or recovered by right of succession, or by virtue of the present treaty, or by any other title, a principality or lordship where the religion of another party is at present professed publicly, he shall be permitted without hindrance to have near him and in his residence special preachers of his own confession for his court; this, however, shall not be at the expense and to the prejudice of his subjects. But it shall not be lawful for him to change the religion officially practised or the ecclesiastical laws or constitutions which were in force previously, or to take away from this religion their temples, schools, hospitals, or the revenues, pensions and salaries thereof and grant them to the members of his own religion; still less to compel his subjects to receive as ministers those of another religion under pretext of territorial law, episcopal law and patronage, or any other pretext, or to give directly or indirectly to the religion of his subjects any other vexation or hindrance. And in order that this agreement may be observed more exactly, it will be allowed, in case of such change, to the communities in question to present or-if they have not the right of presentation--to name capable ministers for the schools as well as for the Church, who will be examined and ordained by the assembly of public ministers of the locality, provided that they are of the same religion as the communities who shall present or nominate them; or in default of this they shall be examined and ordained in the place chosen by the same communities, and shall finally be confirmed by the prince or lord without any refusal.
If, however, any community, when the question of change arises, has embraced the religion of its lord, and should demand at its expense the same worship as that which its prince or lord enjoys, it shall be lawful for the same prince or lord to grant the privilege to that community, without prejudice to his other subjects and without his successors being able to take the privilege away. But Consistories, Visitors for religious affairs, and teachers of Theology and Philosophy at Schools and Universities shall not be of a religion other than that which shall be publicly professed at that time in each place. And as all these provisions should be understood to refer to changes which might occur in the future, they shall carry no prejudice to the rights which belong in this respect to the Prince of Anhalt and other princes. But with the exception of the religions mentioned above, no other shall be tolerated in the Holy Roman Empire.--
Art. XVII, sec. 3. Against this Treaty or any article or clause of it no objections may at any time be put forward, listened to or admitted, whether (they be derived from) Canon or Civil Law, general or particular, Conciliar decrees, privileges, indults, edicts, commissions, prohibitions, orders, decrees, rescripts, legal cases, sentences given at any time, judicial decisions, Imperial and other capitulations, rules or exemptions of religious Orders, protests past or future, contradictions, appeals, investitures, treaties, oaths, renunciations, pacts of any kind, or the Edict of 1629 or the Treaty of Prague with its appendices, or Papal Concordats or the Interim of 1548, or any other political statutes or ecclesiastical decrees, dispensations, absolutions, or any other objections, under whatever name or pretext they may be put forward, nor henceforth may any legal processes or actions, whether inhibitory, petitionary or possessory, be recognized against this Treaty.
7. Bull "Zelo domus Dei" of Pope Innocent X condemning the
Religious Clauses of the Peace of Westphalia,
November 20, 1648
Original Latin text in Magnum Bullarium Romanum, ed. Cherubini,
vol. IV, p. 269
The Papacy had long desired an end to the Thirty Years War and had been active, particularly during Urban VIII's Pontificate, in trying to facilitate negotiations. In the complicated conditions, under which the final Peace was arrived at in 1648, the Nuncio Chigi (later Pope Alexander VII) had played a prominent part as mediator. But when the agreement was drawn up, the Papacy was unable to regard it with approval. The Nuncio protested immediately to the parties concerned; shortly afterwards the present Bull followed in formal condemnation of the religious clauses of the Peace, although any protest against the Peace had been repudiated in advance by both Treaties.
As an example of sustained denunciation and elaborate condemnation the Bull's wording can hardly be surpassed. Both Treaties, of which the Peace consisted, are condemned, although most of the clauses to which the Pope objects are only found in the Treaty of Osnabrueck with Sweden (see these clauses in the preceding Document). Particular objection is taken to the placing of Protestant denominations on the same social and political level with Catholicism by granting them toleration and freedom of worship and by restoring to them the ecclesiastical possessions of which they had been deprived by the Edict of Restitution in 1629. Innocent X also attacks the increase of the number of Electors of the Empire to eight which had been brought about by the division of the former Palatinate Electorate between the Protestant Elector Palatine and the Catholic Elector of Bavaria. In this the old medieval claim of the Papacy to be the supreme legal authority over the Holy Roman Empire reappears (see Chap. III, Doc. No. 5-iii ).
The Pope declares the offending provisions to be null and void from the legal point of view and stipulates that his condemnation shall have perpetual binding force. It is a symptom of the decrease in the political influence of the Papacy at this time that even the Catholic Powers concerned took little notice of the Papal protests. Later the Papacy was gradually driven to a "de facto" acceptance of the terms which it had denounced.
By a zeal for the household of God which continually moves our mind, we have applied ourselves with particular care to preserve the integrity of the orthodox faith and the dignity and authority of the Catholic Church, so that the ecclesiastical rights of which we have been made the defenders by our Lord may not suffer any hurt from those who seek their own interests rather than those of God; and so that we may not be accused of negligence in the administrative task which has been entrusted to us, when we give account of our government to the Sovereign Judge.
Thus it has not been without a very lively feeling of sorrow that we have learnt that by several articles, both in the Peace made separately at Osnabrueck on 6 August, in the year 1648, between our very dear son in Christ Ferdinand, King of the Romans, Emperor- elect, and his allies and adherents on the one side, and the Swedes and their allies and adherents on the other; and in the Peace which was concluded at the same time Muenster in Westphalia on 24 October, in the same year 1648, 1 between the said Ferdinand, King of the Romans, Emperor-elect, and his allies and adherents on the one side, and our very dear son in Jesus Christ, Louis, Most Christian King of the French, and similarly with his allies and adherents on the other, very great prejudice has been done to the Catholic religion, to Divine worship, to the Apostolic Roman See, to smaller churches and to the ecclesiastical order; as also to their jurisdiction, authority, immunities, franchises, liberties, exemptions, privileges, affairs, possessions and rights.
For by various articles of one of these treaties of peace there have been abandoned perpetually to heretics and their successors, among other things, the ecclesiastical possessions which they had at other times seized; the heretics who call themselves followers of the Confession of Augsburg have been allowed the free practice of their heresy in various places; they have been permitted to have assigned to them places in order to build temples for this purpose; they have been admitted with Catholics to public posts and offices, and to several archbishoprics, bishoprics and other ecclesiastical dignities and benefices, and to a share in the "chief prayers" ["preces primariae," i.e. a special Imperial right of appointing a limited number of Canons to Chapters in Germany] which the Apostolic See had granted to the same Ferdinand, King of the Romans, Emperorelect; the annates, the laws about the pallium, confirmations, Papal first-fruits and similar rights and reservations have been suppressed in ecclesiastical possessions of the aforesaid Confession of Augsburg; confirmations of elections or presentations of the so-called archbishops, bishops or prelates of the same Confession have been transferred to secular power; many archbishoprics, bishoprics, monasteries, provostships, bailliages, commanderies, canonries and other benefices and possessions of the Church have been given to heretical princes in perpetual fief, under the title of a secular dignity, with suppression of their ecclesiastical designation; it has been ordained that against this Peace, or any of its articles, there ought not to be cited, attended to or admitted any Canon or Civil laws, general or particular, Conciliar decrees, rules of religious Orders, oaths, Concordats with Roman Pontiffs, or any other ecclesiastical or political statutes, decrees, dispensations, absolutions, or other exceptions; the number of seven Electors of the Empire, ratified previously by
1 The Bull's separate dating of the two peace treaties is due to the fact that the negotiation of the Treaty of Osnabrueck had been terminated earlier than that of the Treaty of Muenster. However, they were both finally signed on the same day.
Apostolic authority, has been increased without our consent and that of the aforesaid See, and the eighth Electorate has been created in favour of Charles Lewis, Count Palatine of the Rhine, a heretic; and many other things disgraceful to relate have been decided, very prejudicial and harmful to the orthodox religion and to the abovesaid Roman See, to lesser churches and to others named above.
All this has been done although our venerable brother Fabius, Bishop of Nardo, Nuncio Extraordinary of ourselves and the Apostolic See in the Rhineland and Lower Germany, has publicly protested in our name and in that of the aforesaid See, in pursuance of our instructions, that these articles had been audaciously drawn up by men who had no power to do so and are valueless, null, unjust and ought to be accounted as such by all; and that it is legally obvious that every arrangement or agreement made concerning ecclesiastical matters without consent of the aforesaid See is null and without any strength and validity.
Nevertheless, desiring that there may be a more effective remedy for the rectification of all the things stated above; wishing to provide for this according to the duty of the pastoral office committed to us from on high; and holding that the accurate meaning and dates of the terms of both Peace Treaties and of all which is contained in them are fully and sufficiently expressed and contained in our present document, as also the meaning and dates of the other things which are logically expressed or contained in it as if they were contained there word by word, we, of our own initiative, from our certain knowledge and mature deliberation, and from the plenitude of Apostolic power, state and declare by the present document that the aforesaid articles of these Treaties, whether considered singly or together, and all other things contained in the said Treaties, which in any way injure or carry even the slightest prejudice--or which could be said, understood, imagined or considered to be able to harm or cause annoyance in any way--to the Catholic religion, Divine worship, the salvation of souls, the said Apostolic Roman See, lesser churches, the ecclesiastical order and estate, and to their persons, members and affairs, possessions, jurisdiction, authority, immunities, liberties, privileges, prerogatives and rights of any kind, with all which has been deduced or shall be deduced from them, are and shall be from the legal point of view perpetually null, void, invalid, wicked, unjust, condemned, reprobated, futile, and without strength and effect; and that no one is bound to observe them all or any of them, even if they have been strengthened by an oath, and that no one has been or is or shall be able to acquire or to claim on their basis for himself at any time any right or function, or valid title, or prescriptive right, even if possession during a long and immemorial time follows without break or interruption, nor are his claims to have any status in law, so that they are to be counted for ever as if they did not exist or as if they had never been made and approved. Moreover, as a more effective precaution--so far as it is necessary-we, from the aforesaid initiative, knowledge, deliberation and plenitude of power, condemn, reprove, quash, annul and deprive of all strength and effect the said articles and all other things prejudicial as stated above, and we protest against them and declare their nullity in God's sight. And so far as it is also necessary we restore, put back and reintegrate fully all things which concern these affairs, the Apostolic Roman See, the lesser churches, and all holy places and ecclesiastical persons in their former and complete status, in the same position in which they had been before the said agreement and all other agreements, treaties or conventions whatsoever, agreed or claimed to be made previously in any place or in any manner whatever, with regard to the matters mentioned above.
We also decree that in the event that the above-named persons and all others equally worthy of special mention and designation, having any interest in or any claim to the aforesaid things or in any one of them, shall not have consented to this present statement, nor have been called, cited or heard, as also if it were objected that the matters as they have been published have not been sufficiently investigated and verified or otherwise justified, this document with all that is contained in it, can not be ever and at any time challenged, rendered invalid, withdrawn, revoked by legal or polemical methods, challenged by law, or found guilty of unjustifiable insertion, omission, nullity or invalidity, or of defect of our intention, or of any other substantial defect unforeseen now, however great it may be, or of any other objection arising from legal or practical grounds, from statute or custom, under whatever cloak, pretext, reason or occasion which can be imagined; but that it is and always shall be valid, firm and effective, and shall extend to and obtain its full and complete effect and shall be in the future inviolably observed by all those whom it concerns or shall concern in any way whatsoever.
And thus and not otherwise, the ordinary judges and delegated auditors of the Apostolic Palace, likewise the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, "Legates a latere" and Nuncios of the same See and all others, whatever authority they now exercise for the present, ought to judge and decide always and in every respect in this manner in all the matters mentioned above; and we deny to each and every one of them the right and authority to judge, declare and interpret otherwise, declaring null and of no effect everything which can be attempted against the present statement, of set purpose or through ignorance, by any person or authority whatever.
Notwithstanding the above-mentioned and any other Apostolic constitutions and decrees, general and special, even those which have been published in General Councils, and notwithstanding also, inasmuch as may be necessary, the Rule of ourselves and the Apostolic Chancery "de non tollendo iure quaesito," and the constitution of Pope Pius IV of happy memory, our predecessor, concerning prerogatives relating to any interest whatever of the Apostolic Camera, which should be presented and registered in the same Camera within a certain time fixed by that constitution, so that it shall not be necessary that the present pronouncement should be presented and registered in the same Camera; notwithstanding also all laws Imperial and municipal and all statutes, usages and customs, even if they are immemorial, privileges, indults, concessions and Apostolic letters, strengthened either by oath or by Apostolic confirmation, or by any other guarantee, and granted to any places and persons whatsoever, whether enjoying Imperial or royal dignity, or any other dignity, ecclesiastical or secular, and designated by any other manner whatsoever, which shall require a special interpretation, as also all similar enactments granted "motu propio," knowledge, deliberation and plenitude of power, even in Consistory under whatever shape or form, and whatever modifying elements they may have, or other more effective and unusual clauses, even annulling decrees and all other statements granted, published, made and restated several times, confirmed, approved and renewed to the prejudice of all the above; to all and to each of these we make exception and we desire that exception be made specially and expressly to all other things whatever, which contradict our statement, even if it should be necessary to do so effectively by means of a special, specific, individual and verbally explicit exception or other expression, and not by general clauses concerning the same thing, or to reserve for it another special form; we account these modes of expression to be as fully and sufficiently stated, as if they were contained word for word in the present statement, with the form that is observed there, which we hold as preserving the character of the things mentioned above.
For the rest we desire that to the copies of this same document, transcribed or printed, signed by the hand of a public notary and confirmed by the seal of a person in possession of an ecclesiastical dignity, should be given in all districts and countries, in judgment or extra-judicially, the same credence which would be given to this present document if it were exhibited or shown in the original.
Given in Rome at St. Mary Major, under the Fisherman's Ring, on the twentieth day of November in the year 1648, in the fifth year of our Pontificate.
8. Brief "Pastorale officium" of Pope Paul III on the Treat-
ment of the Indians in Spanish America, May 29, 1537
Original Latin text in Mirbt, Quellen zur Geschichte des Papstums, p. 270
The settlement of Spanish colonists in the newly discovered American Continent and the conquest of rich and powerful native civilizations in Mexico and Peru raised the problem of the status of the entirely pagan races now subject to European Christian rule. Many of the colonists contended that the Indians were little better than animals, as they did not observe the precepts of Natural Law (the practice of human sacrifice by the Aztecs of Mexico was cited as a proof of this); so there was no injustice in treating them as slaves, for which they were naturally fitted. Against this view the missionaries, of whom the most famous was the Dominican Las Casas, urged that the Indians were rational beings and capable of receiving the saving graces of the faith. A fortiori they had the right to expect fair treatment from their European brethren in the Faith (cf. the Bull Inter caetera above, Chap. IV, Doc. No. 10 ).
In 1537 Pope Paul III came down heavily on the side of those demanding a more liberal treatment for the Indians. In three Bulls of that year he condemned the enslavement of Indians and declared heretical the opinion that they were irrational and incapable of conversion. He also attempted to transfer spiritual authority over the Indians from the Spanish Inquisition (which was under the direct control of the Spanish Crown) to the ordinary episcopate. This was the reason for addressing the Brief, of which the following text is an extract, to the Archbishop of Toledo. The present Brief includes a threat of excommunication to those who would support the opinions and practices concerning the Indians which had been condemned by the Holy See.
The Spanish kings actually gave the Papacy wholehearted support in its policy of a "Fair Deal" for the Indians. The "New Laws" of 1542 for Spanish America, with their prohibition of slavery, were a direct result of the Papal pronouncements of the previous decade. But their provisions with regard to the Indians were only partially applied and many abuses continued to exist, despite ecclesiastical and governmental prohibitions, under the Spanish rule in America.
It has come to our hearing that our very dear son in Christ, Charles, the ever august Emperor of the Romans, who is also King of Castile and Aragon, anxious to check those who, burning with avarice, possess an inhuman spirit, has prohibited all his subjects by public edict from bringing the Western and Southern Indians into slavery, or daring to deprive them of their possessions. These Indians therefore, although they live outside the bosom of the Church, nevertheless have not been, nor are they to be deprived of their freedom or of ownership of their own possessions, since they are human beings and, consequently, capable of faith and salvation. They are not to be destroyed by slavery, but to be invited to life by preaching and example. Furthermore, desiring to repress the shameful deeds of such wicked men and to ensure that the Indians are not alienated by injuries and punishments so that they find it more difficult to embrace the faith of Christ, we lay it as a charge and command by this present letter upon your Circumspection--in whose righteousness, foresight, zeal and experience in these matters and in others we have in the Lord special trust--that either by your own action or by that of others you provide to all the aforesaid Indians the help of an effective defence in the matters referred to previously; and we enjoin that you very strictly forbid all and sundry of whatever dignity, position, condition, rank and excellence, to bring the above-said Indians into slavery in any way or to dare to deprive them of their possessions in any manner under pain, if they do so, of incurring thereby excommunication "latae sententiae," from which they can only be absolved by ourselves or the Roman Pontiff reigning at that time, except if they are at the point of death and have previously made amends.
CHAPTER VI THE AGE OF ABSOLUTISM AND ENLIGHTENMENT
THE exhaustion of Europe at the close of the period of religious wars had led to the almost universal adoption of the principle of cujus regio ejus religio as a solution to the problems of political disunity posed by the religious split. This solution would be especially congenial to the ever more centralized absolute monarchies, even where such régimes remained officially Catholic. The case of the French monarchy during the seventeenth century is a clear indication of this fact. Although France remained Catholic, the royal government and its pliable episcopate were keenly concerned to limit, so far as possible, the practical application of Papal authority to the French Church. Their main theoretical weapons in this attempt were appeals to the traditions of the Conciliar movement of the later Middle Ages and emphasis on the traditional "liberties" (i.e. specific autonomous privileges and customs) of the "Gallican" Church, in particular those asserted by the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges in 1438 (see Chap. IV, Doc. No. 4 ).
Gallican ideas had been revived at the beginning of the seventeenth century by Edmund Richer ( 1559-1631) in his treatise De Ecclesiastica et Politica Potestate. Richer had declared that Papal authority over the Church was limited, not absolute, and that ultimate infallible legislative power rested, not with the Papacy-but with the whole hierarchy of bishops and priests, expressed through the medium of a General Council: coercive means to enforce their decisions were the rightful prerogatives of the secular head of each State. Despite official ecclesiastical condemnations, Richer's theories gained much influence in France and were utilised in a moderate form by Gallican supporters during the conflict between the Papacy and Louis XIV. The Four Articles of 1682 ( Doc. No. 1 ) form the main statement of the Gallican position. Louis's determination to permit no religion in France other than that professed by the monarch found another expression in the ruthless suppression of the Huguenot body in France by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes ( Doc. No. 2 ). Louis's absolutist zeal is thrown into strong relief by the significant lack of enthusiasm of the Papacy for this drastic measure (see Commentary to Doc. No. 2 ).
While the French monarchy was thus asserting uncompromisingly the spirit of cujus regio ejus religio, the principle was being challenged in England. The Anglican Settlement (cf. Chap. V, Doc. Nos. 1 and 4 ) had collapsed in a welter of conflicting sects during the period of the Civil War and Commonwealth ( 16401660). Under the dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell, the Protestant Dissenting (non-Anglican) sects were in the ascendancy and religious toleration became an avowed axiom of government; Catholics, however, were excluded from its scope. The restoration of the monarchy led to attempts by Kings Charles II and James II to grant freedom of worship to Catholics as well as Dissenters; but the intractably Anglican complexion of their Parliaments frustrated their efforts. The temper of these Parliaments is best illustrated under Charles II in the Test Act of 1673 restricting freedom of nonAnglican worship ( Doc. No. 3 ). In the next reign James II tried to achieve toleration by unilateral royal action in the Declaration of Indulgence of 1688 ( Doc. No. 4 ), but this cost him his throne, and subsequent legislation laid down that no future English monarch could ever be a Catholic. The Papacy had strongly supported James's efforts; one of the reasons why Pope Innocent XI disliked Louis XIV's persecution of the Huguenots was his fear of the possible adverse effects on the prospects for toleration of Catholics in England.
The Parliamentary oligarchy which secured control of Great Britain for a century after 1688 was not, however, typical of the general European tendency, which continued to be towards even more centralized absolute monarchy. This development was favoured by the rise of strong new States like Russia and Prussia (see Doc. No. 5 ), but the main exponent of despotism was still France, though defects were beginning to appear in the impressive administrative régime set up by Louis XIV. It is during the eighteenth century that European despots become "enlightened," i.e. they attempt to reconstruct their States on the rationalist reforming principles laid down by thinkers of the movement usually termed the "Enlightenment."
The "Enlightenment" thinkers, of whom Voltaire is an important representative, professed to base their view of life on the deliveries of pure and undiluted reason, free from the prejudicing influences of the emotions. In religious matters they tended to reject the supernatural elements of Christianity and substitute a vague "natural religion" of Deism; they regarded the Church as an anachronistic survival of the superstitious beliefs of earlier and less cultured times and as a bar to the reforms which they desired. Their appeal was for a recasting of traditional patterns of society where these were felt to have no validity, when measured by the standards of common sense. This did not mean that the thinkers of the "Enlightenment" were democrats; on the contrary, most of them hoped to attain their objects through legislation by favourably disposed absolute rulers. Administrative reform, rather than constitutional definition, was their interest. Important European sovereigns, such as Frederic the Great of Prussia and Joseph II of Austria, did in fact absorb these principles and base their legislation on them.
The anti-clerical tinge in the movement expressed itself by a renewed attempt to bring the Church more directly under the control of the secular authorities. In France this is linked up with the continued existence and revival of Gallican particularism while in Germany the theories associated with Febronius (the pseudonym of John Nicholas von Hontheim, Assistant Bishop of Trier) obtained much circulation. Febronius held that all bishops were equal in authority, the primacy of the Papacy being one of honour only. General Councils alone could enjoy the prerogative of infallibility. Although condemned by Pope Clement XIII in 1764, these ideas continued to influence events in Germany in the direction of a splitting-up of the Catholic Church into a federation of semiautonomous national units. The most spectacular effort to put "Febronianism" into practice was made by Emperor Joseph II's policy in Austria tending to regulate, without reference to the Papacy, the position of the Church within his dominions. This policy was inaugurated by the "Toleration Act" of 1781 ( Doc. No. 6 ), by which the non-Catholic Christians in the Hapsburg Lands were given a limited freedom of public worship. Anti-clerical legislation was promulgated in traditionally Catholic countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy, while the greatest victory of the "enlightened despots" came when Pope Clement XIV, under pressure, dissolved the Society of Jesus (regarded as the most powerful opponent of the new policies) in 1774.
A current of a more radical and revolutionary thought is associated with the name of Jean-Jacques Rousseau who denounced what he regarded as the arid rationalism of the Enlightenment and looked on intuition and feeling as safer guides than abstract reason. In politics, Rousseau advocated a centralized republican democracy to express the sovereign General Will of the people, the source of all law and political obligation. Rousseau was bitterly anti-Catholic and his ideas on the place of religion within the State were clearly at variance with traditional Catholic teaching. He was to be one of the main inspirers of the "liberal" political movement which was soon to become prominent. The liberals were to claim neutrality in matters of religion and uphold the idea of the nonreligious State.
The United States of America is the first instance of the complete abandonment by a political community of the principle of supporting an "established" State religion (though individual States of the Union did in fact carry over established churches from colonial days; the last to disappear being the Congregational Church in Massachusetts in 1833). No one religion did possess the decisive ascendancy which alone would have made an established Church feasible; Puritan New England and Episcopalian Virginia tended to cancel each other out, while certain States, such as Maryland (originally Catholic) and Pennsylvania (originally Quaker), had been founded on the explicit basis of toleration.
Another factor in the decision of the American "Founding Fathers" to separate Church and State in the Federal Constitution was the influence of the Deist rationalism of the eighteenth century, particularly as interpreted by John Locke and similar English thinkers. The influence of the French thinkers of the "Enlightenment" was also present (though less strongly), particularly in the years immediately following the French Revolution of 1789 which, at first, was greatly acclaimed in America. Doc. No. 7 (consisting of extracts from the Federal Constitution of 1787 and its amendments of 1791, the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776 and Statute of Religious Liberty of 1785, and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776) illustrates the legislative expression of the idea of "separation."
The Catholic Church in America accepted, from the start, separation of Church and State and was, consequently, spared the clash with "liberalism" which fell to the lot of the Church in certain Western European countries where it enjoyed traditional establishment as the sole official religion. The loyalty of the Catholic Church in America to the principle of separation has been consistently affirmed by its spokesmen since the Declaration of Independence, one of whose signatories--Charles Carroll of Maryland--was himself a Catholic. Official American Catholic opinion has, however, never contended that the situation existing in the United States is suited to other countries without exception; local temperament and circumstances must be the guide. "While the union (of Church and State) is ideally best, history assuredly does not prove that it is always practically best. There is a union which is inimical to the interests of religion and, consequently, to the State; and there is a separation that is inimical to the interests of religion and, consequently, to the State; and there is a separation that is for the best interests of both." ( Cardinal Gibbons.)
The work of the Church in Spanish America continued through-out this period to operate for the benefit of non-European races. The efforts of the Jesuits in Paraguay, who were officially recognized as protectors of the Indians in that area ( Doc. No. 8 ), were outstanding in this respect.
Declaration of the Gallican Clergy, March 19, 1682
Original Latin text in Mention, Documents relatifs aux rapports du clergé avec la royauté de 1682 à 1705, p. 26
Commentary The immediate occasion of the long quarrel between the French king Louis XIV and the Papacy, stretching over twenty years, was a dispute over the "ius regalium" (the right of the King to administer and appropriate the revenues of certain dioceses while they were vacant and to appoint, instead of the bishops, the clergy in these dioceses during the episcopal vacancies). In 1673 a royal mandate extended this practice to all dioceses in French territory. Only two bishops were courageous enough to resist and they received the full support of Pope Innocent XI. Tension between King and Pope steadily mounted during the following years and in 1682 the French Government secured an assembly of representatives of the episcopate and churchmen of the country (thirty-six archbishops and bishops and thirty-eight lower clergy), which approved the royal point of view concerning the regalian right and adopted the declaration reproduced below.
The Gallican Declaration--known also as the Four Gallican Articles--appears to have been drafted by the famous divine and court-preacher of Louis XIV, Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux. It was an expression of the centuries-long particularist current in the French clergy, combined with a persistent effort of the French crown to obtain control of the Church within its borders (see the previous important expressions thereof in the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges and the Concordat of Bologna in Chap. IV, Doc. Nos. 4 and 8 ). It was, moreover, in conformity with the general tendency of the absolutist monarchies in Catholic countries to encroach on the jurisdiction of the Papacy (cf. on Josephinism in Austria below, Doc. No. 7 in this chapter).
The ideology of the so-called Gallicanism consisted in two main elements: a tendency of the French Church to have a more or less autonomous organization, and the Conciliar doctrine asserting the subordination of the Papacy to the General Councils. Both these elements are fully present in the Gallican Declaration. The former of them appears in the First and Third Articles of the Declaration.
The First Article denies the old medieval concept of the Papacy that it is entitled to judge and, if necessary, to depose the secular rulers (see the formulations and applications thereof in Chap. II, Doc. Nos. 3, 4, 5 ; Chap. III, Doc. Nos. 5-iv, 8, 10 ; Chap. V, Doc. Nos. 3 and 4 ); this, of course, meant for the Gallican minds in the first place the denial of such a Pontifical right towards the king of France who had become, by the Concordat of Bologna, the protector of the French Church and distributor of its higher benefices. In the Third Article a limitation of the Apostolic authority "by the Canons established by the Holy Spirit" is asserted and the respect for particular French customs is demanded. Both were dangerous propositions for the Papacy because the "Canons established by the Holy Spirit" could imply the anti-Papalist Conciliar decrees, and the French customs could reveal themselves as various Gallican claims presented in the form of old customs.
The element of the Conciliar doctrine is apparent in the Second and Fourth Articles. By the "decrees" of the Council of Constance, mentioned in the Second Article, the contents of what is generally known as the decree Sacrosancta are meant (see in Chap. IV, Doc. No. 2 ); this decree, proclaiming the superiority of the Council over the Pontiff, had been confirmed by the Council of Basel and included in the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (Chap. IV, Doc. No. 4 ). The conception of the Council's superiority over the Papacy is reflected in the Fourth Article declaring that the Papal decisions are unchangeable only if approved by the Church, i.e. by a General Council; as its wording implies a challenge to the final character of the Pontifical decisions, this Article would legalize the appeals from Pope to Council which had been emphatically condemned and prohibited by Pius II Bull Execrabilis in 1460 (see in Chap. IV, Doc. No. 7 ).
The Papacy resolutely opposed the Declaration and in 1690 its Articles were declared null and void by the Bull Inter multiplices of Pope Alexander VIII, who simultaneously denounced the claims of the French king to the extension of his regalian rights. By that time Louis XIV was feeling the need for a rapprochement with the Papacy and in 1693, under Pope Innocent XII, a compromise was reached; the clerics who had subscribed to the Declaration made their submission to Rome, while the King withdrew his support from the Gallican Articles. The spirit which the Articles embodied was, however, to be active in the French Church throughout the eighteenth century--particularly among the adherents of Jansenism-and was to express itself in another form in the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1790 (see Chap. VII, Doc. No. 1 ).
Many are endeavouring to subvert the decrees of the Gallican Church and the liberties for which our forefathers fought with such zeal, and their foundations based on the holy Canons and the tradition of the Fathers; nor are those people absent who, in the pretended defence of these liberties do not lack the daring to assault the primacy conferred by Christ on blessed Peter and his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, and the obedience owed to them by all Christians, and the Majesty of the Apostolic See, by which the Faith is taught and the unity of the Church is preserved and revered by all the nations. The heretics also leave nothing undone to show that this authority, which preserves the peace of the Church, is hostile and oppressive to kings and peoples and they detach simple minds by such trickery from Mother Church and from the visible communion of Christ. In order that we may repulse such undesirable notions, we, the archbishops and bishops gathered in Paris by royal command, representing the Gallican Church, together with other churchmen deputed to be with us, have given exhaustive consideration to the matter and have decided that the following articles should be promulgated and declared: 1. Power has been conferred by God on blessed Peter and his successors, Vicars of Christ Himself, a power over the spiritual things of the Church and those which pertain to eternal salvation, but not over civil and temporal matters. For the Lord Himself said: "My kingdom is not of this world," and again: "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." The Apostle also states his opinion as follows: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers, for there is no power but from God, and those that are ordained by God. Therefore he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God." Consequently kings and princes are not subjected by the ordinance of God to any ecclesiastical authority in temporal affairs; nor by the authority of the keys of the Church can they be deposed, directly or indirectly, nor can their subjects be dispensed from loyalty and obedience or absolved from the oath of fidelity which they have taken. This judgment is to be universally held as necessary to public quietness, useful to the Church as well as to secular authority and agreeable to the word of God, the tradition of the Fathers, and the examples of the Saints.
2. Full authority in spiritual matters is, however, inherent in the Apostolic See and the successors of Peter the Vicar of Christ, while at the same time the decrees of the Holy General Council of Constance (passed in its fourth and fifth sessions), concerning the authority of General Councils, are to remain valid and unchanged, approved, as they are, by the Apostolic See and by the practice of the Roman Pontiffs themselves and of the whole Church; nor may the Gallican Church give approval to those who minimize the force of those decrees, as if they were of doubtful authority and little backing, or who disparage the statements of the Council as referring only to the time of schism.
3. Hence the exercise of the Apostolic authority should be moderated by the Canons established by the Holy Spirit and consecrated by the respect of the whole world. Also the rules, customs and institutions accepted in the French kingdom and Church are to keep their force and the bounds fixed by our fathers are to remain undisturbed; for it is essential for the dignity of the Apostolic See, that the statutes and customs, confirmed by the consent of that See itself and of the churches, should enjoy their rightful stability.
4. In questions of faith the leading role is to be that of the Supreme Pontiff; and his decrees apply to all churches in general and to each of them in particular. But his judgment is not unchangeable, unless it receives the consent of the Church. These are the maxims which we have received from our fathers and which we have decided to send to all the Gallican churches and to the bishops whom the Holy Spirit has installed there to govern them, in order that we may all say the same thing, that we may share the same opinions and all hold the same doctrine.
2. Revocation of Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV of France
Original French text in Isambert, Recueil des anciennes lois françaises, vol. XIX, p.530
Commentary The political privileges conferred on the Huguenots by the Edict of Nantes (see Chap. Doc. No. 5 ) had been annulled in 1629 after the defeat by Cardinal Richelieu of the Huguenots' abortive rising. They still, however, retained the privileges of religious freedom granted by the Edict. The French Government, exercising a policy of moderate pressure, combined with a certain amount of material inducements, secured some conversions during the next decades; but in the 1680's Louis XIV resolved to resort to more forcible tactics. The extremist influence of Madame de Maintenon (his morganatic wife) played a great part in this decision; another powerful element was his dispute with the Papacy (see Doc. No. 1 of this chapter), which made Louis anxious to prove his orthodoxy by a striking demonstration of zeal.
The Revocation declares, in its preamble, that the Edict of Nantes itself had been intended by Henry IV as a temporary expedient to secure civil tranquillity; as most of the Huguenot community since then has become Catholic, there is no further need for the Edict to remain in force. Accordingly, it is revoked and various measures are outlined (in the following Articles) to penalize those who insist on remaining Protestant. All public worship of the "so-called Reformed religion" is prohibited and schools of this religion are to be closed. Substantial material concessions are offered to Huguenot ministers who become converts to Catholicism, but those who remain obdurate are banished. Huguenots who have already left the kingdom are ordered to return on pain of confiscation of their property; future emigration is strictly forbidden. Children of Huguenot parents are to be baptized as Catholics, even if their parents have not become converts.
The effects of the Revocation were not happy for French political interests. Despite the prohibition of emigration, many Huguenots fled the country to seek refuge in England, Holland, Germany and other Protestant countries; the departure of some of the most prosperous and active members of the bourgeois middle class inflicted a serious blow on French economy, while the bitterness of their resentment, in exile, against Louis XIV played its part in building up the European political combinations which were eventually to check his ambitions in foreign affairs.
Although the Papacy had disapproved of the explicit recognition of Protestantism by the Edict of Nantes, it viewed the Revocation with so much reserve that Louis accused the Pope of secretly favouring the Huguenots. Innocent XI, who looked on the Revocation as a manœuvre to divert attention from Louis' patronage of Gallicanism, remarked: "What is the good of it all, if all the bishops are schismatics?" Innocent was also fearful (with reason) of the effect of Louis' action on the attempt by James II to secure religious toleration for Catholics in England (see Doc. No. 4 in this chapter). Innocent's reserved attitude towards the Revocation was expressed by the elevation to the Cardinalate in 1686 of Archbishop Le Camus of Grenoble, who had publicly protested against the persecution of the Huguenots.
King Henry the Great, our grandfather of glorious memory, desiring to prevent the peace which he had procured for his subjects, after the great losses which they had suffered during the civil and foreign wars, from being disturbed because of the so-called Reformed religion as it had grown up during the reigns of the kings, his predecessors, had--by his Edict given at Nantes in the month of April, 1598--arranged the policy which was to be adopted towards those of the said religion, the places in which they could practise it, and had established special judges to administer justice for them; finally, he had provided, by specific articles, for everything which he had thought to be necessary for the maintenance of peace in his kingdom and for the lessening of tension between the two religions, so that he might be in a position to work--as he had resolved to do--for the reunion to the Church of those who had so easily removed themselves from it. But the intention of the said king, our ancestor, could not be carried out because of his sudden death and as the execution of the aforesaid edict was later interrupted, during the minority of the late king, our very revered lord and father, of glorious memory, by their new manœuvres, the aforesaid followers of the so-called Reformed religion gave reason (to the king) to deprive them of several privileges which had been granted to them by the aforesaid edict; nevertheless, the king, our aforesaid late lord and father, displaying his customary clemency, granted them a new edict at Nîmes, in the month of July, 1629, by means of which peace having again been established, the said late king, animated with the same spirit and the same zeal for religion as the aforementioned king, our grandfather, resolved to take advantage of this tranquillity to try to put his pious plan into operation; but, as foreign wars arose a few years afterwards--from 1635 until the truce concluded in 1684--with the princes of Europe, and the kingdom had had little time free from agitation, it was not possible to do anything for the advancement of religion except to lessen the number of the so-called Reformed Religion's places of worship by the burning of those which were established in contravention of the stipulations of the edicts, and by the suppression of the bipartite courts for whose erection provision had not been made. As God has at last allowed our peoples to enjoy perfect quiet, and as we ourselves are not preoccupied with the cares of protecting them against our enemies, we have been able to profit by this truce which we have facilitated in order to give our whole attention to finding the means to bring to success the scheme of the aforesaid kings, our grandfather and father, in which we have been engaged since our accession to the Crown. We now perceive with due gratitude, for which we are indebted to God, that our efforts have attained the end which we had set before ourselves, since the better and more numerous part of our subjects of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion has embraced the Catholic religion; and because, as a result of this, the execution of the Edict of Nantes, and of everything which has been enacted in favour of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion, becomes useless, we have judged that we could do nothing better to efface entirely the memory of the disorders, of the confusion and evils which the career of this false religion has caused in our kingdom and which have given reason for the aforesaid edict, and for the numerous other edicts and declarations which preceded it, or which were made after it, than to revoke completely the aforesaid Edict of Nantes, and the specific articles which have been granted as a consequence of it, and everything which has been done in favour of the aforesaid religion.
Article 1. Know that we, for these reasons and others urging us to the same action, and with our certain knowledge, full power and royal authority, have by this present, perpetual and irrevocable edict, suppressed and revoked the edict of the aforesaid king our grandfather, given at Nantes in the month of April, 1598, in all its extent; we declare to be null and void the specific articles decreed on the 2nd May following, and the letters patent giving them effect, and the edict given at Nîmes in the month of July, 1629; together with all the concessions made by these and other edicts, declarations and decrees, to the people of the so-called Reformed religion, of whatever nature they be, which will remain equally void; and in consequence we desire and it is our pleasure that all the temples of the people of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion situated in our kingdom, lands and lordships obedient to us should be demolished forthwith.
Article 2. We forbid our subjects of the so-called Reformed religion to assemble any more for public worship of the abovementioned religion, in any place or private house, under whatever pretext, and to exercise either the actual worship or the spiritual authority, even when the same exercise shall have been preserved by decrees of our Council.
Article 3. We likewise forbid all lords, of whatever rank they may be, to carry out heretical services in houses and fiefs, of whatever type these fiefs may be, the penalty for all our subjects who shall carry out the said worship being confiscation of their body and possessions.
Article 4. We order all ministers of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion who do not wish to be converted and to embrace the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion, to depart from our kingdom and the lands subject to us within fifteen days from the publication of our present edict, without being able to stay there beyond that date, nor during this time of fifteen days are they to do any preaching, instruction or any other function, on pain of the galleys.
Article 5. We desire that those among the said ministers who shall be converted, shall continue to enjoy during their life, and their wives shall enjoy after their death as long as they remain widows, the same exemptions from taxation and billeting of soldiers, which they enjoyed while they fulfilled the function of ministers; and further, more, we shall pay these ministers, during their life, a pension which shall be greater by a third than the emoluments which they received in their capacity as ministers, half of which pension their wives shall enjoy after their death, as long as they remain widows.
Article 6. If any of the aforesaid ministers wish to become lawyers, or to take the degree of Doctor of Laws, we desire and make clear that they should be dispensed from three years of the studies prescribed by our declarations; and that after they have undergone the usual examinations and have been found competent in them, they shall be received as Doctors on payment of only half the fees which are usually levied for this purpose in each University.
Article 7. We prohibit private schools for the instruction of children of the so-called Reformed religion and everything in general which can make any concession, whatever it may be, in favour of this religion.
Article 8. With regard to children who shall be born to those of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion, we desire that they be baptized by their parish priests. We command the fathers and mothers to send them to the churches for that purpose, on penalty of a fine of 500 livres or more if they fail to do so; and afterwards, the children shall be brought up in the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion, for which purpose we very expressly command the supervision of the magistrates of the districts.
Article 9. In order to show our clemency towards those of our subjects of the so-called Reformed religion who shall have left our kingdom, countries and the lands subject to us before the publication of our present edict, we desire and command that if they return there within the period of four months from the day of the aforesaid publication, they can lawfully come again into ownership of their possessions and may enjoy it as much as they could have done if they had always lived there. On the other hand, the possessions of those who during this time of four months, shall not return to our kingdom, countries or the lands subject to us, which they had left, shall remain and be confiscated, by virtue of our declaration of August 20 last.
Article 10. All our subjects of the so-called Reformed religion, with their wives and children, are to be strongly and repeatedly prohibited from leaving our aforesaid kingdom, countries and the lands subject to us, or of taking out of them their possessions and effects, under penalty, for the men, of the galleys, and for the women, confiscation of bodies and possessions.
Article 11. We desire and make clear that the declarations made against the relapsed are to be put into effect according to their form and tenor.
For the rest, the members of the so-called Reformed religion, while awaiting God's pleasure to enlighten them like the others, can live in the towns and districts of our kingdom, countries and the lands subject to us, and continue their occupation there, and enjoy their possessions, without any one having the power to trouble or interfere with them, by reason of the aforesaid so-called Reformed religion, on condition, as has been said, that they do not make public profession of it, or assemble for prayers or for the worship, whatever it may be, of their religion, under the abovementioned penalties of body and possessions.
(Given at) Fontainebleau, October, 1685.
3. Charles II of England: the Test Act, 1673
Original English text in Statutes of the Realm, 25 Charles II, cap. 2
After the Restoration of the Stuart dynasty in 1660, powerful elements at the Court moved steadily in a Catholic direction. Charles II's brother, James, Duke of York, the heir to the throne, was an acknowledged Catholic, while Charles himself was favourable to Catholicism, a course to which his desire for a close alliance with France would lend strength. After the secret Treaty of Dover (1670) with Louis XIV, by which Charles had committed himself to assist Louis in a projected attack on Holland, England's commercial and maritime rival, Charles believed that the time had come to make some official relaxation of the penal laws imposed in Elizabethan times on the non-Anglican sections of the population. In 1672, at the opening of the war with the Dutch, he issued a Declaration of Indulgence for his Catholic and Nonconformist subjects, suspending all penal laws and giving limited facilities for free exercise of their worship. The gesture roused all the endemic distrust of "Popery" which was never far from the minds of the land-owning gentry, who provided the basis for the English Parliament, and the apparent linking of Catholicism the political aims of the French king, was a further obstacle to the success of Charles's efforts.
In 1673, Parliament made it a condition of its granting funds for the Dutch war that the Declaration should be revoked and a stringent Test Act passed. This actually happened and the Test Act, enacted in the same year in the wording as reproduced below, laid down that every holder of a civil or military office should prove himself to be a practising Anglican by receiving Holy Communion according to the rites of the Church of England and by taking a special oath repudiating Transubstantiation, as well as the oaths of supremacy and allegiance. These provisions had the effect of ruling out any sincere Catholic from public office; one of the first victims was, in fact, the Duke of York (later James II), who was forced to relinquish his post as Admiral of the Navy. Attempts later in the reign to deprive him of his right to succeed to the throne proved, however, to be a failure.
The effort to force conformity by legal coercion undoubtedly brought to the Anglican Church a large number of lukewarm adherents, whose lack of genuine conviction weakened its spiritual standard and led to its stagnation during the eighteenth century. The Test Act itself remained valid until the nineteenth century (see Chap. VII, Doc. No. 3 ).
For preventing dangers which may happen from popish recusants, and quieting the minds of his majesty's good subjects, be it enacted by the king's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by authority of the same, that all and every person or persons, peers as well as commoners, that shall bear any office or offices, civil or military, or shall receive any pay, salary, fee, or wages by reason of any patent or grant from his majesty, or shall have command or place of trust from or under his majesty, or from any of his majesty's predecessors, or by his or their authority, or by authority derived from him or them, within the realm of England, dominion of Wales, or town of Berwick-uponTweed, or in his majesty's navy, or in the several islands of Jersey and Guernsey, or shall be of the household or in the service or employment of his majesty, or of his royal highness the Duke of York, who shall inhabit, reside, or be within the city of London or Westminster, or within thirty miles distant from the same, on the first day of Easter term, that shall be in the year of our Lord 1673, or at any time during the said term, all and every the said person and persons shall personally appear before the end of the said term, or of Trinity term next following, in his majesty's High Court of Chancery, or in his majesty's Court of King's Bench, and there in public and open court, between the hours of nine of the clock and twelve in forenoon, take the several oaths of supremacy and allegiance--which oath of allegiance is contained in a statute made in the third year of King James--by law established; and during the time of the taking thereof by the said person and persons, all pleas and proceedings in the said respective courts shall cease; and that all and every of the said respective persons and officers, not having taken the said oaths in the said respective courts aforementioned, shall on or before the first day of August, 1673, at the quarter sessions for that county, or place where he or they shall be, inhabit, or reside on the twentieth day of May, take the said oaths in open court between the said hours of nine and twelve of the clock in the forenoon; and the said respective officers aforesaid shall also receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the usage of the Church of England, at or before the first day of August in the year of our Lord 1673, in some parish church, upon some Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, immediately after divine service and sermon.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that at the same time when the persons concerned in this Act shall take the aforesaid oaths of supremacy and allegiance, they shall likewise make and subscribe this declaration following, under the same penalties and forfeitures as by this Act is appointed:
"I, A.B., do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever."
Of which subscription there shall be the like register kept, as of the taking the oaths aforesaid.
4. James II of England: Declaration of Indulgence, May 7, 1688 Original English text in Patent Roll, 3 James II, 3, 18
Commentary From his accession in 1685, James II set himself to the task of uprooting the Anglican Supremacy in England. As a devout Catholic, his main interest was to free the Church from the shackles of the Penal Laws, but he proposed also to make a logical extension of his principle of toleration to Nonconformist Dissenters. Many Catholics were promoted to public office in Church, State and the Universities, even before an official Declaration of Indulgence; these appointments were justified by James II in virtue of an alleged royal power to "dispense" from the provisions of the Test Act of 1673 (see Doc. No. 3 of this chapter).
In 1687, James issued a Declaration of Indulgence to make his dispensing power a permanently defined factor in the treatment of non-Anglican subjects. It suspended the Test Act and allowed liberty of public worship to non-Anglicans. James hoped that this new step would be ratified by a forthcoming Parliament, but enquiry revealed that this would not be likely. He accordingly deferred the holding of a Parliament until the next year in the hope that, meanwhile, he might arrange for the return of Members who would be more likely to support his proposals.
In 1688, the second Declaration of Indulgence (given below) was published. It raised a storm of protest from Anglicans, while the Nonconformist distrust of the Catholic Church prevented the Dissenters from giving it real support. The bad impression left by Louis XIV's treatment of the French Protestants a few years previously (see Doc. No. 2 of this Chapter) must also be taken into account. Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and six other Anglican bishops protested against the Declaration on the ground of the illegality of the royal dispensing power. James imprisoned them for uttering sedition, but the jury at their trial declared them not guilty. James's prestige was severely damaged and a few months later a bloodless revolution drove him from England and set his Dutch Protestant son-in-law, William of Orange, on the throne.
The Declaration is noteworthy for its frank assertion, by one who makes no attempt to disguise his Catholic allegiance, of the principle that conscience may not be coerced in religious matters. James declares that coercion never achieved any permanent results and is fraught with danger to political stability.
It having pleased Almighty God not only to bring us to the imperial crown of these kingdoms through the greatest difficulties, but to preserve us by a more than ordinary providence upon the throne of our royal ancestors, there is nothing now that we so earnestly desire as to establish our government on such a foundation as may make our subjects happy, and unite them to us by inclination as well as duty. Which we think can be done by no means so effectually as by granting to them the free exercise of their religion for the time to come, and add that to the perfect enjoyment of their property, which has never been in any case invaded by us since our coming to the crown. Which being the two things men value most, shall ever be preserved in these kingdoms, during our reign over them, as the truest methods of their peace and our glory. We cannot but heartily wish, as it will easily be believed, that all the people of our dominions were members of the Catholic Church; yet we humbly thank
Almighty God, it is and has of long time been our constant sense and opinion (which upon divers occasions we have declared) that conscience ought not to be constrained nor people forced in matters of mere religion: it has ever been directly contrary to our inclination, as we think it is to the interest of government, which it destroys by spoiling trade, depopulating countries, and discouraging strangers and, finally, that it never obtained the end for which it was employed. And in this we are the more confirmed by the reflections we have made upon the conduct of the last four reigns. For after all the frequent and pressing endeavours that were used in each of them to reduce this kingdom to an exact conformity in religion, it is visible the success has not answered the design, and that the difficulty is invincible.
We therefore, out of our princely care and affection unto all our loving subjects, that they may live at ease and quiet, and for the increase of trade and encouragement of strangers, have thought fit by virtue of our royal prerogative to issue forth this our declaration of indulgence, making no doubt of the concurrence of our two Houses of Parliament when we shall think it convenient for them to meet.
In the first place, we do declare that we will protect and maintain our archbishops, bishops and clergy, and all other subjects of the Church of England in the free exercise of their religion as by law established, and in the quiet and full enjoyment of all their possessions, without any molestation or disturbance whatsoever.
We do likewise declare, that it is our royal will and pleasure that from henceforth the execution of all and all manner [i.e. every type] of penal laws in matters ecclesiastical, for not coming to church, or not receiving the Sacrament, or for any other nonconformity to the religion established, or for or by reason of the exercise of religion in any manner whatsoever, be immediately suspended; and the further execution of the said penal laws and every of them is hereby suspended.
And to the end that by liberty hereby granted the peace and security of our government in the practice thereof may not be endangered, we have thought fit, and do hereby straitly charge and command all our loving subjects, that--as we do freely give them leave to meet and serve God after their own way and manner, be it in private houses or places purposely hired or built for that use, so that they take especial care that nothing be preached or taught amongst them, which may any way tend to alienate the hearts of our people from us or our government, and that their meetings and assemblies be peaceably, openly, and publicly held, and all persons freely admitted to them, and that they do signify and make known to some one or other of the next justices of the peace what place or places they set apart for those uses, and that all our subjects may enjoy such their religious assemblies with greater assurance and protection--we have thought it requisite, and do hereby command, that no disturbance of any kind be made or given unto them, under pain of our displeasure, and to be further proceeded against with the utmost dseverity.
And forasmuch as we are desirous to have the benefit of the service of all our loving subjects, which by the law of nature is inseparably annexed to and inherent in our royal person, and that none of our subjects may for the future be under any discouragement or disability (who are otherwise well inclined and fit to serve us) by reason of some oaths or tests that have been usually administered on such occasions, we do hereby further declare, that it is our royal will and pleasure that the oaths commonly called "The oaths of supremacy and allegiance," and also the several tests and declarations mentioned in the Acts of Parliament made in the five-and-twentieth and thirtieth years of the reign of our late royal brother, King Charles II, shall not at any time hereafter be required to be taken, declared, or subscribed by any person or persons whatever, who is or shall be employed in any office or place of trust, either civil or military, under us or in our government. And we do further declare it to be our pleasure and intention from time to time hereafter, to grant our royal dispensations under our great seal to all our loving subjects so to be employed, who shall not take the said oaths, or subscribe or declare the said tests or declarations in the above-mentioned Acts and every of them.
And to the end that all our loving subjects may receive and enjoy full benefit and advantage of our gracious indulgence hereby intended, and may be acquitted and discharged from all pains, penalties, forfeitures, and disabilities by them or any of them incurred or forfeited, or which they shall or may at any time hereafter be liable to, for or by reason of their nonconformity, or the exercise of their religion, and from all suits, troubles, or disturbances for the same; we do hereby give our free and ample pardon unto all nonconformists, recusants, and other our loving subjects, for all crimes and things by them committed or done contrary to the penal laws, formerly made relating to religion, and the profession or exercise hereof; hereby declaring that this our royal pardon and indemnity shall be as good and effectual to all intents and purposes, as if every individual person had been therein particularly named, or had particular pardons under our great seal, which we do likewise declare shall from time to time be granted unto any person or persons desiring the same; willing and requiring our judges, justices and other officers to take notice of an obey our royal will and pleasure hereinbefore declared.
And although the freedom and assurance we have hereby given in relation to religion and property might be sufficient to remove from the minds of our loving subjects all fears and jealousies in relation to either, yet we have thought fit further to declare that we will maintain them in all their properties and possessions, as well of church and abbey lands, as in any other their lands and properties whatsoever.
Given at our court at Whitehall the fourth day of April, 1687, in the third year of our reign.
5. Pope Clement XI's Protest against the Creation of the Kingdom of Prussia, April 16, 1701 Original Latin text in Clementis XI Opera, Epistolae ( Frankfort, 1729), p. 46
Commentary During the seventeenth century the Hohenzollern Electors of Brandenburg slowly and steadily increased their possessions in North Germany. The "Great Elector," Frederic William, after taking part in the Thirty Years War as an ally of Sweden, and after sharing in the wars between Sweden, Poland and Russia in the following decade, was finally recognized as sovereign ruler of the Duchy of Prussia by the Treaty of Oliva in 1656. This territory, bordering on the Baltic coast, had been inhabited by pagan, nonGerman tribes in the early Middle Ages, and Christianized and Germanized by the military Order of the Teutonic Knights in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. After the downfall of the Order in the fifteenth century, Prussia came under the suzerainty of Poland, under which it remained until the wars of the seventeenth century and the Peace of Oliva.
The "Great Elector's" successor, Frederic III, was an important factor in the European conflict between the Austrian Hapsburgs and the France of Louis XIV during the War of the Spanish Succession ( 1700-1713). In order to secure Frederic's firm support, the Hapsburg Emperor, Leopold I, did not object to Frederic's assumption of the title of "King of Prussia." As Prussia was legally outside the Holy Roman Empire, and under the full sovereignty of the Hohenzollern since the Treaty of Oliva, it was judged preferable that the new kingdom should take its title from Prussia rather than from Brandenburg, one of the traditional Electorates. By this means, it was hoped that any slur on the Imperial dignity in Germany might be avoided. (The only royal title created in the previous centuries inside the Holy Roman Empire, that of Bohemia, was held by the Hapsburg Emperors themselves in their capacity of kings of Bohemia.) Frederic was crowned king at Koenigsberg in the Duchy of Prussia in January, 1701.
Pope Clement XI's official protest followed on April 16, 1701, in the form of Briefs addressed to the Emperor and to other Catholic Powers. The present document is the version sent to Louis XIV, and it may serve as a specimen of the Papal arguments against recognition of the new title.
The Pope's chief objections are based on the view that Frederic, as a Protestant, has no right to assume the title of king; implicitly, the Emperor is rebuked for having tolerated such an usurpation. Furthermore, the new kingdom was established in the territory of the previous Catholic military Order of the Teutonic Knights which had held an important place in the medieval Church. The legal background to the protest is the medieval Papal claim, here reasserted in modified form by Clement XI, that the Papacy is competent to sanction major adjustments in the European international community (see Chap. III, Doc. No. 1 ) and that it is the supreme legal authority over the Holy Roman Empire (see Chap. III, Doc. No. 5-iii ).
The protest had little practical effect. The Pope was accused by the Hapsburgs and their allies of carrying out a pro-French manæuvre, though in actual fact Clement XI strove to be neutral in the general war which had recently broken out. In the a Treaty of Utrecht ( 1713), which brought the War of the Spanish Succession to a close, all the signatory powers, including Catholic sovereigns, recognized the new status of the Hohenzollern dynasty. The Papacy itself did not recognize the legitimacy of the new kingship until 1786.
We, Clement XI, wish to our most beloved son in Christ, Louis, Most Christian King of the French, prosperity and Apostolic benediction.
We know well that Your Majesty by no means approves the behaviour of Frederic, margrave of Brandenburg, by which he gave a bad example to the whole of Christianity when he presumed to usurp publicly the royal name. Nevertheless, in order that it may not seem that we do not discharge properly the duties of our office, we can in no wise pass in silence over the fact that this act is contrary to the Apostolic Ordinances and constitutes no small affront to the high authority of this Holy See since a non-Catholic has assumed here, not without contempt towards the Church, the holy name of king; and, moreover, the said margrave did not hesitate to call himself king of that part of Prussia which has belonged of old to the Order of Teutonic Knights. That is why we request that Your Majesty may desist from what is--as we have been able sufficiently to learn already--contrary to your well-known magnanimity and, heeding also this our exhortation, you may not recognize any royal dignity to him who has assumed it so foolishly. People of that kind are punished and condemned by the very word of God: "They did reign, but not through me: they became princes, and I did not know them."
Our venerable brother, Philip Anthony, Archbishop of Athens, will explain to Your Majesty more explicitly what our opinion thereon is. We wish to you the plenitude of happiness from God and we send to you graciously our Apostolic benediction.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's, under our Fisherman's Ring, on April 16, 1701.
6. United States of America: Religious Clauses of
Original English texts of the laws quoted hereafter can be found in Morison, Sources and Documents illustrating the American Revolution, as follows:
A. The Virginia Bill of Rights, p. 149;
B. The Constitution of Pennsylvania, p. 162;
C. The Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, p. 206;
D. The Amendment to the Federal Constitution, p. 363.
The Virginia Constitution of 1776, dating from the opening period of the War of Independence, was the first State Constitution to be formulated. The Virginia Bill of Rights, setting forth the general principles on which the particular provisions of the Constitution were based, includes an Article providing for religious toleration and denouncing the idea of coercion in religious matters for any reason whatsoever. The Pennsylvania Constitution of the same year echoes the same principle which was incorporated eleven years later in the Federal Constitution for the United States and clarified still further in the amending Article No. 1 of 1791.
The theoretical foundation on which the viewpoint taken by the framers of the Constitution was based, had been expressed in the
Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty of 1785. This is generally agreed to have been the work of Thomas Jefferson, though at the time of its promulgation he was himself absent in France. Its unique feature is the upholding of religious toleration for positive reasons, i.e. it states freedom of conscience to be in itself good. This may be contrasted with the negative approach of previous European enactments concerning toleration (e.g. the Religious Peace of Augsburg and the Peace of Westphalia, cf. Chap. IV, Doc. Nos. 2 and 6) in which toleration had been agreed to after all attempts at forcible imposition of religious uniformity had failed. Section No. III of the Statute goes as far as to state that such freedom is part of the "natural rights of mankind."
The principle of the complete separation of Church and State, enunciated forcefully by the Virginia Statute (Art. II: ". . . our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry") and written into the Federal Constitution itself did not mean an anti-clerical or antireligious régime; what it did mean was that the future American political framework would be undenominational and would show equal favour or lack of favour to every religious body. This "separation" has not implied in America, as it was to imply in several European countries during the nineteenth century, a militantly "secularist" spirit; on the contrary, American states have contributed generously to the financial security of all religious bodies by concessions such as exemption from taxation, assistance for schools and other privileges. The Catholic Church in America has benefited extensively from such a policy.
(a) The Virginia Bill of Rights, June 12, 1776
At a General Convention of delegates and representatives from the several counties and corporations of Virginia, held at the Capitol in the City of Williamsburg on Monday the 6th May, 1776.
A Declaration of Rights made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free Convention; which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government.
. . . 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.
(b) The Constitution of Pennsylvania, September 28, 1776
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as established by the General Convention elected for that purpose, and held at Philadelphia, 15 July, 1776, and continued by adjournment to 28 September, 1776.
A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth or State of Pennsylvania
. . . II. That all men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding; and that no man ought or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any ministry contrary to, or against, his own free will and consent; nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship. Plan or Frame of Government for the Commonwealth or State of Pennsylvania
. . . 10. . . . And each member (sc. of the House of Representatives), before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. :
"I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."
And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.
. . . 45. Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force, and provision shall be made for their due execution; And all religious societies or bodies of men heretofore united or incorporated for the advancement of religion or learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities, and estates which they were accustomed to enjoy, or could of right have enjoyed, under the laws and former constitution of this State.
(c) The Virginia Statute of Religious Libery, October, 1785
AN ACT FOR ESTABLISHING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
I. Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellowcitizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of wordly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.
III. And though we well know that this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this Act to be irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet as we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any Act shall hereafter be passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such Act will be an infringement of natural right.
(d) Amendment to Federal Constitution of the United States. Article 1 (1791)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
7. Toleration Act of the Emperor Joseph II,
October 13, 1781
Original German text in G. Frank, Toleranzpatent Kaiser Josephs II, p. 114
Partly out of political and military necessity during her wars with Frederic II of Prussia and partly under the influence of the ideology of "Enlightenment," the Empress Maria Theresa introduced important reforms in the Habsburg Hereditary Lands (later transformed, in 1806, into the Empire of Austria) where she reigned by her own right of succession while her husband, Francis I, was Emperor in the Holy Roman Empire.
The reforms tended chiefly to the centralization and improvement of the government in these hitherto considerably disparate territories. But in so doing she avoided any weakening of the position of the Catholic Church which she considered as one of the chief consolidating forces of her lands.Her son Joseph II who became successor of both his father and mother in 1780, had different views. Enthusiastic reformer, imbued with the rationalist doctrines of his age and with anti-Papalist Febronianism, he intended the religious life in his dominions to be as subordinate to his absolutist power as everything else. This conception had been a great matter of controversy between himself and Maria Theresa; consequently, he devoted his first governmental activity, after 1780, to the religious sphere. Under such circumstances the Toleration Act ("Toleranz-patent") was promulgated in 1781.Two main features can be distinguished in its contents:
1. A limited permission of non-Catholic religious and educational activity. The permission covered only the Lutherans (Augsburg Confession), Calvinists (Helvetic Confession) and the Orthodox Church; the position of the remaining non-Catholics, such as the Moslems or Jews, was not affected by the Act, and the other Protestant denominations (for instance the Bohemian Brethren so far as they re-emerged in Bohemia and Moravia after the Act) had to join the Lutherans or Calvinists in order to be tolerated. The permission was limited to private worship and schools, kept up financially by the faithful, whose "prayer-houses" were not allowed to have the external appearance of churches.
2. An equality of non-Catholics with Catholics before the law. Although this equality is elaborated by the Act in a very liberal way, the notion of Catholicism as the dominant religion is kept (see the provisions of the Sections 4 and 6; the "iura stolae" mentioned in the Section 4 meant that even the non-Catholics had to pay certain fees to Catholic parish priests).
In spite of its far-reaching importance (with the exception of Hungary and Silesia, Catholicism had been hitherto the only admitted religion in the Habsburg Hereditary Lands) the Act appears as a merely administrative measure of an absolutist sovereign. It is, therefore, simply addressed to his governmental offices in the Lands to be applied in the administration; however, the concluding clause endeavours to secure for it as much publicity as possible. The "Toleranzpatent" had no validity in Germany where Joseph II as Emperor of the Holy Empire had to respect the previous religious arrangements (see in Chap. V, Doc. Nos. 2 and 6).
A series of other drastic religious measures followed this "Patent." In his vast secularization of Church property for the State's benefit and especially in his unscrupulously systematic effort to place the Catholic Church under the omnipotent State bureaucracy, Joseph II anticipated some of the measures of modern totalitarianism. Distrusting the international organization of the Catholic Church, he prohibited the publication of Papal Bulls, unless sanctioned by him (the right of "placet"), forbade the religious Orders in his territories to obey foreign superiors, hampered the communications of the bishops with Rome, discarded the Canon Law (particularly in matrimonial matters), and changed the seminaries into State institutions where the clergy was to be educated in the "rationalist" spirit under the State's supervision. In the same spirit Joseph II regulated by administrative decrees all religious life, including even the details of the Divine service.
These changes, coupled with no less far-reaching social reforms, provoked much opposition so that at the end of his ten years' reign open revolts broke out in Belgium (belonging at that time to Austria) and in Hungary. These outbursts of accumulated discontent compelled the dying Emperor to revoke, in 1790, his religious measures in the two rebellious countries. In the other hereditary dominions of the Habsburgs (particularly in the Austrian and Czech Lands) many of them were gradually abolished after Joseph's death. The Toleration Act, however, remained valid until the introduction of complete religious liberty in the Austrian Empire by the so-called "Protestantenpatent" in 1861. Simultaneously, the legacy of Josephinism (conceived as a tendency to regulate the complicated internal conditions of the Empire by means of a bureaucratic absolutism) kept alive in the Habsburg Monarchy, and the ideology of Joseph II's period left their long shadows on the relations between the Catholic Church and the State during the whole nineteenth century.
To all Imperial and Royal Offices in Our Lands. Well-beloved:
Being convinced, on the one hand, that all coercion of consciences is detrimental and, on the other hand, that great profit arises to religion and to the State from a truly Christian tolerance, We have come to the decision to allow the adherents of the Augsburg and of the Helvetic Religions, and the non-Uniate Greeks, to worship privately according to their faith anywhere, irrespective of whether this has ever been customary or introduced (in the respective places) or not. The privilege of the public religious worship shall be preserved to the Roman Catholic Religion only, but to the two Protestant Religions as well as to the non-Uniate Greek Religion --in so far as the latter has already, been in existence in some places--private worship shall be permitted in all localities where this appears practicable according to the number of people concerned as fixed below and according to the capabilities of inhabitants, unless the non-Catholics have already enjoyed the right of public exercise of their religion.We permit especially the following: 1. In the places where there are 100 families of our non-Catholic subjects, they may build up a prayer-house of their own as well as a school, even if they do not live all in the locality of this prayerhouse or of their minister, but a part of them live at a distance of even a few hours' walk therefrom. Those whose dwellings are situated at a greater distance, can frequent as many times as they wish the nearest prayer-house which must be, however, inside the boundaries of the Imperial-Royal Hereditary Lands, and also the ministers belonging to these Hereditary Lands can visit their coreligionists and furnish them, as well as the sick, with the necessary instruction and consolation of souls and bodies; but they must never, at their own very strict responsibility, prevent a Catholic priest, asked for by any of the sick, to be called in to him.
So far as the external aspect of the prayer-house is concerned, we order expressly that--unless it has already been done in some other way--the prayer-house must not have any chimes, bells, steeples and any public entrance from the street so as to look like a church; but otherwise they are free to build it of any material they wish. They shall be also perfectly free to administer their Sacraments and celebrate the Divine service in the same locality, and to carry them to invalids in the places affiliated thereto, and to have public funerals conducted by their ministers.
2. They will be entitled to appoint their own schoolmasters whose upkeep is to be provided for by their congregations; but Our (competent) school authority in the respective Lands shall supervise these schoolmasters as to the educational method and teaching programme. Similarly, We permit:
3. That the non-Catholic inhabitants of a locality who provide their pastors with the necessary funds and keep them up, can choose them. If, however, the local authorities are willing to make the necessary provision, they should enjoy the "ius praesentandi"; but then We reserve to Ourselves the confirmation (of the candidates proposed) in such a way that this confirmation shall be performed by Protestant Consistories, if such exist, and where they do not exist, it shall be given by the Protestant Consistories at Teschen (in Silesia) or in Hungary so long as it will not prove necessary to establish in other Lands their own Consistories.
4. The "iura stolae" remain--as they are in Silesia--reserved to the ordinary parish priest ("parochus ordinarius").
5. We have graciously disposed that the jurisdiction in matters regarding the religious life of non-Catholics should be bestowed upon Our political authorities in the respective Lands (i.e. the Gubernatorial Offices) where they should be proceeded with and decided--with the co-operation of one or another of their Pastors and Theologians--according to the principles of their religion; from them a further recourse to Our Political Court Chancery ("politische Hofstelle") shall be free.
6. The issuing of declarations at marriages which has become usual on the part of non-Catholics with regard to the education of their future children in the Roman Catholic Religion is to be entirely discontinued from now on because in the case of a Catholic father all children of male as well as female sex are to be educated in the Catholic Religion without any formal declaration; this is to be regarded as a prerogative of the dominant religion. On the other hand, in the case of a Protestant father and Catholic mother the children shall follow them according to their sex.
7. The non-Catholics can be admitted in future to the acquisition of houses and immovable property, to the rights of citizens and master-tradesmen, to academic degrees and to the civil service by way of dispensation; but they are not to be coerced into any formula of oath other than that which is in accordance with their religious principles, or to the attendance at processions or other functions of the dominant religion if they themselves do not wish. In all elections or decisions concerning employment or advancement only the legal admissibility and the ability of the candidate, and then his Christian and moral way of life are to be taken into consideration, irrespective of any difference in religion--as it happens daily in Our army without any trouble and with much profit. In the domanial towns such dispensations to the possession (of immovable property) or to the rights of citizens and master-tradesmen are to be granted without difficulty by the District Office ("Kreisamt"). In the case of royal and tributary towns it shall be granted by the Land Treasurers ("Landkaemmerer") in the Lands where these exist; in the Lands where they do not exist by Our Gubernatorial Office in the respective Land ("Landesgubernium" or "Landeshauptmannschaft"). If some impediment appears with regard to the dispensation applied for which should lead to its rejection, a report stating the motives of the (contemplated) rejection is to be submitted each time to Our Gubernatorial Office in the respective Land and therefrom forwarded to Us for Our Highest decision.
In cases where the "ius incolatus" of the higher Estates [i.e. the law regulating the personal status and privileges of aristocracy] is involved, the dispensation be granted by Our Court Chancery for Bohemia and Austria ("Boehmisch-Oesterreichische Hofkanzlei") after preliminary hearing of Our Political Office in the Land in question.
You shall make known this Our Highest enactment to all District Offices, Magistracies and Demesnes by means of circulars printed for this purpose; of these a greater number than usual is to be ordered so as to enable the official printer in each Land to furnish everybody who so wishes with these printed circulars and thus secure the appropriate spreading (of the knowledge of this enactment) also in other Lands.
All this is hereby made known to everybody with the exhortation to an obedient observance thereof.
(Given at) Vienna, October 13, 1781.
8. Decree naming the Jesuits as Protectors of the Indians of Paraguay, July 18, 1636 Original Spanish text in Hernandez, Misiones del, Paraguay, vol. I, p. 511
Commentary This document is an illustration of the unique experiment of theocratic government carried out by the Jesuits in the Paraguay "Missions." The Missions were settlements for the native Indians in the regions of the Paraguay, Parana and La Plata rivers. Jesuit Fathers were in charge of each Mission, supervising not only the spiritual welfare of the Indians but also regulating their everyday life, behaviour and employment. In such settlements the Indians were direct subjects of the King of Spain and were not subjected as serfs to landowning colonists, as so often happened outside the Missions. Property was owned by the village community as a whole; the sale of the produce of the common land was in the hands of the Jesuit supervisors.
The first of such Missions had been established on the Parana at the end of the sixteenth century under the inspiration of Hernando Arias de Saavedra, the enlightened Governor of Asunçion. They spread rapidly during the seventeenth century, despite the opposition and jealousy of secular Spanish colonists, who saw in the Jesuits a powerful obstacle to exploitation of the Indians for purposes of economic gain.
The function of the Jesuits as protectors of the Indians against oppression is clearly shown by the present document, in which the Jesuits are officially recognized as defenders of the Indians in all legal proceedings. The document is in the form of an "Act" issued in the name of the King of Spain by the President of the Royal Audiencia of the Viceroyalty of Peru. (The Audiencia was the supreme legal court in every Viceroyalty in the Spanish Empire in America.) The Provincials of the Society, or deputies appointed by them, are designated by the formal title of "Protectors" of the Indians, for whom they may conduct legal proceedings before judicial bodies in the provinces named (all of which were comprised in the vast region known in the Spanish colonial period as "Paraguay," a designation covering a much wider area than that of the modern Republic of this name). It is necessary to realize that in Spanish colonial law, Indians were in a permanent state of "minority"--i.e. they were regarded as being on the same level as children, human beings who had certain rights but were unable to claim them at law on their own behalf. 'The choice of the Jesuits as legal advocates for the Indians was a recognition of the interest which the Church had taken in the welfare of the native populations of America ever since the first colonial settlements (see the Brief Pastorale officium, Chap. V, Doc. No. 8 ).
In the Reductions or Mission settlements themselves, the Indians had certain privileges of self-government (they elected communal officials), but all was under the ultimate authority of the Jesuit missionaries, who controlled all contact with the outside world. The Indians of the Reductions seem to have enjoyed a higher standard of living than their brethren outside. However, the Spanish colonists never lost their distrust of the Society's activity and in the middle of the eighteenth century their persistent pressure, combined with the anti-clerical feeling of the Enlightenment, succeeded in securing royal consent to the suppression of the Missions. The final deathblow to the Reductions was given by King Charles III's expulsion of the Jesuits from the South American colonies in 1767.
Don Juan de Lizarazu, of His Majesty's Council, his President in the Royal Audiencia and Royal Chancellery situated in this city of La Plata in Peru. Wherefore I give consent to an Act in the following terms:
Don Juan de Lizarazu, of His Majesty's Council and his President in this Audiencia of La Plata. Inasmuch as His Majesty (whom may God preserve) has laid down and commanded in various decrees that the Indians native to these provinces are to be protected and defended when a legal case may arise; and because there is more especial reason that the aforesaid should be carried out with regard to the Indians recently converted to our holy Catholic Faith, which the holy Order of the Company of Jesus, with heroic and abundant harvests, has sown in the provinces of Paraguay, in the pueblos of San Ignazio, in Itapua, in the Parana River area, in Uruguay, Yabeberi and Itatines, it is fitting to commit them to that Order's protection and support, so that they, being defended and well treated, may embrace more readily all which is necessary for their conversion.
Therefore, taking into consideration that the Most Reverend Fathers Provincials of the Company of Jesus of the aforesaid provinces, as persons to whose care the matter most chiefly is committed, have such full knowledge of what concerns and pertains to the assistance, preservation and peace of those Indians, and as it is intended to arrange what is necessary in order that they may be treated as vassals of His Majesty and may be treated with justice; bearing this in mind, and using the authority which I possess, provided that His Majesty or His Excellency, the Lord Viceroy of these realms, does not ordain otherwise:
I name as Protectors of the said Indians of the provinces of Parana, Uruguay, Yabebiri, Itatines (whose Reductions are in the charge of the said Company of Jesus), the Provincials present and future, so that either personally or through the Procurators of the said Reductions, they may provide for the protection and defence of the said natives in all cases which may arise, civil as well as criminal, and in suing or defending they may appear before the Governors of the said provinces of Paraguay and Buenos Aires and the other mentioned provinces, and before all other judicial officials whatsoever of the said districts. And I charge and on behalf of His Majesty I exhort the said Reverend Fathers Provincials of the said provinces of' the Company of Jesus to attend to the protection of the said natives with all possible care, advising them that it shall be necessary and will be found to be important, in order that the above-mentioned processes may be carried out with more fruitful effect, that they should put forward their case at all the proceedings with the care and brevity which may be required; on account of all this I order and command the aforesaid Governors of Paraguay and Buenos Aires and other
Justices of those provinces, that they give all the favour and help necessary to the said Provincials or Procurators who shall be placed in their records as such Protectors. For which reason I give them the full and complete power which is required in order that they may be in attendance at the legal cases which arise concerning the said Indians, so that no hindrance or impediment may be placed in their way by the said Governors or other Justices, on pain of a fine of 1,000 pesos payable to the Chamber and Fisc of His Majesty; whereupon I declare them condemned, if they do the contrary. To arrange for all this, I command that the necessary measures should be taken.
Given in the city of La Plata, on June 18th in the year 1636. Don Juan de Lizarazu. In the presence of me: Don Fernando de Aguirre.
THE AGE OF LIBERALISM AND CAPITALISM
THE events following the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 destroyed irrevocably the old world of dynastic monarchies and substituted a new concept--that of the national State, based on the political dogma of popular sovereignty. This new concept of "Liberalism" which, under the influence of such thinkers as Rousseau, extended and democratized the secularist principles of the "Enlightenment" (see Introduction to Chap. VI), presented the Church with new problems. The new "Liberal" state derived its authority, not from God, but from the people; it, therefore, refused to admit any authority in the practical life of the nation which would be superior to itself; and, thus, the Church was not only deprived of the last remnants of the position of supremacy, which it had theoretically enjoyed during the Middle Ages, but in addition the new State claimed the right to regulate, if necessary, the Church's own internal life. An example of such a claim is provided during the French Revolution by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy ( Doc. No. 1 ), which was only reversed after considerable concessions by the Papacy to Napoleon I in the concordat of 1801 ( Doc. No. 2 ).
There were different schools of thought within the Church on the attitude to be adopted towards the new world which was shaping itself. One school, which came to be known as "Liberal Catholic," and which is chiefly associated with the French thinkers Lamennais, Montalembert and Dupanloup, held that not all the manifestations of the new movements were bad and that it was the task of the Church to see what was good in them and utilize them for the benefit of its own cause. Such thinkers contended that the Church had nothing to fear from the Liberal ideas of freedom of worship, freedom of speech and a free Press: in fact, Catholic minorities in Protestant countries had benefited from the infiltration of such ideas, as is best shown by the Catholic Emancipation Act of Great Britain and Ireland in 1829 ( Doc. No. 3 ). In Belgium, in 1830, Catholics cooperated wholeheartedly with Liberals in framing a Constitution based on the new principles, but guaranteeing complete freedom for the Church ( Doc. No. 4 ).
The other school of Catholic thought (usually known as "Ultramontane") was uncompromisingly hostile towards the new developments. It held that the new "liberties" were dangerous, unsafe, and liable to further a non-Christian state of society; hence it came into frequent collision with the new forces of democracy and nationalism. During the Pontificate of Pius IX, the Ultramontane point of view was usually favoured at the Vatican. This Pope's Concordat with the South American Republic of Ecuador in 1862 ( Doc. No. 5 ) is an illustration in practice of the ideals of the Ultramontane school and of the extensive rights claimed by it for the Church. These ideals and rights were implied by the same Pope's condemnation of various Liberal ideas in the Syllabus of Errors of 1864 ( Doc. No. 6 ), though the Liberal Catholics were able, without any reproof from the Pope, to give a moderate interpretation of this pronouncement.
The circumstances of Pius IX's Pontificate were, in fact, hardly calculated to induce the Pope to view Liberalism with favour. The process of unifying Italy under the House of Savoy was carried out with a lack of scruple admitted by Cavour, the architect of the unification, and in the decade between 1860 and 1870 it led to the forcible occupation of the whole of the Papal States in Central Italy by the new Italian Kingdom. The proposals to ensure the future status of the Pope, which were laid down by the Italian Government in the Law of Guarantees of 1871 ( Doc. No. 7 ), were found to be unacceptable by the Vatican. In the last years of Pius IX's life, the Church came into conflict with the other new European Great Power--Germany, recently unified under the aegis of Prussia by Bismarck. Bismarck's anti-Catholic laws of 1874 ( Doc. No. 8 ) were an effort to bring important aspects of Church life under the control of the State; the resistance of the Church led to a struggle between Bismarck's government and Catholicism in Germany, which is known as the "Kulturkampf."
The accession of Pope Leo XIII entailed a reorientation of Papal policy. The new Pope was as resolute as his predecessor in resistance to anti-Christian tendencies in the modern order, but he possessed a more acute statesmanship and a keener sense of practical possibilities. Whereas Pius IX had been chiefly concerned with pointing out the ways in which secularist Liberalism was incompatible with Christianity, Leo XIII devoted his major attention to setting forth positively and constructively the alternative ideal of a Christian social order which would meet successfully the challenge of modern problems. His teaching was expressed in a series of Encyclicals which are possibly unrivalled in the history of the Papacy, covering, as they do, every, aspect of social, political and economic life. Two Encyclicals are particularly representative of this large corpus -
Immortale Dei of 1885 ( Doc. No. 9 ), which points out the fallacies of the Liberal conception of the State and indicates the Christian alternative; and Rerum novarum of 1891 ( Doc. No. 10 ), which attacks the capitalist economic theory and practice of Liberalism, as well as the growing Socialist criticism of them. In those sections of this Encyclical, where Leo XIII outlines the principles of a Christian social policy, an impetus was given to the subsequent powerful expansion of Catholic study of the modern industrial order.
This Pope concentrated his most important diplomatic efforts on the hope of a rapprochement with the Third French Republic, showing thereby his readiness to find a modus vivendi with a Liberal secularist government where this could be obtained without sacrifice of the Church's vital interests. At the end of his Pontificate, however, this policy collapsed because of renewed anti-clerical feeling in France culminating during the Pontificate of his successor, Pius X, in the Law of Separation of Church and State ( Doc. No. 11 ), passed by the French Chamber and Senate in 1905.
Leo XIII's personal genius had raised the prestige of the Papacy immeasurably and had made it a respected influence in international affairs. The extent of such influence was revealed by the attention aroused by the Peace Proposals ( Doc. No. 12 ) which Pope Benedict XV made in 1917 to end the conflict of the First World War. The Pope's peace effort was not successful, but the Papacy had clearly re-established itself, despite the loss of its temporal power, as a significant factor in world politics. It was to need the moral prestige thus acquired, for new and even severer challenges were to face the Church during the course of the twentieth century.
I. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy in France, July 12, 1790 Original French text in Debidour, Histoire des rapports de l'Église et de l'État en France de 1789 à 1870, p. 653
Commentary The reform of political and administrative authority which the French Revolution had undertaken to carry out made it inevitable that the new Government would seek to control the Church. Despite the support given by many of the lower clergy to the Revolution in its early stages, the new régime suspected the Church and in particular the hierarchy of secretly wishing for a return to the old order. The Government's relations with the Papacy were also strained; the territory of Avignon (under direct Papal sovereignty since the early fourteenth century) was showing signs of wishing for incorporation with the rest of France, while Pope Pius VI maintained an attitude of reserved disapproval towards the new social and political principles which the Revolution professed; he had, in fact, officially condemned the famous "Declaration of the Rights of Man" in a secret Consistory during 1790. There were, therefore, practical incentives for the new French Government to wish Papal influence to be eliminated as far as possible from the Church within their territories. The Gallican tradition (see Chap. VI, Doc. No. I ), shared by various members of the episcopate itself, worked in the same direction, though its Conciliar leanings would hardly be congenial to those who framed the Civil Constitution.
The use of the adjective "Civil" is significant: it illustrates the contention of the Government that the new system had no intention of interfering with purely spiritual matters, but was merely a rearrangement, dictated largely by economic causes, of the temporal framework of the French Church. The National Assembly, which passed the measure after prolonged debates in July and compelled the King to promulgate it on August 25, 1790, appears to have hoped that the Pope would accept this argument at its face value. In order to persuade him to receive the settlement with a better grace, Avignon was not annexed until September, 1791, when it had become clear that compromise was impossible.
The Pope naturally regarded the Constitution with misgiving. A strange mixture of theories derived from Gallicanism on the one hand and the Enlightenment on the other, the main innovations of the Constitution were the reorganization of the territorial units of administration within the Church and the selection of candidates for Church offices. Section I prescribes a complete re-organization of diocesan and parish boundaries; the diocese is henceforth to correspond strictly with the new administrative units known as "départements," set up by the Assembly earlier in the year. Dioceses and parishes which would not fit easily into the new scheme were to be suppressed, while the same "axe" was to be applied to the ancient offices of the Church (such as canonries, etc.) which the Constitution regarded as superfluous.
Section II, dealing with the process of nomination to benefices, was even more provocative. The Constitution revived the old practice of the primitive Church (abandoned many centuries ago) of direct election of bishops and clergy by the laity (see on the preceding systems of appointment of the French episcopate and clergy, the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges and the Concordat of Bologna, in Chap. IV, Doc. Nos. 4 and 8). Detailed regulations to govern the procedure of election were laid down. The successful candidate would receive canonical institution from his Metropolitan or (if he were elected to a lower benefice) from his bishop, but the ecclesiastical authorities would have no direct influence on the election. The Pope's part in the procedure was cut down to an almost nonexistent degree. He was not to be asked to give confirmation of the election; he was merely to be informed of it by the new bishop as a formal acknowledgment of his primacy over the Church (Sect. II, Art. 19). An important feature of the procedure is that the right to vote in these elections is not restricted to Catholics alone, but may be exercised by any citizen. Section III deals with clerical salaries, while Section IV makes stringent regulations to check absenteeism, frequent under the ancien régime, particularly among higher churchmen.
The clear aim of the Constitution was to cut off the French Church, for all practical purposes, from contact with Rome and to transform it into a self-contained national Church. There were, however, elements among the Papal supporters themselves who judged that as no openly schismatic move had yet been made, it would be wiser for the Pope to accept the Constitution, at any rate for the time being.
But the Pontiff, seriously alarmed by the radical tendencies of the Revolution, resolved to oppose the Constitution. Even so, the French Government might have obtained its ends if it could have retained the support of the majority of the clergy and laity. This it failed to do. Even the Gallicans could not stomach direct defiance of the Pope in ecclesiastical matters by a secular political body. Their leader, Archbishop Boisgelin of Aix, was favourable to the Constitution, but would only regard it as lawful if it were approved by a national council of bishops and clergy; the Assembly, however, would not permit such a council to meet, regarding it as a derogation from the Assembly's own sovereign power. The result was that Boisgelin and those who thought like him were driven to make common cause with the supporters of the Papacy in open opposition.
The final outcome of the Government's failure to reach agreement with the Papacy was that it attempted to put the Constitution into effect by force. Only a minority of the clergy accepted the Constitution, and for ten years the French Church was split by the bitter conflict between the "Constitutionals" and the "nonjurors" (those who, out of loyalty to the Papacy, refused to take the oath to the Civil Constitution). The number of bishops who submitted was seven; the rest were deprived of their sees and replaced by more pliable clerics. The controversy was not settled until the Concordat between Pope Pius VII and Napoleon in 1801 (see Doc. No. 2 of this Chapter).
The National Assembly, after hearing the report of its ecclesiastical committee, has decreed and decrees the following as constitutional articles:
Art. 1. Each "département" shall form a single diocese, and each diocese shall have the same extent and the same limits as the "département."
[ Arts. 2 and 3 are devoted to detailed stipulations concerning the boundaries of the new individual dioceses.]
Art. 4. It is forbidden to every church or parish of France, and to every French citizen, to recognize in any case and under any pretext whatever the authority of an ordinary or metropolitan bishop whose See should be established under the domination of a foreign power, or that of his delegates, resident in France or elsewhere; all this without prejudice to the unity of the faith and of the communion which should be preserved with the visible head of the universal Church, as shall be indicated below.
Art. 5. When the diocesan bishop shall have pronounced in his synod on matters within his competence, there shall always be opportunity for recourse to the metropolitan, who shall take his decision in the metropolitan synod.
Art. 6. There shall be immediate action on the advice of the diocesan bishop and of the administration of the districts, to bring about a new formation and delimitation of all the parishes of the kingdom; the number and the extent of them shall be determined according to the rules which shall be laid down.
Art. 7. The cathedral church of each diocese shall be returned to its primitive condition of being at the same time a parish church and an episcopal church, by the suppression of parishes and by the computation of the dwellings which it shall be thought convenient to unite in it.
Art. 8. The episcopal parish shall have no other direct pastor besides the bishop. All the priests who shall be appointed there shall be his vicars and shall perform the function of such.
Art. 9. There shall be sixteen vicars of the cathedral church in towns comprising more than 10,000 souls and twelve only where the population shall be below 10,000 souls.
Art. 10. There shall be preserved or founded in each diocese one seminary only, to train candidates for Holy Orders, without any prejudice for the moment, to other houses of instruction and education.
Art. 11. The seminary shall be set up, as far as possible, near the cathedral church and even within the precincts of the buildings destined for the living quarters of the bishop.
Art. 12. For the conduct and instruction of youths admitted into the seminary, there shall be a superior vicar and three directing vicars subject to the bishop.
Art. 13. The superior and directing vicars are bound to assist, with the young ecclesiastics of the seminary, in all the offices of the cathedral parish, and to perform there all the functions which the bishop or his first vicar shall see fit to lay upon them.
Art. 14. The vicars of cathedral churches, and the superior and directing vicars of the seminary, shall together form the customary and permanent council of the bishop, who shall not be able to make any act of jurisdiction, in anything relating to the government of the diocese and seminary, except after consultation with them; nevertheless, the bishop shall be able, in the course of his visitations, to make such provisional enactments as he shall think fit.
Art. 15. In all towns and districts comprising not more than 6,000 souls, there shall be no more than one parish; the other parishes shall be suppressed and united to the principal church.
Art. 16. In towns where there are more than 6,000 souls, each parish shall be able to comprise a greater number of parishioners, and it shall be preserved or established as the needs of the people and localities shall require.
Art. 17. The administrative assemblies, in conjunction with the diocesan bishop, shall designate to the next legislature the parishes, annexes or affiliated branch-parishes in towns or in the countryside which it shall be convenient to preserve or to extend, to found or to suppress; and they shall indicate the boundaries required by the needs of the people, the dignity of worship and the different localities.
Art. 18. The administrative assemblies and the diocesan bishop shall be able, after having agreed between themselves on the suppression and union of a parish, to arrange that, in remote places or those which, during part of the year, communicate only with difficulty with the parish church, there shall be preserved or founded a chapel where the parish priest shall provide, on feast days or Sundays, a vicar to say Mass and give the people the necessary instruction.
Art. 19. The union of one parish with another shall always entail the union of the goods of the fabric of the Church suppressed to the fabric of the Church to which it is to be united.
Art. 20. All titles and offices other than those mentioned in the present Constitution, dignities, canonries, prebends, demi-prebends, chapels, chapels of ease, cathedral and collegiate churches, and all regular and secular chapters of both sexes, regalian or commendatory abbeys and priories of both sexes and all other benefices as well as funds for the support of unbeneficed priests of whatever nature and under whatever description they may be, are totally abolished and suppressed as from the day of publication of the present decree, without any future possibility of such (titles and offices) being founded.
Art. 21. All benefices in lay patronage are subject to all the arrangements of the decrees relating to benefices in full collation or ecclesiastical patronage.
Art. 22. Likewise included in the said arrangements are all titles and foundations of full secular collation, except chapels actually served by a chaplain, in the precincts of private houses, or depending solely on the disposition of the proprietor.
Art. 23. The substance of the preceding articles shall take effect, notwithstanding all clauses, even of reversion, stipulated in the acts of foundation.
Art. 24. Foundations for Masses and other services, carried out at present in parish churches by the parish priests and by priests who are attached there without being provided by their status with a perpetual title in the benefice, shall continue provisionally to be kept on and paid as in the past; however, in churches where are established societies of priests unprovided with a perpetual title to benefices, and known under the various names of filleuls agrégés, familiers, communalistes, mépartistes, chaplains or others, those among them who shall die or retire cannot be replaced.
Art. 25. Foundations made to assist in the education of relatives of the founders shall continue to be carried on in conformity with the dispositions written in the document of foundation; and, with regard to all other pious foundations, the parties concerned shall present their cases to the assemblies of the "département," so that, with their advice and that of the diocesan bishop, the Legislative Body may decide on their preservation or their replacement.
NOMINATION TO BENEFICES
Art. 1. As from the day of publication of the present decree, there shall be only one lawful manner of providing to bishoprics and incumbencies, that is to say the method of elections.
Art. 2. All elections shall be carried out by ballot and by the absolute majority of votes.
Art. 3. The election of bishops shall be made in the way prescribed and by the electoral body indicated in the decree of December 22, 1789, for the nomination of members of the assembly of the "département."
Art. 4. On the first news which the Procurator General-Syndic of the "département" shall receive of the vacancy of an episcopal See by death, resignation or otherwise, he shall give information of it to the Procurator--Syndics of the districts, to the end that by them may be convoked the electors who are entitled to proceed to the final nomination of the members of the administrative assembly; and at the same time he shall indicate the day when the election of the bishop ought to be made; this shall be, at the latest, the third Sunday after the informative letter which he shall write.
Art. 5. If the vacancy in the episcopal See should occur in the four last months of the year when the election of members of the administration of the "département" should be made, the election of the bishop shall be postponed to the next assembly of electors.
Art. 6. The election of the bishop shall not be made or commenced except on a Sunday in the principal church of the administrative centre of the "département," at the conclusion of the parish Mass, at which all the electors shall be obliged to be present.
Art. 7. To be eligible for a bishopric, it is necessary to have carried out, during at least fifteen years, the functions of the ecclesiastical ministry in the diocese, in the capacity of parish priest, curate or vicar, or as superior vicar, or as directing vicar of a seminary.
Art. 8. The bishops whose Sees are suppressed by the present decree can be elected to bishoprics vacant at present, as well as to those which shall fall vacant in future, or which have been created in any "départements," even if they had not held office for fifteen years.
Art. 9. The parish priests and other ecclesiastics who, by reason of the new delimitation of dioceses, shall find themselves in a different diocese from that in which they have exercised their functions, shall be accounted as having exercised them in the new diocese, and they shall be in consequence eligible, provided that they have fulfilled in the other place the period of active work mentioned above.
Art. 10. Parish priests who shall have worked ten years in a diocesan parish can also be elected, even if they have not previously fulfilled the duties of vicar.
Art. 11. The same shall apply to parish priests whose parishes shall be suppressed by virtue of the present enactment and the time which shall have elapsed since the suppression of their parish shall be counted to them as a period of active work.
Art. 12. Missionaries, Vicars-General of bishops, clerics serving hospitals, or entrusted with public education, shall be equally eligible, after they shall have fulfilled their duties for fifteen years, reckoned from their elevation to the priesthood.
Art. 13. Equally eligible shall be all dignitaries, canons, or in general all holders of benefices and titles who have been bound to residence, or have exercised ecclesiastical functions, and whose benefices, titles, offices or duties are suppressed by the present decree, after they shall have been in active work for fifteen years, reckoned as in the case of the parish priests in the previous article.
Art. 14. The proclamation of the elect shall be made by the president of the electoral assembly in the church where the election shall have been made, in presence of the people and the clergy, and before the commencement of the chief Mass which shall be celebrated with that intention.
Art. 15. The procès-verbal of the election and proclamation shall be sent to the King by the president of the assembly of electors, to give His Majesty information of the choice which shall have been made.
Art. 16. Within a month following his election, the person elected to a bishopric shall present himself in person to his metropolitan bishop or, if he has been elected to the metropolitan See, to the senior bishop of the district, with the procès-verbal of election and proclamation, and shall request canonical confirmation.
Art. 17. The metropolitan or senior bishop shall have authority to examine the elected person, in presence of his council, with regard to doctrine and morals; if he judges him suitable, he shall give him canonical institution; if he believes he ought to refuse it to him, the causes for refusal shall be given in writing, and signed by the metropolitan and his council, although the interested parties may have the right of appeal in case of abuse, as laid down below.
Art. 18. The bishop from whom confirmation shall be requested shall not exact from the elected person any oath other than the making of profession of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion.
Art. 19. The new bishop shall not apply to the Pope to obtain any confirmation; but he shall write to him as to the visible head of the universal Church, in token of the unity of the faith and of the communion which he ought to hold with him.
Art. 20. The consecration of the bishop can only be made in his cathedral church by his metropolitan or, failing him, by the senior bishop of the district of the metropolitan See, assisted by the bishops of the two nearest dioceses, on a Sunday, during the parish Mass, in presence of the people and clergy.
Art. 21. Before the ceremony of consecration begins, the elected person shall take, in presence of the municipal officers, the people and clergy, a solemn oath to watch carefully over the faithful of the diocese entrusted to him, to be loyal to the nation, the law and the King, and to uphold with all his power the Constitution decreed by the National Assembly and accepted by the King.
Art. 22. The bishop shall have the liberty of choosing the vicars of his cathedral church among all the clergy of his diocese, with the proviso that he can nominate only priests who have exercised ecclesiastical functions for at least ten years. He shall not be able to dismiss them except with the advice of his council, and by a decision which shall be taken there by a majority of votes, and with knowledge of the case.
Art. 23. Parish priests at present established in any cathedral churches, as well as those of the parishes to be united to the cathedral church and to form its estate, shall be by full right, if they request it, the first vicars of the bishop, each according to the order of seniority in pastoral functions.
Art. 24. The superior vicar and the directing vicars of a seminary shall be nominated by the bishop and his council, and cannot be dismissed except in the same way as the vicars of the cathedral church.
Art. 25. The election of parish priests shall be made in the form prescribed, and by the electors indicated by the decree of December 22, 1789, for the nomination of members of the administrative assembly of the district.
Art. 26. The assembly of electors for the appointment to parish livings shall meet every year at the same time as the meeting of the district assemblies, even when there is no more than one living vacant in the district; to this end, the municipalities shall be bound to give information to the Procurator-Syndic of the district of all vacancies of livings, which shall arise in their district by death, dismissal or otherwise.
Art. 27. In convoking the assembly of electors, the ProcuratorSyndic shall send to each municipality the list of all the livings to which a nomination shall be necessary.
Art. 28. The election of parish priests shall be made by separate ballot for each vacant living.
Art. 29. Each elector, before placing his choice in the ballot box, shall take oath not to name any one other than the man whom he shall have selected in his soul and conscience as the most worthy, without being influenced in his choice by gifts, promises, canvassings or threats. This oath shall be taken for the election of bishops as well as for that of parish priests.
Art. 30. The election of parish priests can only be made or commenced on a Sunday, in the principal church of the chief town of the district, at the end of the parish Mass, at which all the electors shall be bound to be present.
Art. 31. The proclamation of those elected shall be made by the president of the electoral body in the principal church, before the Solemn Mass which shall be celebrated for that intention, in presence of the people and clergy.
Art. 32. To be eligible for a parish living, it shall be necessary to have fulfilled the functions of vicar in a parish or hospital or some other charitable establishment in the diocese, for the period of at least five years.
Art. 33. Parish priests whose parishes have been suppressed in execution of the present enactment can be elected, even if they have not served five years in the diocese.
Art. 34. Similarly eligible to parish livings shall be all those who have been declared above as eligible to bishoprics, provided that they have also performed five years of service.
Art. 35. The candidate elected to a parish living shall present himself in person to the bishop, with the procès-verbal of his election and proclamation, for the purpose of obtaining from him canonical institution.
Art. 36. The bishop shall have the power of examining the person elected, in the presence of his council, with regard to his doctrine and morals; if he judges him suitable, he shall give him canonical institution; if he believes he ought to refuse it to him, the reasons for refusal shall be given in writing, and signed by the bishop and his council, with the proviso that the parties may appeal to the civil power, as shall be detailed below.
Art. 37. In examining the person elected who shall request from him canonical institution, the bishop shall not be able to exact from him any oath other than a profession of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion.
Art. 38. The parish priests elected and instituted shall take the same oath as the bishops in their church, on a Sunday before the parish Mass, in presence of the municipal officers of the locality, and of the people and clergy. Before this, they shall not be able to perform any parish function.
Art. 39. There shall be, in the cathedral church as well as in each parish church, a special register in which the Recorder of the Municipality of the place shall write, without fee, the procès-verbal of the taking of the oath by the bishop or the parish priest, and there shall be no other record of taking possession than this procès-verbal.
Art. 40. Bishoprics and parish livings shall be reckoned vacant until the persons elected have taken the oath mentioned above.
Art. 41. During the vacancy of the episcopal See, the first vicar, and failing him the second vicar, of the cathedral church shall act in the place of the bishop, for his curial functions as well as for the acts of jurisdiction which do not demand the episcopal character; but, in everything, he shall be bound to proceed by the advice of the council.
Art. 42. During the vacancy of a parish living, the parish administration shall be entrusted to the first vicar, although another vicar may be installed there if the municipality requires it; and, in the case where there has been no vicar in the parish, a substitute shall be installed there by the bishop.
Art. 43. Each parish priest shall have the right to choose his vicars, but he shall not be able to place his choice on any except priests ordained or received into the diocese by the bishop.
Art. 44. No parish priest shall be able to dismiss his vicars except for legimitate causes, judged as such by the bishop and his council.
FINANCIAL REMUNERATION OF MINISTERS OF RELIGION
Art. 1. Ministers of religion exercising the chief and most important functions of society, and obliged to reside in the place of service to which the confidence of the people has called them, shall be remunerated by the nation.
Art. 2. There shall be provided for each bishop, for each parish priest and those serving annexed and affiliated churches a decent lodging, with all costs of upkeep being chargeable to themselves; this does not imply that there is to be any change for the present with regard to parishes where the lodging of parish priests is provided for in cash, but the "départements" shall have to consider the requests which shall be made by parishes and parish priests; there shall be assigned to all, in addition, the salary given in the scale set forth below.
Art. 3. The salary of bishops shall be as follows: for the bishop of Paris, 50,000 livres; for bishops of towns whose population is 50,000 souls and more, 20,000 livres; for other benefices, 12,000 livres.
Art. 4. The salary of vicars of cathedral churches shall be as follows: at Paris, for the first vicar, 6,000 livres; for the second, 4,000 livres; for all other vicars, 3,000 livres.
In cities whose population is 50,000 souls and more: for the first vicar, 4,000 livres; for the second, 3,000 livres; for all others, 2,400 livres.
In cities whose population is less than 50,000 souls: for the first vicar, 3,000 livres; for the second, 2,400 livres; for all others, 2,000 livres.
Art. 5. The salary of parish priests shall be as follows: at Paris, 6,000 livres. In cities whose population is 50,000 souls and more, 4,000 livres; in those whose population is less than 50,000 souls and more than 10,000 souls, 3,000 livres. In cities and towns whose population is below 10,000 souls and above 3,000 souls, 2,400 livres. In all other cities, towns and villages, when the parish shall include a population of 3,000 souls and below--until 2,500, 2,000 livres; when it shall include one of between 2,500 and 2,000 souls, 1,800 livres; when it shall include one of less than 2,000 and more than 1,000 souls, 1,500 livres; and when it shall include one of 1,000 souls and below, 1,2000 livres.
Art. 6. The salary of vicars shall be as follows: at Paris, for the first vicar, 1,200 livres; for the second, 1,000 livres; and for all others, 800 livres. In all other cities and towns where the population shall be more than 3,000 souls, 800 livres for the two first vicars, and 700 livres for all others. In all the other parishes, urban and rural, 700 livres for each vicar.
Art. 7. The salary of ministers of religion shall be paid to them in advance, quarterly, by the treasurer of the district on penalty for him of being compelled to do so by bodily coercion after a simple reminder, and in the case where the bishop, parish priest, or vicar should come to die or to give resignation before the end of the last quarter, there shall not be raised against him or his successors any claim (for refund).
Art. 8. During the vacancy of bishoprics, parishes and all ecclesiastical offices paid by the nation, the salary attached to them shall be put into the funds of the district to provide for the expenses mentioned below.
Art. 9. Parish priests who, for reason of advanced age or infirmity, can no longer fulfil their functions, shall give notice of this to the administrative council of the "département" which, after consultation with the municipality or the administration of the district, shall leave to their choice, if this is possible, either to take another vicar, who shall be paid by the nation on the same scale as the other vicar, or to retire with a pension equal to the salary which would have been provided for the vicar.
Art. 10. Vicars, almoners of hospitals, superiors of seminaries and others, exercising public functions can, similarly, by declaring their condition in the way prescribed, retire with a pension of the value of the salary which they enjoy, provided that it does not exceed the amount of 800 livres.
Art. 11. The computation which shall be made of the salary of ministers of religion shall come into effect from the day of publication of the present enactment, but only for those who shall be appointed subsequently to ecclesiastical offices. With regard to present holders of titles, whether they be those whose offices or functions are suppressed, or whether they be those whose titles are preserved, their salary shall be fixed by a special enactment.
Art. 12. In consideration of the salary which is assured to them by the present Constitution, the bishops, parish priests and their vicars shall exercise their episcopal and pastoral functions without any monetary charges.
THE LAW OF RESIDENCE
Art. 1. The law of residence shall be strictly observed and all those who shall be invested with an ecclesiastical office or function shall be subject to it without any exception or discrimination.
Art. 2. No bishop shall be able to absent himself for more than fifteen consecutive days every year from his diocese, except in case of real necessity and with the agreement of the administrative council of the "département" in which his See shall be established.
Art. 3. Similarly, parish priests and vicars shall not be able to absent themselves from the place of their duties for longer than a period which shall be fixed, except for grave reasons; and even in this case, parish priests shall be bound to obtain the approval both of their bishop and of the administrative council of the district; the vicars must obtain the permission of their parish priests.
Art. 4. If a bishop or parish priest shall break the law of residence, the municipality of the place shall give notice of this to the Procurator General-Syndic of the "département" who shall instruct him in writing to return to his duty and, after the second warning, shall take proceedings to declare forfeit his salary for the whole period of his absence.
Art. 5. Bishops, parish priests and vicars must not accept duties, functions or commissions which would necessitate their being at a distance from their dioceses or parishes or which would remove them from the functions of their ministry; those who are at present in possession of them shall be bound to make their option within the period of three months, reckoned from the notification of the present enactment which shall be made to them by the ProcuratorGeneral Syndic of their "département"; if not, after the expiration of this period, their office shall be accounted vacant, and they shall be given a successor in the form prescribed above.
Art. 6. Bishops, parish priests and vicars shall have the right, as active citizens, to take part in the primary and electoral assemblies, to be named electors therein, deputies to the legislative assemblies, elected members of the general council of the commune, and of the administrative assemblies of the districts and "départements," but their functions are declared incompatible with those of Mayor and other municipal officers and members of the administrative councils of district and "département," and if they are nominated, they shall have to take their choice.
Art. 7. The incompatibility mentioned in Art. 6 shall take effect only in the future; and if any bishops, parish priests or vicars have been called by the votes of their fellow-citizens to the offices of Mayor and other municipal positions, or nominated as members of district or "département" councils, they can continue to exercise the functions of their office.
2. Concordat between Pope Pius VII and the First French Republic, July 15, 1801 Original French and Latin texts in Raccolta di Concordati tra la Santa Sede e le autorità civili ( Vatican, edition 1919), p. 561
Commentary During his Italian campaign of 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of the French Republic, indicated his desire to end the state of tension with the Papacy which had been brought about by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of 1790 (see Doc. No. 1 of this chapter). His suggestions were that in return for recognition of the Catholic Church as the "dominant" religion in France and payment of episcopal salaries by the State, the Papacy should bring about the resignation of all bishops whether "constitutional" (i.e. those who had accepted the Civil Constitution of 1790) or "nonjuring" (i.e. those who had remained loyal to the Papacy and had opposed the Constitution), and should agree to the nomination (in accordance with the Concordat of Bologna--see Chap. IV, Doc.No. 8 No. 8) by the First Consul of bishops to a reduced number of dioceses.
In September, 1800, Mgr. Joseph Spina, titular Archbishop of Corinth, was commissioned by Pope Pius VII as negotiator, with Fr. Caselli, General of the Servite Order, as theological adviser. The Pope was prepared to accept the confiscation of Church property, but resisted the French demand for ejection of bishops from their Sees. Negotiations dragged on, both sides raising their terms. Napoleon reduced his offer to recognize the Church as "dominant religion" to a mere acknowledgment that it was that of the majority of the French people; he also raised the question of an oath of fidelity to the régime on the part of the clergy. Pius VII, on his side, reopened the whole question of the legality of the Revolutionary confiscations of Church property.
Finally, Cardinal Consalvi, Papal Secretary of State, was sent to Paris to resolve difficulties. Official French representatives ( Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother; Cretet, a member of the Council of State; and the Abbé Bernier, one of the "Civil Constitution clergy" and the leading spirit among the three negotiators) were appointed to confer with Consalvi. On July 15, 1801, a Concordat was concluded by these plenipotentiaries, whose signatures are to be found at the end of the present text.
The preamble to the Concordat begins with a slight victory for Napoleon; the Catholic Church is not referred to as "dominant" (the wording desired by the Papacy) but as the religion of the majority. Free exercise of the Faith is to be permitted in France (Art. 1), but a qualification containing reference to police regulations opened the way for a governmental supervision which the Papacy later found itself unable to accept. Art. 2 concedes the principle of diocesan reorganization, while Art. 3 provides that the Pope is to persuade bishops loyal to him to resign their Sees, if necessary. The meaning of these provisions is to be sought in Napoleon's insistence on simplifying the structure of the church in France by a drastic reduction of the number of bishoprics. At the same time, he wanted all French Bishops to resign (both those in effective function and those who were in exile), in order to facilitate the creation of a new episcopate, untrammelled by the past political conditions and divergencies.
Arts. 2 and 3 of the Concordat opened the way to attain both these aims in co-operation with the Pope. On the strength of Art. 2 the number of episcopal Sees was subsequently reduced from 136, which had existed before the Revolution, to 60 only (10 archbishoprics and 50 bishoprics). Art. 3 enabled the First Consul to achieve the desired tabula rasa of the Sees' holders by compelling all bishops in France to resign and by securing the Pope's pressure on those who were in exile to do the same. Some Papal supporters felt that this Pontifical pressure was unjust to those who had stood firm by the Papacy in the troubled times of the Revolution; thirty-five exiled bishops actually refused to resign their Sees and formed a small "non-juring" schismatic Church (known as "la petite église") which lasted until 1893. However, Napoleon, using Arts. 4-6 of the Concordat (which granted to him the rights of episcopal nomination previously held by the French kings under the Concordat of Bologna, including an oath of loyalty), was able to appoint a fresh episcopate, composed mostly of new personalities, unburdened with the controversial past of the preceding years.
Further Articles of the Concordat (9 and 10) hand over control of parish clergy completely to the bishops; the ancient rights of lay patronage are destroyed. Arts. 11 and 12 concede practical control of church buildings and seminaries to the bishops, while Art. 15 recognizes the legitimacy of private benefactions to the Church (despite previous opposition from the French side), and Art. 14 provides for payment of ecclesiastical salaries by the Government. In return, the Pope drops his objections to the confiscation of Church property (Art. 13).
After the Concordat had been ratified by both parties, Napoleon issued the "Organic Articles" ( April, 1802), which enacted provisions not mentioned in the Concordat. Some of these (such as the assertion of the necessity of governmental approval for the publication of Papal pronouncements in France, regulations for the liturgy and catechism of the French Church, the assertion that civil marriage must be a necessary prelude to the religious ceremony, and the placing of Catholicism and Protestantism on a common level) were highly obnoxious to the Papacy and were regarded as breaches of the Concordat. Thus began the chain of disputes between the two parties to the Concordat which was to culminate in the annexation of the Papal States in 1809 by Napoleon and the imprisonment of the Pope.
The Concordat was welcomed by the majority of French Catholics as a settlement of the discord of the previous decade. It undoubtedly strengthened Napoleon's position and furthered his desire to appear as the symbol of unity for the French nation. Ultimately, however, it militated against him for, by removing the autonomous financial resources of the French Church, it gave the death blow to Gallicanism; henceforth, the French bishops would be driven more and more to rely on the Pope as their only protection against complete domination by the secular authority. The Concordat, by eliminating lay patronage over parish benefices, made parish clergy completely dependent on the bishops; hence, the nineteenthcentury Church was able to develop far stronger links with Papal centralized administration than it could ever have done under the ancien régime. As a stabilizing factor, the Concordat holds an important place in French history. Its effects were far-reaching, for it formed the basis of the relationship between Church and State in France through the whole of the nineteenth century, up till the Law of Separation of 1905 (see Doc. No. 11 in this chapter).
His Holiness, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius VII, and the First Consul of the French Republic have named as their respective plenipotentiaries: (For) His Holiness: His Eminence Mgr. Hercules Consalvi, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Deacon of St. Agatha in Suburra, his Secretary of State; Joseph Spina, Archbishop of Corinth, Domestic Prelate to His Holiness, Assistant at the Pontifical throne; and Father Caselli, Advisory Theologian to His Holiness, each furnished with authority in the usual authenticated manner. (For) the First Consul: the citizens Joseph Bonaparte, Counsellor of State; Cretet, Counsellor of State; and Bernier, Doctor of Theology, parish priest of St. Laud at Angers, provided with full powers.
These, having exchanged and acknowledged their respective full powers, have agreed on the following Convention:
The Government of the Republic recognizes that the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion is the religion of the vast majority of French citizens.
His Holiness, for his part, recognizes that this same religion has received and is receiving at the present time the greatest benefit and prestige from the establishment of Catholic worship in France and from the individual professions of it which are made by the Consuls of the French Republic.
As a result, after this mutual recognition, they have, for the good of religion and the maintenance of internal peace, agreed on the following:
Art. 1. The Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion shall be freely practised in France; its worship shall be public, in conformity with police regulations which the Government shall judge to be necessary for public tranquillity.
Art. 2. The Holy See, in conjunction with the Government, shall make a new delimitation of the French dioceses.
Art. 3. His Holiness shall declare to the titular holders of French bishoprics that he expects with firm confidence the utmost sacrifice from them, even if it be that of their Sees, for the sake of peace and unity. After this exhortation, if they refuse this sacrifice prescribed by the good of the Church (a refusal which, however, His Holiness does not expect), the appointment of new nominees to the government of the bishoprics, according to their new delimitation, shall be proceeded with in the following manner.
Art. 4. The First Consul of the Republic shall, within three months following the publication of a Bull of His Holiness, nominate to archbishoprics and bishoprics according to the new delimitation. His Holiness shall confer canonical institution according to the forms established in regard to France before the change of government.
Art. 5. Nominations to bishoprics which shall fall vacant in the future shall also be made by the First Consul and canonical institution shall be given by the Holy See in conformity with the preceding Article.
Art. 6. The bishops, before commencing their duties, shall take personally between the hands of the First Consul the oath of fidelity which was in use before the change of government, expressed in the following terms: "I swear and promise to God on the Holy Gospels to observe obedience and fidelity to the Government established by the Constitution of the French Republic. I also promise not to have any knowledge, not to take part in any scheme, not to associate in any conspiracy, whether internal or external, which may be inimical to public tranquillity and, if in my diocese or elsewhere, I learn that something prejudicial to the State is contemplated, I will make it known to the Government."
Art. 7. Ecclesiastics of subordinate rank shall take the same oath between the hands of civil authorities, designated by the Government.
Art. 8. The following form of prayer shall be recited at the end of Divine worship in all Catholic churches in France: "O Lord, save the Republic. O Lord, save the Consuls."
Art. 9. The bishops shall make a new delimitation of the parishes of their dioceses; this shall not come into effect without the consent of the Government.
Art. 10. The bishops shall nominate parish priests. Their choice shall not fall on any except persons approved by the Government.
Art. 11. The bishops will be able to have a Chapter in their Cathedral, and a seminary for their diocese, but the Government does not guarantee to subsidize them.
Art. 12. All metropolitan churches, cathedrals, parish churches and others not alienated which are necessary for worship, shall be put at the disposal of the bishops.
Art. 13. His Holiness, for the sake of peace and the happy restoration of the Catholic religion, declares that neither himself nor his successors will disturb in any way those who have acquired alienated Church property and that in consequence the ownership of such property, and the rights and revenues attached to it, shall remain unchallenged in their possession or in that of their heirs.
Art. 14. The Government will guarantee a suitable settlement for bishops and parish priests whose dioceses and livings shall be affected by the new delimitation.
Art. 15. The Government will also take measures to ensure that French Catholics can, if they desire, make bequests in favour of churches.
Art. 16. His Holiness recognizes to the First Consul of the French Republic the same rights and prerogatives which the former Government enjoyed in relation to the Holy See.
Art. 17. It is agreed between the contracting parties that in the event that any of the successors of the present First Consul shall not be a Catholic, the rights and prerogatives mentioned in the previous Article and the nomination to bishoprics shall be arranged in collaboration with him by a new convention.
The ratifications shall be exchanged at Paris within fourteen days.
Drawn up at Paris on Messidor 26 of the year IX of the French Republic ( July 15, 1801).
(Signed) Joseph Bonaparte Hercules, Cardinal Consalvi. Cretet, Joseph, Archbishop of Corinth. Bernier. (Fr.) Charles Caselli.
3. Catholic Emancipation Act in Great Britain and Ireland, April 13, 1829 Original English text in Public General Statutes ( 1829), p. 105
Commentary From the time of the English king Henry VIII, and his daughter, Elizabeth I, in whose reign the final establishment of the Anglican Church had taken place (see Chap. V, Doc. Nos. 1 and 4 ), severe Penal Laws had been in force against English, Welsh and Irish Catholics, while similar legislation was introduced in Presbyterian Scotland. These penal laws debarred Catholics from holding any public offices and subjected them to discrimination in transmitting personal property; priests were treated especially harshly, the celebration of Mass being regarded as high treason and, therefore, legally punishable by the death penalty. The attempt of James
II to lift some of these restrictions by his Declaration of Indulgence in 1688 (see Chap. VI, Doc. No. 4) had been defeated, and it was 1778 before the first concession to toleration was made, when Catholics were allowed to own land. In 1791 freedom of Catholic worship was allowed. A still more striking political concession was made in Ireland in 1793, when the semi-autonomous Irish Parliament at Dublin extended the franchise to the forty shilling freeholders and allowed Catholics to vote. These two measures enabled Catholic influence to exert direct pressure in Parliamentary politics; as yet, however, no Catholic could be elected as Member of Parliament.
The extinction of the Irish Parliament, as a separate entity, by the Act of Union in 1800, brought the problem of representation to Westminster itself. A growing body of public opinion was in favour of removing the discrimination against Catholics, but the English Tory Party (traditionally pledged to support of religious supremacy of the Church of England) refused to countenance any concessions and several Relief Bills were, as a result, rejected in the first quarter of the century.
Such was the position when an Irish Catholic lawyer, Daniel O'Connell, hit on the idea of organizing in a mass movement the body of Catholic electors enfranchised in 1793. The Catholic Association was founded in Ireland in 1823 and, despite attempts at suppression by the Government, it exercised an ever growing influence on elections. The climax came when in a by-election at Clare, O'Connell himself was nominated as a candidate and elected by an overwhelming majority. The result was a direct challenge to the Government for, as the law stood, O'Connell, as a Catholic, would not be permitted to take his seat; but if he were not allowed to do so, the problem would arise again on a huge scale at the next General Election. The Duke of Wellington's Tory Government, faced with this sudden need for a quick decision, made a complete volte-face and declared itself in favour of emancipation for Catholics. An Act to this effect was passed in 1829.
The Act sweeps away all disabilities preventing Catholics from sitting in either the House of Lords or the House of Commons; the only requirement is to be the taking of an oath declaring allegiance to the Hanoverian royal dynasty and denying any political authority, direct or indirect, to the Pope (Clause II). All Catholics qualified to do so may enjoy the franchise (Clause V); these concessions extend to Scotland also (Clause VIII). Public, civil and military offices are similarly thrown open to Catholics (Clauses X and XIV); certain public offices, such as that of Lord Chancellor, are still, however, confined to Protestants (Clause XII).
On the other hand, the Act contains a number of restrictive provisions. Catholic members of corporate bodies, which enjoy rights of ecclesiastical patronage in the established Protestant Churches of England, Ireland and Scotland, are debarred from voting in or influencing the choice for such appointments (Clause XV). While this could be considered as a reasonable stipulation, as also could another forbidding Catholics to exercise the right of patronage personally (Clause XVI), other restrictions were not so equitable. The Universities and major public schools were still to be closed to Catholics in virtue of Clause XVI (this restriction was abolished by the Universities Act of 1870); Catholic prelates were prohibited from assuming territorial designations used by prelates of the Anglican Church (Clause XXIV); priests were not to officiate at services or wear religious habits outside their usual places of worship (Clause XXVI); Catholic laymen in official positions were similarly forbidden to wear their public insignia when attending Catholic worship by Clause XXV (cf. the prerogatives which Catholicism, as the dominant religion, kept in Austria after the Toleration Act of the Emperor Joseph II in Chap. VI, Doc. No. 7). Vindictive provisions (Clauses XXVIII-XXXVIII) were aimed at the suppression of male religious Orders and in particular of the Jesuits; these provisions, however, were never put into effect.
The main results of the Act were beneficial. The shadow of political inferiority which had darkened Catholic life for nearly three centuries was at last removed and a period of considerable expansion of English Catholicism followed. This period, usually known as "the Second Spring" ( Cardinal Newman's famous phrase), had as its most striking event the re-establishment of an English Catholic hierarchy on a territorial diocesan basis by Pope Pius IX in 1850. This territorial division carefully avoided infringement of Clause XXIV of the 1829 Act, by giving the bishops diocesan titles not used by the Church of England.
Whereas by various Acts of Parliament certain Restraints and Disabilities are imposed on the Roman Catholic Subjects of His Majesty, to which other Subjects of His Majesty are not liable: And whereas it is expedient that such Restraints and Disabilities shall be from henceforth discontinued: And whereas by various Acts certain Oaths and certain Declarations, commonly called the Declaration against Transubstantiation, and the Declaration against Transubstantiation and the Invocation of Saints and the Sacrifice of the Mass, as Acts relating to Declarations against Transubstantiation, repealed.
practised in the the Church of Rome, are or may be required to be taken, made, and subscribed by the Subjects of His Majesty, as Qualifications for sitting and voting in Parliament, and for the Enjoyment of certain Offices, Franchises, and Civil Rights: Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the Commencement of this Act all such Parts of the said Acts as require the said Declarations, or either of them, to be made or subscribed by any of His Majesty's Subjects, as a Qualification for sitting and voting in Parliament, or for the Exercise or Enjoyment of any Office, Franchise, or Civil Right, be and the same are (save as herein-after provided and excepted) hereby repealed. Roman Catholics may sit and vote in Parliament, on taking the following Oath.
II. And be it enacted, That from and after the Commencement of this Act it shall be lawful for any Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, being a Peer, or who shall after the Commencement of this Act be returned as a Member of the House of Commons, to sit and vote in either House of Parliament respectively, being in all other respects duly qualified to sit and vote therein, upon taking and subscribing the following Oath, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration:
' I A.B. do sincerely promise and swear, That I will be faith' ful and bear true Allegiance to His Majesty King George the ' Fourth, and will defend him to the utmost of my Power ' against all Conspiracies and Attempts whatever, which shall ' be made against his Person, Crown, or Dignity; and I will ' do my utmost Endeavour to disclose and make known to ' His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, all Treasons and ' traitorous Conspiracies which may be formed against Him ' or Them: And I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, ' and defend, to the utmost of my Power, the Succession of ' the Crown, which Succession, by an Act, intituled An Act ' for the further Limitation of the Crown, and better securing the ' Rights and Liberties of the Subject, is and stands limited to the ' Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and the Heirs of her ' Body, being Protestants; hereby utterly renouncing and ' abjuring any Obedience or Allegiance unto any other ' Person claiming or pretending a Right to the Crown of ' this Realm: And I do further declare, That it is not an ' Article of my Faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and ' abjure the Opinion, that Princes excommunicated or ' deprived by the Pope, or any other Authority of the See of ' Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their Subjects, or by ' any Person whatsoever: And I do declare, That I do not ' believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other Foreign Prince, ' Prelate, Person, State, or Potentate, hath or ought to have ' any Temporal or Civil Jurisdiction, Power, Superiority, or ' Pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this Realm. I ' do swear, That I will defend to the utmost of my Power the ' Settlement of Property within this Realm, as established by ' the Laws: And I do hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly ' abjure any Intention to subvert the present Church Esta' blishment as settled by Law within this Realm: And I do ' solemnly swear, That I never will exercise any Privilege to ' which I am or may become entitled, to disturb or weaken ' the Protestant Religion or Protestant Government in the ' United Kingdom: And I do solemnly, in the Presence of ' God, profess, testify, and declare, That I do make this ' Declaration, and every Part thereof, in the plain and ' ordinary Sense of the Words of this Oath, without any ' Evasion, Equivocation, or mental Reservation whatsoever. So help me GOD.' The Name of the Sovereign for the Time being to be used in the Oath.
III. And be it further enacted, That wherever, in the Oath hereby appointed and set forth, the Name of His present Majesty is expressed or referred to, the Name of the Sovereign of this Kingdom for the Time being, by virtue of the Act for the further Limitation of the Crown and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, shall be substituted from Time to Time, with proper Words of Reference thereto. No Roman Catholic capable of sitting or voting until he has taken the Oath.
IV. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That no Peer professing the Roman Catholic Religion, and no Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, who shall be returned a Member of the House of Commons after the Commencement of this Act, shall be capable of sitting or voting in either House of Parliament respectively, unless he shall first take and subscribe the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, before the same Persons, at the same Times and Places, and in the same Manner as the Oaths and the Declaration now required by Law are respectively directed to be taken, made, and subscribed; and that any such Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, who shall sit or vote in either House of Parliament, without having first taken and subscribed, in the Manner aforesaid, the Oath in this Act appointed and set forth, shall be subject to the same Penalties, Forfeitures, and Disabilities, and the Offence of so sitting or voting shall be followed and attended by and with the same Consequences, as are by Law enacted and provided in the Case of Persons sitting or voting in either House of Parliament respectively, without the taking, making, and subscribing the Oaths and the Declaration now required by Law.
V. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for Persons professing the Roman Catholic Religion to vote at Elections of Members to serve in Parliament for England and for Ireland, and also to vote at the Elections of Representative Peers of Scotland and of Ireland, and to be elected such Representative Peers, being in all other respects duly qualified, upon taking and subscribing the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration, and instead of the Declaration now by Law required, and instead also of such other Oath or Oaths as are now by Law required to be taken by any of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion, and upon taking also such other Oath or Oaths as may now be lawfully tendered to any Persons offering to vote at such Elections. Roman Catholics may vote at Elections, and be elected, upon taking the Oath.
VI. And be it further enacted, That the Oath hereinbefore appointed and set forth shall be administered to His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion, for the Purpose of enabling them to vote in any of the Cases aforesaid, in the same Manner, at the same Time, and by the same Officers or other Persons as the Oaths for which it is hereby substituted are or may be now by Law administered; and that in all Cases in which a Certificate of the taking, making, or subscribing of any of the Oaths or of the Declaration now required by Law is directed to be given, a like Certificate of the taking or subscribing of the Oath hereby appointed and set forth shall be given by the same Officer or other Person, and in the same Manner as the Certificate now required by Law is directed to be given, and shall be of the like Force and Effect. Oath shall be administered in the same Manner as former Oaths.
VII. And be it further enacted, That in all Cases where the Persons now authorized by Law to administer the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration to Persons voting at Elections, are themselves required to take an Oath previous to their administering such Oaths, they shall, in addition Persons administering Oaths at Elections to take an Oath duly to administer. to the Oath now by them taken, take an Oath for the duly administering the Oath hereby appointed and set forth, and for the duly granting Certificates of the same.
VIII. And whereas in an Act of the Parliament of Scotland made in the Eighth and Ninth Session of the First Parliament of King William the Third, intituled An Act for the preventing the Growth of Popery, a certain Declaration or Formula is therein contained, which it is expedient should no longer be required to be taken and subscribed: Be it therefore enacted, That such Parts of any Acts as authorize the said Declaration or Formula to be tendered, or require the same to be taken, sworn, and subscribed, shall be and the same are hereby repealed, except as to such Offices, Places, and Rights as are herein-after excepted; and that from and after the Commencement of this Act it shall be lawful for Persons professing the Roman Catholic Religion to elect and be elected Members to serve in Parliament for Scotland, and to be enrolled as Freeholders in any Shire or Stewartry of Scotland, and to be chosen Commissioners or Delegates for choosing Burgesses to serve in Parliament for any Districts of Burghs in Scotland, being in all other respects duly qualified, such Persons always taking and subscribing the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Abjuration as now required by Law, at such Time as the said lastmentioned Oaths, or either of them, are now required by Law to be taken. Roman Catholics may elect and be elected Members for Scotland. So much of any Acts as require the Formula contained in 8 & 9 W.3. c. 3. (S.) to be tendered or taken, repealed.
IX. And be it further enacted, That no Person in Holy Orders in the Church of Rome shall be capable of being elected to serve in Parliament as a Member of the House of Commons; and if any such Person shall be elected to serve in Parliament as aforesaid, such Election shall be void; and if any Person, being elected to serve in Parliament as a Member of the House of Commons shall, after his Election, take or receive Holy Orders in the Church of Rome, the Seat of such Person shall immediately become void; and if any such Person shall, in any of the Cases aforesaid, presume to sit or vote as a Member of the House of Commons, he shall be subject to the same Penalties, Forfeitures, and Disabilities as are enacted by an Act passed in the Forty-first Year of the Reign of King George the Third, intituled An Act to remove Doubts respecting the Eligibility of Persons in Holy Orders to sit in the House of Commons ; and Proof of the Celebration of any Religious Service by such Person, according to the Rites of No Roman Catholic Priest to sit in the House of Commons. the Church of Rome, shall be deemed and taken to be prima facie Evidence of the Fact of such Person being in Holy Orders, within the Intent and Meaning of this Act.
X. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for any of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion to hold, exercise, and enjoy all Civil and Military Offices and Places of Trust or Profit under His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, and to exercise any other Franchise or Civil Right, except as herein-after excepted, upon taking and subscribing, at the Times and in the Manner herein-after mentioned, the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration, and instead of such other Oath or Oaths as are or may be now by Law required to be taken for the Purpose aforesaid by any of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion. Roman Catholics may hold Civil and Military Offices under His Majesty, with certain Exceptions.
XI. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to exempt any Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion from the Necessity of taking any Oath or Oaths, or making any Declaration, not herein-before mentioned, which are or may be by Law required to be taken or subscribed by any Person on his Admission into any such Office or Place of Trust or Profit as aforesaid. Not to exempt Roman Catholics from taking any other Oaths required.
XII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to enable any Person or Persons professing the Roman Catholic Religion to hold or exercise the Office of Guardians and Justices of the United Kingdom, or of Regent of the United Kingdom, under whatever Name, Style, or Title such Office may be constituted; nor to enable any Person, otherwise than as he is now by Law enabled, to hold or enjoy the Office of Lord High Chancellor, Lord Keeper or Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal of Great Britain or Ireland; or the Office of Lord Lieutenant, or Lord Deputy, or other Chief Governor or Governors of Ireland; or His Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Offices withheld from Roman Catholics.
XIII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to affect or alter any of the Provisions of an Act passed in the Seventh Year Nothing herein to repeal 7 G.4.c.72. of His present Majesty's Reign, intituled An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws which regulate the Levy and Application of Church Rates and Parish Cesses, and the Election of Churchwardens, and the Maintenance of Parish Clerks, in Ireland.
XIV. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for any of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion to be a Member of any Lay Body Corporate, and to hold any Civil Office or Place of Trust or Profit therein, and to do any Corporate Act, or vote in any Corporate Election or other Proceeding, upon taking and subscribing the Oath hereby appointed and set forth, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration; and upon taking also such other Oath or Oaths as may now by Law be required to be taken by any Persons becoming Members of such Lay Body Corporate, or being admitted to hold any Office or Place of Trust or Profit within the same. Roman Catholics may be Members of Lay Corporations.
XV. Provided nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That nothing herein contained shall extend to authorize or empower any of His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion, and being a Member of any Lay Body Corporate, to give any Vote at, or in any Manner to join in the Election, Presentation, or Appointment of any Person to any Ecclesiastical Benefice whatsoever, or any Office or Place belonging to or connected with the United Church of England and Ireland, or the Church of Scotland, being in the Gift, Patronage, or Disposal of such Lay Corporate Body. Such Members of Corporations not to vote in Ecclesiastical Appointments.
XVI. Provided also, and be it enacted, That nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to enable any Persons, otherwise than as they are now by Law enabled, to hold, enjoy, or exercise any Office, Place, or Dignity of, in, or belonging to the United Church of England and Ireland, or the Church of Scotland, or any Place or Office whatever of, in, or belonging to any of the Ecclesiastical Courts of Judicature of England and Ireland respectively, or any Court of Appeal from or Review of the Sentences of such Courts, or of, in, or belonging to the Commissary Court of Edinburgh, or of, in, or belonging to any Cathedral or Collegiate or Ecclesiastical Establishment or Foundation; or any Office or Place whatever of, in, or belonging to any of the Universities of this Realm; or any Office or Place whatever, and by whatever Name the same may be called, of, in, or belonging to any of the Col- Not to extend to Offices, &c. in the Established Church, or Ecclesiastical Courts, Universities, Colleges, or Schools; leges or Halls of the said Universities, or the Colleges of Eton, Westminster, or Winchester, or any College or School within this Realm; or to repeal, abrogate, or in any Manner to interfere with any local Statute, Ordinance, or Rule, which is or shall be established by competent Authority within any University, College, Hall, or School, by which Roman Catholics shall be prevented from being admitted thereto, or from residing or taking Degrees therein: Provided also, that nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to enable any Person, otherwise than as he is now by Law enabled, to exercise any Right of Presentation to any Ecclesiastical Benefice whatsoever; or to repeal, vary, or alter in any Manner the Laws now in force in respect to the Right of Presentation to any Ecclesiastical Benefice. nor to Presentations to Benefices.
XVII. Provided always, and be it enacted, That where any Right of Presentation to any Ecclesiastical Benefice shall belong to any Office in the Gift or Appointment of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, and such Office shall be held by a Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, the Right of Presentation shall devolve upon and be exercised by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Time being. Proviso for Presentations to Benefices connected with Offices.
XVIII. And be it enacted, That it shall not be lawful for any Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, directly or indirectly, to advise His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, or any Person or Persons holding or exercising the Office of Guardians of the United Kingdom, or of Regent of the United Kingdom, under whatever Name, Style, or Title such Office may be constituted, or the Lord Lieutenant, or Lord Deputy, or other Chief Governor or Governors of Ireland, touching or concerning the Appointment to or Disposal of any Office or Preferment in the United Church of England and Ireland, or in the Church of Scotland; and if any such Person shall offend in the Premises, he shall, being thereof convicted by due Course of Law, be deemed guilty of a high Misdemeanor, and disabled for ever from holding any Office, Civil or Military, under the Crown. No Roman Catholic to advise the Crown in the Appointment to Offices in the Established Church.
XIX. And be it enacted, That every Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, who shall after the Commencement of this Act be placed, elected, or chosen in or to the Office of Mayor, Provost, Alderman, Recorder, Bailiff, Town Clerk Magistrate, Councillor, or Common Councilman, or Time and Manner of taking Oaths for Corporate Offices. in or to any Office of Magistracy or Place of Trust or Employment relating to the Government of any City, Corporation, Borough, Burgh, or District within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, shall, within One Calendar Month next before or upon his Admission into any of the same respectively, take and subscribe the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, in the Presence of such Person or Persons respectively as by the Charters or Usages of the said respective Cities, Corporations, Burghs, Boroughs, or Districts ought to administer the Oath for due Execution of the said Offices or Places respectively; and in Default of such, in the Presence of Two Justices of the Peace, Councillors or Magistrates of the said Cities, Corporations, Burghs, Boroughs, or Districts, if such there be; or otherwise, in the Presence of Two Justices of the Peace of the respective Counties, Ridings, Divisions, or Franchises wherein the said Cities, Corporations, Burghs, Boroughs, or Districts are; which said Oath shall either be entered in a Book, Roll, or other Record to be kept for that Purpose, or shall be filed amongst the Records of the City, Corporation, Burgh, Borough, or District.
XX. And be it enacted, That every Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion, who shall after the Commencement of this Act be appointed to any Office or Place of Trust or Profit under His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, shall within Three Calendar Months next before such Appointment, or otherwise shall, before he presumes to exercise or enjoy or in any Manner to act in such Office or Place, take and subscribe the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, either in His Majesty's High Court of Chancery, or in any of His Majesty's Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, or Exchequer, at Westminster or Dublin; or before any Judge of Assize, or in any Court of General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace in Great Britain or Ireland, for the County or Place where the Person so taking and subscribing the Oath shall reside; or in any of His Majesty's Courts of Session, Justiciary, Exchequer, or Jury Court, or in any Sheriff or Stewart Court, or in any Burgh Court, or before the Magistrates and Councillors of any Royal Burgh in Scotland, between the Hours of Nine in the Morning and Four in the Afternoon; and the proper Officer of the Court in which such Oath shall be so taken and subscribed shall cause the same to be preserved amongst the Records of the Court; and such Officer shall Time and Manner of taking Oaths for other Offices. make, sign, and deliver a Certificate of such Oath having been duly taken and subscribed, as often as the same shall be demanded of him, upon Payment of Two Shillings and Sixpence for the same; and such Certificate shall be sufficient Evidence of the Person therein named having duly taken and subscribed such Oath.
XXI. And be it enacted, That if any Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion shall enter upon the Exercise or Enjoyment of any Office or Place of Trust or Profit under His Majesty, or of any other Office or Franchise, not having in the Manner and at the Times aforesaid taken and subscribed the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth, then and in every such Case such Person shall forfeit to His Majesty the Sum of Two hundred Pounds; and the Appointment of such Person to the Office, Place, or Franchise so by him held shall become altogether void, and the Office, Place, or Franchise shall be deemed and taken to be vacant to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever. Penalty on acting in Offices without taking the Oath.
XXII. Provided always, That for and notwithstanding any thing in this Act contained, the Oath herein-before appointed and set forth shall be taken by the Officers in His Majesty's Land and Sea Service, professing the Roman Catholic Religion, at the same Times and in the same Manner as the Oaths and Declarations now required by Law are directed to be taken, and not otherwise. Oaths by Military and Naval Officers.
XXIII. And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act no Oath or Oaths shall be tendered to or required to be taken by His Majesty's Subjects professing the Roman Catholic Religion, for enabling them to hold or enjoy any Real or Personal Property, other than such as may by Law be tendered to and required to be taken by His Majesty's other Subjects; and that the Oath herein appointed and set forth, being taken and subscribed in any of the Courts, or before any of the Persons above mentioned, shall be of the same Force and Effect, to all Intents and Purposes, as, and shall stand in the Place of, all Oaths and Declarations required or prescribed by any Law now in force for the Relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic Subjects from any Disabilities, Incapacities, or Penalties; and the proper Officer of any of the Courts above mentioned, in which any Person professing the Roman Catholic Religion shall demand to No other Oaths necessary to be taken by Roman Catholics. take and subscribe the Oath herein appointed and set forth, is hereby authorized and required to administer the said Oath to such Person, and such Officer shall make, sign, and deliver a Certificate of such Oath having been duly taken and subscribed, as often as the same shall be demanded of him, upon Payment of One Shilling; and such Certificate shall be sufficient Evidence of the Person therein named having duly taken and subscribed such Oath.
XXIV. And whereas the Protestant Episcopal Church of England and Ireland, and the Doctrine, Discipline, and Government thereof, and likewise the Protestant Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the Doctrine, Discipline, and Government thereof, are by the respective Acts of Union of England and Scotland, and of Great Britain and Ireland, established permanently and inviolably: And whereas the Right and Title of Archbishops to their respective Provinces, of Bishops to their Sees, and of Deans to their Deaneries, as well in England as in Ireland, have been settled and established by Law; be it therefore enacted, That if any Person, after the Commencement of this Act, other than the Person thereunto authorized by Law, shall assume or use the Name, Style, or Title of Archbishop of any Province, Bishop of any Bishoprick, or Dean of any Deanery, in England or Ireland, he shall for every such Offence forfeit and pay the Sum of One hundred Pounds. Titles to Sees, &c. not to be assumed by Roman Catholics.
XXV. And be it further enacted, That if any Person holding any Judicial or Civil Office, or any Mayor, Provost, Jurat, Bailiff, or other Corporate Officer, shall, after the Commencement of this Act, resort to or be present at any Place or public Meeting for Religious Worship in England or in Ireland, other than that of the United Church of England and Ireland, or in Scotland, other than that of the Church of Scotland, as by Law established, in the Robe, Gown, or other peculiar Habit of his Office, or attend with the Ensign or Insignia, or any Part thereof, of or belonging to such his Office, such Person shall, being thereof convicted by due Course of Law, forfeit such Office, and pay for every such Offence the Sum of One hundred Pounds. Judicial or other Officers not to attend with Insignia of Office at any Place of Worship, other than Established Church.
XXVI. And be it further enacted, That if any Roman Catholic Ecclesiastic, or any Member of any of the Orders, Communities, or Societies herein-after mentioned, shall, Penalty on Roman Catholic Ecclesiastics after the Commencement of this Act, exercise any of the Rites or Ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Religion, or wear the Habits of his Order, save within the usual Places of Worship of the Roman Catholic Religion, or in private Houses, such Ecclesiastic or other Person shall, being thereof convicted by due Course of Law, forfeit for every such Offence the Sum of Fifty Pounds. officiating, except in their usual Place of Worship.
XXVII. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing in this Act contained shall in any Manner repeal, alter, or affect any Provision of an Act made in the fifth Year of His present Majesty's Reign, intituled An Act to repeal so much of an Act passed in the Ninth Year of the Reign of King William the Third, as relates to Burials in suppressed Monasteries, Abbeys, or Convents in Ireland, and to make further Provision with respect to the Burial in Ireland of Persons dissenting from the Established Church. Not to repeal Statute 5 Geo.4.c.25.
XXVIII. And whereas Jesuits, and Members of other Religious Orders, Communities, or Societies of the Church of Rome, bound by Monastic or Religious Vows, are resident within the United Kingdom; and it is expedient to make Provision for the gradual Suppression and final Prohibition of the same therein; be it therefore enacted, That every Jesuit, and every Member of any other Religious Order, Community, or Society of the Church of Rome, bound by Monastic or Religious Vows, who at the Time of the Commencement of this Act shall be within the United Kingdom, shall, within Six Calendar Months after the Commencement of this Act, deliver to the Clerk of the Peace of the County or Place where such Person shall reside, or to his Deputy, a Notice or Statement, in the Form and containing the Particulars required to be set forth in the Schedule to this Act annexed; which Notice or Statement such Clerk of the Peace, or his Deputy, shall preserve and register amongst the Records of such County or Place, without any Fee, and shall forthwith transmit a Copy of such Notice or Statement to the Chief Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant, or other Chief Governor or Governors of Ireland, if such Person shall reside in Ireland, or if in Great Britain, to One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State; and in case any Person shall offend in the Premises, he shall forfeit and pay to His Majesty, for every Calendar Month during which he shall remain in the United Kingdom without having delivered such Notice For the Suppression of Jesuits and other Religious Orders of the Church of Rome or Statement as is herein-before required, the Sum of Fifty Pounds.
XXIX. And be it further enacted, That if any Jesuit, or Member of any such Religious Order, Community, or Society as aforesaid, shall, after the Commencement of this Act, come into this Realm, he shall be deemed and taken to be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be sentenced and ordered to be banished from the United Kingdom for the Term of his natural Life. Jesuits, &c. coming into the Realm, to be banished.
XXX. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That in case any natural-born Subject of this Realm, being at the Time of the Commencement of this Act a Jesuit, or other Member of any such Religious Order, Community, or Society as aforesaid, shall, at the Time of the Commencement of this Act, be out of the Realm, it shall be lawful for such Person to return or to come into this Realm; and upon such his Return or coming into the Realm he is hereby required, within the Space of Six Calendar Months after his first returning or coming into the United Kingdom, to deliver such Notice or Statement to the Clerk of the Peace of the County or Place where he shall reside, or his Deputy, for the Purpose of being so registered and transmitted, as herein-before directed; and in case any such Person shall neglect or refuse so to do, he shall for such Offence forfeit and pay to His Majesty, for every Calendar Month during which he shall remain in the United Kingdom without having delivered such Notice or Statement, the Sum of Fifty Pounds. Natural-born Subjects, being Jesuits, may return into the Kingdom and be registered.
XXXI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That, notwithstanding any thing herein-before contained, it shall be lawful for any One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, being a Protestant, by a Licence in Writing, signed by him, to grant Permission to any Jesuit, or Member of any such Religious Order, Community, or Society as aforesaid, to come into the United Kingdom, and to remain therein for such Period as the said Secretary of State shall think proper, not exceeding in any Case the Space of Six Calendar Months; and it shall also be lawful for any of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State to revoke any Licence so granted before the Expiration of the Time mentioned therein, if he shall so think fit; and if any such Person to whom such Licence shall have been granted shall not depart from the United Kingdom within Twenty Days after the Expiration of the Time and may revoke the same. The Principal Secretaries of State may grant Licences to Jesuits, &c. to come into the Kingdom; mentioned in such Licence, or if such Licence shall have been revoked, then within Twenty Days after Notice of such Revocation shall have been given to him, every Person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a Misdemeanor, and being thereof lawfully convicted shall be sentenced and ordered to be banished from the United Kingdom for the Term of his natural Life.
XXXII. And be it further enacted, That there shall annually be laid before both Houses of Parliament an Account of all such Licences as shall have been granted for the Purpose herein-before mentioned within the Twelve Months then next preceding. Accounts of Licences to be laid before Parliament.
XXXIII. And be it further enacted, That in case any Jesuit, or Member of any such Religious Order, Community, or Society as aforesaid, shall, after the Commencement of this Act, within any Part of the United Kingdom, admit any Person to become a Regular Ecclesiastic, or Brother or Member of any such Religious Order, Community, or Society, or be aiding or consenting thereto, or shall administer or cause to be administered, or be aiding or assisting in the administering or taking, any Oath, Vow, or Engagement purporting or intended to bind the Person taking the same to the Rules, Ordinances, or Ceremonies of such Religious Order, Community, or Society, every Person offending in the Premises in England or Ireland shall be deemed guilty of a Misdemeanor, and in Scotland shall be punished by Fine and Imprisonment. Admitting Persons as Members of such Religious Orders deemed a Misdemeapour.
XXXIV. And be it further enacted, That in case any Person shall, after the Commencement of this Act, within any Part of this United Kingdom, be admitted or become a Jesuit, or Brother or Member of any other such Religious Order, Community, or Society as aforesaid, such Person shall be deemed and taken to be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and being thereof lawfully convicted shall be sentenced and ordered to be banished from the United Kingdom for the Term of his natural Life. Any Person so admitted a Member of a Religious Order to be banished.
XXXV. And be it further enacted, That in case any Person sentenced and ordered to be banished under the Provisions of this Act shall not depart from the United Kingdom within Thirty Days after the pronouncing of such Sentence and Order, it shall be lawful for His Majesty to The Party offending may be banished by His Majesty; cause such Person to be conveyed to such Place out of the United Kingdom as His Majesty, by the Advice of His Privy Council, shall direct
XXXVI. And be it further enacted, That if any Offender, who shall be so sentenced and ordered to be banished in Manner aforesaid, shall, after the End of Three Calendar Months from the Time such Sentence and Order hath been pronounced, be at large within any Part of the United Kingdom, without some lawful Cause, every such Offender being so at large as aforesaid, on being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be transported to such Place as shall be appointed by His Majesty, for the Term of his natural Life. and if at large after Three Months, may be transported for Life.
XXXVII. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend in any Manner to affect any Religious Order, Community, or Establishment consisting of Females bound by Religious or Monastic Vows. Not to extend to Female Societies.
XXXVIII. And be it further enacted, That all Penalties imposed by this Act shall and may be recovered as a Debt due to His Majesty, by Information to be filed in the Name of His Majesty's Attorney General for England or for Ireland, as the Case may be, in the Courts of Exchequer in England or Ireland respectively, or in the Name of His Majesty's Advocate General in the Court of Exchequer in Scotland. Penaltics how to be recovered.
XXXIX. And be it further enacted, That this Act, or any Part thereof, may be repealed, altered, or varied at any Time within this present Session of Parliament. Act may be altered this Session.
XL. And be it further enacted, That this Act shall commence and take effect at the Expiration of Ten Days from and after the passing thereof. Commencement of Act.
4. Exracts from the Belgian Constitution of 1831
Original French text in Dareste, Les Constitutions Modernes, vol. I, p. 349
In 1830 Belgium proclaimed its independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, under the rule of which it had been placed by the Vienna Congress of 1814. Freedom was achieved by a coalition (hitherto unparalleled elsewhere in Europe) between the Catholics and the Liberal inheritors of the principles of the French Revolution. Both of these had their grievances against the Dutch Government; the Catholics resented William I's pronounced Protestantism and his attempts to drive the Catholic Church from the educational field, while the Liberals found his tendencies towards political absolutism objectionable. Both groups alike resented his effort to force the French and Flemish-speaking inhabitants of Belgium to assimilate the Dutch language and customs.
As liberty had been won by coalition, it was natural that an effort should be made to continue such co-operation in the period of independence. This collaboration between such widely different forces was enshrined in the Constitution which was drafted on the morrow of victory and is still the law of the land at the present day. Both sides obtained valuable concessions. The Liberals secured complete liberty of conscience and worship for all, the Catholic Church being assigned no special official position; the Catholics, on the other hand, obtained recognition for their religious schools as well as freedom to provide voluntary religious instruction in the State schools but had to accept an obligatory civil wedding before the Church marriage; the State renounced any right to appoint to Church offices and benefices or to control the administration or pronouncements of the Church, although it continued to be responsible for ecclesiastical salaries.
The reason for the acceptance, by both sides, of terms which a generation later would have been impossible, is to be sought in the fact that neither Catholics nor Liberals had yet become mutually as hostile as they tended to be during the later Pontificate of Pius IX. The Catholics in Belgium could accept a Constitution which later in several respects stood condemned from the viewpoint of the Syllabus Errorum (see Doc. No. 6 of this Chapter), because there was strong sympathy in that country for the "Liberal Catholic" political ideas put forward by Lamennais (see Introduction to this chapter); Pope Gregory XVI himself told enquirers formally that they might with a clear conscience adhere to the Constitution. On the other side, the attitude of the Liberals to the Church had not yet been hardened into the militant anti-clericalism of later decades.
Belgium thus acquired the position of being the first predominantly Catholic State which endeavoured to come to terms with democratic Liberalism and, as such, it was often used as a practical argument by more Liberal-minded Catholics during the controversies over the Catholic attitude towards the modern Liberal State which were to rage for the rest of the century. Although the unity engendered by the struggle for independence had perished within two decades from 1830, Catholics in Belgium have continued to enjoy a reputation for readiness to consider social or political experiment.
The most prominent of such experiments is the organization "Jeunesse Ouvriêre Chrétienne" (known in English-speaking countries as "The You Christian Workers"), which strives to bring into modern industrial life the principles of the Papal social. Encyclicals (see Doc. No. 10 of this chapter and Doc. No. 2 of Chap. VIII). The J.O.C., as it is usually abbreviated, has spread from Belgium to many other countries.
Art. 14. Freedom of religions and of their public worship, as well as freedom of expressing opinions on any matter, is guaranteed, except for the suppression of crimes committed because of the use of those liberties.
Art. 15. No one can be compelled to join in any manner whatever in the rites and ceremonies of any religion, nor to observe its days of rest.
Art. 16. The State shall have no right to interfere either in the nomination or in the installation of the ministers of any religious denomination whatever, or to forbid them to correspond with their superiors and to publish their decrees, except, in the latter case, for the ordinary responsibility of the Press and of publication. Civil marriage shall always precede the nuptial blessing, except in cases to be established by law if found necessary.
Art. 17. Teaching is free; every preventive measure is forbidden; the repression of offences shall be regulated by law. Public instruction given at the State's expense is also regulated by law.
5. Concordat between Pope Pius IX and the Republic of Ecuador,
September 26, 1862
Original Latin and Spanish texts in Raccolta di Concordati tra la Santa Sede e le autorità civili,
( Vatican edition, 1919), p. 983
This Concordat is (from the Church's point of view) the most favourable ever concluded with any modern State. The situation which resulted from it, with its explicit establishment of the ascendancy of Catholicism in the social and political life of a modern State, is the positive antithesis of the secularist propositions condemned by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus Errorum (see Doc. No. 6 of this chapter).
The conclusion of the Concordat was due to the efforts and policy of Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador and supreme force in that country between 1859 and 1874, Moreno, who had risen to power as a result of a revolution against the previous Liberal and anticlerical Government, was a devout Catholic and was determined to make of Ecuador a model Catholic State. His methods were authoritarian, understandably enough in a country which had been plunged in disorder and revolution during the thirty preceding years of its independence. Negotiations for a Concordat were opened at Moreno's initiative, Bishop Ignaçio Ordoñez of Cuenca being sent to the Vatican as Ecuadorian Minister Plenipotentiary in 1862. After six months of discussion, the Concordat was drafted and officially signed in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
Art. I of the Concordat establishes the Catholic religion as the sole official faith of Ecuador and forbids toleration of any other religious opinions. A later law of Moreno's Government laid down that only Catholics might be regarded as citizens of Ecuador. All forms of education are to be strictly controlled by the Church (Arts. 2-4) and literature judged as dangerous by the hierarchy is to be suppressed (the enactments of the Index of Prohibited Books were made the law of the land).
The most striking provisions of the Concordat are those which deal with Church administration (Arts. 5-16). Interference by the lay authority in ecclesiastical communication with the Pope (Art. 5) and in the administration of dioceses (Art. 6) is forbidden; the jurisdiction of the Church is fully respected (Arts. 7, 8, 10); Arts. 12-15 replace the old Spanish monarchical institution of the patronado reale (i.e. royal patronage by which appointments to all ecclesiastical offices in the Spanish-American dominions were under the sole control of the Crown) by a new system in which the Pope, the bishops and the President of the Republic collaborate in the selection of higher ecclesiastics. Tithes are to be preserved and divided as previously between the Church and the secular authorities (Art. 11), while the Papacy agrees to the taxation of clerics with certain qualifications (Art. 9). New delimitations of dioceses are to take place (Art. 16).Provisions relating to the economic affairs of the Church are laid down in Arts. 17-19. A decree passed in 1836 by an anti-clerical Government had abolished taxes levied for ecclesiastical and pious purposes and diverted them to the national treasury; Art. 17 reverses this decree, but makes clear that no attempt will be made to disturb private individuals who have since 1836 profited by the decree of that year. Art. 18 deals with problems of credit and investment arising therefrom, while Art. 19 provides for the return to their original purpose of property confiscated from ecclesiastical charitable organizations. In the future, the Church is to be unhindered in the possession and acquisition of any property. Art. 20 gives the hierarchy permission to admit freely new religious Orders into their dioceses.The total effect of the Concordat was to make the Church the greatest single factor in shaping the life of the nation. As such, the Concordat was fiercely resisted by the Liberals and secularists and its ratification by the Ecuadorian Congress in 1863 was only secured with difficulty. The assassination of President Moreno in 1874 removed the architect of the whole régime and subsequent administrations modified the privileged position awarded to the Church by the Concordat.In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.His Holiness, the Supreme Pontiff, Pius IX, and the President of the Republic of Ecuador have nominated as their respective plenipotentiaries:For His Holiness: His Eminence, Monsignor Giacomo Antonelli, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Deacon of S. Agatha in Suburra, his Secretary of State and of External Relations;For the President of the Republic: His Excellency, Monsignor Ignacio Ordoñez, Archdeacon of the Cathedral Church of Cuenca in the same Republic, etc., etc., and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See.These persons, having exchanged their respective full powers, have agreed on the following Articles:
Art. 1. The Catholic Apostolic Roman religion shall continue to be the sole religion of the Republic of Ecuador, and shall always be preserved there together with all the rights and privileges which it ought to enjoy according to the law of God and canonical enactments. In consequence, no other dissident form of worship or any society condemned by the Church shall at any time be allowed within the Republic of Ecuador. Art. 2. In every diocese which exists at present or which shall be created in the future, there should be a diocesan seminary, the supervision, curriculum and administration of which shall pertain freely and exclusively to the diocesan Ordinary according to the rules prescribed by the Council of Trent and other canonical laws. The Rectors, Professors and others taking part in teaching and administering such establishments shall be freely appointed and removed by the Ordinaries.
Art. 3. The education of youth in Universities, Colleges, Faculties, public and private schools shall be in full conformity with the Catholic religion. The Bishops shall enjoy the exclusive right of indicating books or texts for the teaching of religious knowledge, and also for religious and moral instruction. Furthermore, the Bishops and Ordinaries shall exercise in full freedom the right which belongs to them of prohibiting books contrary to religion and good morals; the Government also will keep close watch and will take the necessary measures to prevent the entrance into and diffusion of such books in the Republic.
Art. 4. The Bishops shall attend to the duty of their pastoral ministry which is to prevent the teaching of any theory contrary to the Catholic religion and goodness of morals. For this purpose, no one shall be permitted to teach in any educational establishment, whether public or private, Theology, Catechism, or Religious Doctrine without having first obtained authorization from the diocesan Ordinary, who can revoke it when it shall seem opportune to him. For the examination of teachers in primary schools, the diocesan Ordinary shall always appoint a deputy for the purpose of enquiring into the religious knowledge and moral conduct of the candidates for examination, who shall not be able to enter upon the performance of their duties without the approval of the same diocesan Ordinary.
Art. 5. Since the primacy of honour and of jurisdiction in the Universal Church belongs by Divine Law to the Roman Pontiff, the bishops, clergy and laity shall have free communication with the Holy See. Therefore, no secular authority shall have the right to place obstacles to the full and free exercise of the aforesaid communication by forcing the bishops, clergy and laity to act through the agency of the Government in order to approach the Roman See if occasion arises, or by subjecting Bulls, Briefs or Rescripts of the Apostolic See to the Government's exequatur.
Art. 6. The ecclesiastical Ordinaries of the Republic shall be. free to govern their dioceses with full liberty, to assemble and hold Provincial and Diocesan Councils, and to exercise the rights which belong to them by virtue of their sacred ministry and of the canonical arrangements valid and approved by the Holy See, without any one being allowed to hinder them in the carrying out of their decisions. Furthermore, the Government of Ecuador will provide the Bishops with its utmost assistance and support, whenever it shall be required, principally when it shall be necessary to oppose the wickedness of those men who endeavour to pervert the minds of the faithful and to corrupt their morals.
Art. 7. Appeals from sentences of the Ordinaries to the secular authority (commonly called recursos de fuerza ) shall be abolished. As regards the execution of sentences pronounced by the usual ecclesiastical tribunals, it shall be possible to make appeal only to the superior ecclesiastical tribunals or to the Holy See according to the procedure laid down in the Brief Exposcit ( May 15, 1572) of the Supreme Pontiff, Gregory XIII, and in conformity with the canonical requirements, particularly those laid down concerning matrimonial cases by Benedict XIV in the Constitution Dei miseratione or, alternatively, it shall be possible to bring a case of nullity or of complaint before the aforesaid superior instances. The ecclesiastical judicial authorities shall pronounce their judgments without previously submitting them to the scrutiny of the lay assessors whom, however, they may consult, when they shall believe it necessary. Ecclesiastical Advocates shall be able to exercise the office of assessor in this class of judicial cases.
Art. 8. All ecclesiastical cases, especially those concerning the Faith, the Sacraments (including matrimonial cases), morals, sacred functions, sacred rights and duties, whether by reason of person or of matter, except more important cases reserved to the Supreme Pontiff according to the decision of the Holy Council of Trent (Sess. 24, Cap. V, de Reformatione ) shall be brought before the ecclesiastical tribunals. The same rule shall be observed in civil cases concerning ecclesiastics and in others regarding crimes included in the Penal Code of the Republic. In all judicial cases which may be within ecclesiastical competence, the civil authority shall furnish all help and assistance to enable the sentences and punishments pronounced by the ecclesiastical judges to be observed and put into effect.
Art. 9. The Holy See permits ecclesiastical persons and property to be subjected to public taxation in the same way as the persons and property of the other citizens of Ecuador are subject to it, provided, however, that the civil authority consults the Church to obtain its consent whenever coercion shall be necessary. Seminaries, property and objects directly destined for Divine worship, and charitable institutions shall be exempted from such taxes.
Art. 10. Out of respect to the Majesty of God, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the immunity of religious places shall be respected so far as is compatible with public security and the requirements of justice. When necessary, the Holy See consents that the ecclesiastical authority, parish priests and superiors of the religious houses may, at the request of the civil authority, give permission for refugees to be taken out.
Act. 11. As the proceeds of tithes are destined for the upkeep of Divine worship and of its ministers, the Government of Ecuador binds itself to preserve this Catholic institution in the Republic and His Holiness consents that the Government should continue to receive a third part of the proceeds of tithes. The two authorities (civil and ecclesiastical) shall come to an agreement about the collection and administration of tithes.
Art. 12. By virtue of the right of patronage, which the Supreme Pontiff concedes to the President of Ecuador, the latter shall be able to propose suitable priests for the archbishoprics and bishoprics according to sacred canonical procedure. To this end, when a vacancy in an episcopal See has occurred, the archbishop shall ask for the votes and opinions of the other bishops for the filling of the vacancy; if the archiepiscopal See shall fall vacant, the senior bishop in that region shall collect the votes and shall present a list of three candidates at least to the President, who may choose one of them and present him to the Supreme Pontiff for the conferring of canonical institution according to the form and procedure prescribed by the sacred Canons. In a case where presentation by the bishops is not made within six months, whatever may be the reason, the President of Ecuador shall have authority to act by himself and if he shall have taken no action within three months, the election shall be reserved to the Holy See, as the President himself has requested. To this effect, the Government or, failing that, the ecclesiastical authority shall report to the Holy See immediately on the expiring of those periods. The persons presented, however, shall not be able to engage in any way with the discipline and administration of the churches without previously receiving Bulls of canonical institution. In the creation of new bishoprics, the President of the Republic shall, on the first occasion, present the new bishops directly to the Holy See.
Art. 13. Similarly, His Holiness concedes to the President of the Republic the right of naming suitable ecclesiastics to benefices of a Cathedral Chapter or to offices, canonries or functions therein with the exception, however, of the highest dignity which shall be at free disposal of the Holy See, and with the exception also of prebends which are not part of the concursus, namely those falling vacant in the months of March, June, September and December; these shall be at the free disposal of the bishops. The offices of Doctor, Penitentiary, Professor and the rest of the concursus shall similarly be provided for by the bishops only, after they have made examinations according to canonical requirements. Finally, if in any Chapter there should not exist the number of Chapter members fixed in the Bulls of creation of the respective dioceses, the bishop shall be entitled, immediately or when funds shall be sufficient, to create the benefices which are lacking, and provision to them shall be made in conformity with the procedure set forth in the present Article.
Art. 14. With respect to the provision to parochial benefices the Ordinaries, in compliance with the rules laid down by the Council of Trent, shall present to the Government a list of three suitable ecclesiastics, on one of whom the parish may be conferred; the President, whether directly or by the agency of his delegates in the provinces, shall choose one of these three. In a case where the Government for special reasons should demand a further three candidates to be proposed, the Ordinary shall have the authority to provide such a list, on condition that it shall in no way be possible to reject this second list. If it becomes necessary to make territorial divisions of parishes, this can be done by the bishops in consultation with the local civil authority.
Art. 15. During the vacancy of an episcopal church, its Chapter shall freely elect a Vicar Capitular, within the time and according to the form prescribed by the Council of Trent, without it being possible for any one to reverse this election, once it has been made, or to proceed to another one; any custom, however ancient it may be, and of whatever kind it may be, which would be contrary in this respect to the enactments of the sacred Canons is hereby completely over-ruled and utterly abolished.
Art. 16. The Holy See, in exercise of its particular prerogative, shall create new dioceses and shall make new delimitations in those at present existing; and, taking into account the present extent of the dioceses among which the Republic is at present divided, the Holy See will, immediately on ratification of the present Concordat, confer on its own special delegate the necessary powers to proceed in consultation with the Government and the respective bishops to the territorial demarcation of the dioceses which can be con- veniently created and to fix the endowments and salaries of churches, bishops, chapters and seminaries.
Art. 17. The executive decree of May 28, 1836, on the abolition of taxes imposed in favour of the Church, shall be itself abolished; and the Holy See in view of the usefulness which will result from the present Concordat, and desiring to provide for public tranquillity and to remedy the evils caused in the country by the transfer of these taxes to the National Treasury, and acceding to the repeated requests of the President, decrees and declares that those persons who, during the period which has elapsed from the year 1836 until the present, shall have made or promoted such transfers, as also owners of the funds which have been acquired in this way and those who have in any way succeeded to the possession of the same, shall not receive, at any time or in any manner, the slightest molestation on the part of His Holiness or of his successors as Roman Pontiffs.
Art. 18. With regard to the obligations contracted by the Government with its creditors because of the taxes transferred, the Holy See allows that by payment of a tenth part (or less if the ecclesiastical Ordinary agrees) of both the capital transferred to the public treasury and also of the interest gained, the Government shall be free of all responsibility. For security of payment of this amount, the Government shall assign to it a fourth part of the third which it shall receive from tithes; this shall be placed in the hands of the Ordinaries in order that it may be divided by them in proportional parts among their bona fide creditors, care being taken that the principal is capitalized in a secure and productive manner. In the future it will not be permissible for any possessor of taxable goods to transfer to the public Treasury the required capital, and those who shall try to free their assets from the taxes imposed on them, shall not be allowed to do so in any way without the previous consent of the respective Ordinary and by handing the required capital to the Ordinary by whose permission it may be submitted in case of necessity to a wise and equitable reduction; it being understood, however, that in every case due regard must be paid to the interests of the Church.
Art. 19. The Church shall enjoy the right of acquiring freely and by any legitimate title both the properties which it now possesses and those which it may possess in the future, which shall be guaranteed to it by the law. The administration of ecclesiastical goods shall be entrusted to persons designated by the sacred Canons, who alone shall examine the accounts and economic regulations. Goods of ecclesiastical foundations, of whatever type they may be, which belong to hospitals and other charitable institutions and which are at present not administered by ecclesiastical authority, shall be restored to it, so that without delay it can assign those goods to their rightful purpose. With regard to both old and new ecclesiastical foundations, no suppression or union shall be possible without the intervention of the authority of the Holy See, except for the powers belonging to the bishops according to the Council of Trent.
Art. 20. In addition to the religious Orders and Congregations at present in existence in the Republic of Ecuador, the diocesan Ordinaries shall be able, freely and without any exception, to admit and establish in their respective dioceses new Orders or Institutes approved by the Church in conformity with the needs of their people; to this end the Government will lend its support.
Art. 21. After the Divine Office in all churches of the Republic of Ecuador, the following prayer shall be said: "O Lord, save the Republic. O Lord, save its President."
Art. 22. The Government of the Republic of Ecuador binds itself to provide all possible means for the propagation of the Faith by the conversion of pagans living in its territory; and to supply every assistance and help to the establishment and progress of the holy missions, which have been sent by the authority of the sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith for this praiseworthy purpose.
Art. 23. Other matters pertaining to ecclesiastical property or persons, of which no mention has been made in the Articles of the present Concordat, shall be regulated and administered according to the Canonical discipline existent in the Church and approved by the Holy See.
Art. 24. In virtue of this Concordat all laws and decrees published hitherto in whatever manner and form in Ecuador are revoked in the respects in which they are contrary (to the Concordat); and the aforesaid Concordat is always to be considered as a perpetual law of the State. Therefore, each of the Contracting Parties binds itself, on behalf of their respective heads and their successors, to loyal observance of all and sundry of the component Articles. If, in the future, any difficulty should arise, the Holy Father and the President of Ecuador shall confer with each other to obtain an amicable settlement.
Art. 25. The ratifications of the present Concordat shall be exchanged within the period of one year, or sooner if possible.
In witness whereof, the above-mentioned Plenipotentiaries have signed and sealed the present agreement with their respective seals.
Given at Rome on the 26th day of September, 1862.
Giacomo Cardinal Antonelli.
6. Pope Pius IX: Political Sections of the " Syllabus errorum,"
December 8, 1864
Original Latin text in Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, p. 483. [In this work may also be found (p. 482 ) a list of Papal allocutions from which the propositions of the Syllabus have been excerpted.]
The Syllabus errorum (a summary of views considered to be contrary to Catholic teaching) was issued in 1864 in conjunction with the Encyclical Quanta cura to express in generalized terms the Church's attitude towards certain recently formulated theories on the nature of Man and his place in society. It appeared to many as an uncompromising denunciation of the major premises of modern "Liberalism" and even of the modern democratic State; but, as will be shown below, there are certain qualifications to be made in this statement.
The issuing of such a document had been advocated for some years; it was greatly desired by the Ultramontane section of Catholic opinion, but the Liberal Catholics thought its publication would be inopportune. It is probable, however, that it was one of the principal members of the latter group, Montalembert (inventor of the slogan, "A free Church in a free State"), who precipitated the publication of the Syllabus by an outspoken speech in favour of a rapprochement between Catholicism and Liberalism at a Catholic Congress at Malines in 1863. Montalembert was privately reprimanded by the Vatican, while in the next year a more general condemnation of Liberal principles appeared in the Syllabus Errorum, which consists of excerpts from various Pontifical allocutions, put together into one coherent body.
The Syllabus deals with errors in the whole field of theology and philosophy, but only those relevant to the relations between Church and State have been selected here. These are the propositions relating to political and social matters. The main idea which is being attacked in all the various propositions is that which alleges that the State, whether democratic or otherwise, has the right to interfere with all aspects of society (e.g. VI, 39) even with the organization and life of the Church (e.g. VI, 41-44), in particular its educational activities (VI, 45-48). The idea of the desirability of the separation of Church and State, which would lead logically to a non-religious State, is condemned in Section VI, 55. Section VII denounces positivistic notions of law and philosophy, i.e. those which admit no norm of Natural Law as a guide in morals and politics, and which adopt purely utilitarian criteria in these matters. Section IX is concerned with the practical question of the Papacy's temporal power (soon to be destroyed in 1870), while Section X embodies particularly trenchant condemnations, including apparent denunciation of religious toleration ( 77 and 78 ). The final condemnation (X, 80) was destined to be often interpreted as a total rejection of progress in modern civilization. Bishop Dupanloup of Orléans, a leader of the Liberal Catholic group, was the first to assert that the Syllabus was patent of a moderate interpretation; his view was followed by Cardinal (then Father) Newman in his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk ( 1874).
Their interpretation was never disclaimed by Pius IX and is accepted today by many theologians.It is often forgotten that the Syllabus is intended to be primarily an index of propositions condemned in more detail in other Papal pronouncements, some of them referring to topical Italian affairs and not of general application. Proposition No. 80, for example, is taken from an allocution of 1861 in which the context makes clear that the Pope condemns, not modern civilization in itself, but materialistic and anti-religious aspects of it. For an accurate understanding of the condemnations, reference should be made to these more detailed utterances; failure to realize that the condemnations are presented in a highly condensed form has been responsible for many unwarrantably extreme deductions. It should also be pointed out that the Syllabus is worded in a negative form; i.e. it declares certain propositions to be false. But that does not mean that it, therefore, asserts that the converse of those propositions is in every case to be held as true without qualification. The issuing of the Syllabus supplied useful direction in the particular circumstances of the time; but its laconic negative form led to misconceptions and to the need for more positive statements later (see the Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII in Doc. Nos. 9 and 10 of this Chapter).
VI. Errors concerning the Civil Society, considered both in Itself and in Its Relation to the Church
39. The secular commonwealth, since it is the origin and source of all laws, is possessed of a type of law which can be circumscribed by no limits.
40. The doctrine of the Catholic Church is inimical to the good and wellbeing of human society.
41. To the civil power, when exercised by an unbelieving ruler, belongs an indirect negative authority in religious matters; so that there belongs to it not only the right known as "exequatur," but also the right known as "appeal from abuse."
43. In a legal conflict between either authority, civil law should have precedence.
44. The secular power has authority to rescind and declare and make void solemn undertakings (commonly called Concordats) entered into with the Apostolic See concerning the functioning of laws dealing with the immunity of the Church, without the consent of that See; or even in spite of its protests against such action.
45. The civil authority can intervene in matters which pertain to religion, morals and spiritual discipline. Hence, it can decide concerning the instructions which the clergy of the Church issue, as part of their duty, for the regulation of consciences, and it can even reach decisions on the administration of the Divine Sacraments and the dispositions necessary for their reception.
46. The whole administration of public schools, in which the youth of any Christian State is educated, can and should be placed in the hands of the civil authority, with the sole exception, for a good reason, of episcopal seminaries; it should be so placed in the hands of that authority, that there may be recognized to no other authority whatever any right of intervention in the administration of the schools, the arrangement of studies, the conferring of degrees, or the choice or approval of teachers.
47. Even in clerical seminaries, the programme of studies is subject to addition by the civil authority.
48. The best interest of civil society requires that the popular schools, which are open to all children from any class of the people, and which are publicly endowed everywhere and intended for the transmission of humane and more advanced disciplines, should be withdrawn from any control, directive power or supervision of the Church; and being at the complete discretion of the civil and political authority, they may be subjected to the will of the rulers according to the common opinions of the age.
49. Reason can prove for Catholic men, concerned with the education of youth, what may be separated from the Catholic faith and the authority of the Church, and those things which pertain merely to the knowledge of natural things and the ends of temporal social life either wholly or at least primarily.
50. The civil authority can impose restrictions in order that the clergy and faithful laity may not freely and mutually communicate with the Roman Pontiff.
51. The secular authority has in itself the right of "presenting" bishops and can insist that they enter upon the administration of their dioceses before receiving canonical institution by the Holy See and Apostolic Letters.
52. Furthermore, the secular government has the right to depose bishops from the exercise of their pastoral ministry, and it is not bound to obey the Roman Pontiff in those things which concern the institution of bishops and bishoprics.
53. The government can, by its own law, change the age laid down by the Church for religious profession of men and women, and can direct all religious congregations not to admit anyone to the taking of solemn vows without the government's permission.
54. The laws which pertain to preserving the status of religious congregations and their rules and functions are to be abolished; in addition, the civil government can furnish aid to all those who wish to desert the practice of the religious life which they have taken up and to break their solemn vows; equally it can, in like manner, completely suppress religious congregations, collegiate churches and simple benefices, even those which have legal patronage, and claim their goods and revenues to be subject to the administration and disposal of the civil power.
55. Not only are kings and princes free from the jurisdiction of the Church, but they are even superior to the Church in deciding questions of jurisdiction.
56. The Church should be separated from the State and the State from the Church.
VII. Errors concerning Natural and Christian Ethics
56. Moral laws lack Divine sanction, and there is no need for human laws to conform to the Natural Law or to receive obligatory force from God.
57. The knowledge of philosophical matters, ethics and civil laws can and should be divorced from Divine and ecclesiastical authority.
58. No forces other than material ones are to be recognized and all moral discipline and goodness ought to aim at the enlargement and increase of wealth by every possible means and at the fulfilment of pleasure.
59. Law consists in material fact; all human positions are empty titles, and all human deeds have the force of law.
60. Authority is nothing other than a number and total of material forces.
61. Injustice which has succeeded de facto does not detract from the binding character of laws [enacted in consequence of the injustices].
62. The principle known as that of "non-intervention" [i.e. of the Church in political affairs] is to be proclaimed and observed.
63. It is lawful to take away obedience from legitimate princes and even to rebel against them. 64. The violation of the most solemn oath or the commision of the most sinful and depraved action imaginable is not only free from blame, but is even to be regarded as lawful and extremely praiseworthy in every way, when it is performed for the sake of patriotism.
IX. Errors concerning the Civil Government of the Roman Pontiff
75. Children of the Christian and Catholic Church may differ in their opinions about the compatibility of the temporal with the spiritual power.
76. The abolition of the temporal power possessed by the Apostolic See would promote, in the highest degree, the liberty and happiness of the Church.
X. Errors which refer to Contemporary Liberalism
77. In this age of ours it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be treated as the sole State religion and that any other forms of religious worship should be excluded.
78. Hence those States, nominally Catholic, who have legally enacted that immigrants be permitted to have free exercise of their own particular religion, are to be praised.
79. Similarly, it is not true that civil liberty for any religious sect whatever and the granting to all of full right to express any kind of opinion and thought whatever, openly and publicly, conduces to the easier corruption of the morals and minds of peoples and the spread of the disease of indifferentism.
80. The Roman Pontiff can and should reconcile himself and reach agreement with "progress," Liberalism and recent departures in civil society.
7. The Italian Law of Guarantees, May 13, 1871
Original Italian text in Gazzetta Ufficiale del Regno d'Italia,
No. 134, May 15, 1871
The occupation of Rome in 1870 by the Italian Monarchist forces had created a problem which threatened to become a permanent source of disunion for the new State; many of its subjects --as devout Catholics--were uneasy in their loyalty to the new régime because of the Pope's refusal to recognize it. Cavour, who had made his own the formula "A free Church in a free State" (originated by the French Liberal Catholic thinker Montalembert), had, before his death in 1861, been in favour of complete separation of Church and State, by which the Papacy, in return for its recognition of the loss of temporal power, would be guaranteed complete freedom in its spiritual functions. This theory influenced the Law of Guarantees of 1871, the work of Cavour's political heirs-the Italian Right Wing groups who provided the Government until 1876.
The Law, passed after stiff opposition from the anti-clerical members of the Italian Parliament, consists of two parts: Section I determines the legal status of the Pope and his Curia at Rome, while Section II regulates the general relationship between Church and State in Italy.
The first part of the Law recognises to the Pope privileges and immunities equivalent to those enjoyed by the King of Italy (Arts. 1-3). Financial endowments are to guarantee the Papacy security for the continuance of its administrative work (Art. 4); the Pope is to have free contact with the Italian clergy and laity (Art. 9), with foreign governments through diplomatic representatives (Art. II), and with the whole Catholic world. The last-mentioned Article provides for the modern services of postal and telegraphic communication to be placed at the Pontiff's disposal.
Section II of the Law contains the renouncing of rights of presentation, administration, etc. over the Church which had been exercised by the former Italian States, such as the "Apostolic Legateship" (Art. 15), held in Sicily by the old Bourbon Monarchy. The rights of the King to give or withhold consent to the publication and execution of ecclesiastical decrees (rights known as the "placet," i.e. permission of the decree's publication, and "exequatur," i.e. permission for its execution) are abolished in Art. 16. (It is to be noted, however, that explicit exception is made in the case of benefices which are in royal patronage by Art. 15--the privilege of the so-called "patronato regio." Cf. the renunciation of the same privilege by the State of Ecuador in its Concordat of 1862 with the Papacy, Doc. No. 5 of this chapter).
These provisions were never put into practical effect because of the Papacy's refusal to accept the Law as a whole. Until 1929 a compromise, unwritten "gentlemen's agreement" between King and Pope ruled the procedure of appointment to benefices.
The Papacy categorically rejected the solution proposed by the Law. It contended that the Law did not give the Holy See the indispensable minimum of temporal sovereignty which was necessary for its independence vis-à-vis the Italian Kingdom. Furthermore, the Law was not a treaty concluded between two contracting parties, which would have the sanction of International Law behind it, but was a unilateral enactment by one of the parties concerned in the dispute; hence it could, presumably, be revoked by a future Italian Parliament which might be more hostile to the Papacy. In the course of time a modus vivendi crystallized between Church and State in Italy, practically on the lines of Section II of the Law of Guarantees, but the "Roman Question" remained an open problem in which both parties stiffly stuck to their positions. It was only in 1929 that the whole complex was cleared up by a general agreement between Pope Pius XI and the Fascist Government in Italy. The Law of Guarantees was abrogated; its Section I was replaced by the Lateran Treaty, creating the State of the Vatican City, and a Concordat took the place of its Section II (see Chap. VIII, Doc. No. 1 ).
Victor Emmanuel II, by the grace of God and by the will of the nation King of Italy.
The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies have approved, and We have sanctioned and hereby promulgate the following:
THE PREROGATIVES OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF AND OF THE HOLY SEE
Art. 1. The person of the Sovereign Pontiff is sacred and inviolable.
Art. 2. An attack on the person of the Sovereign Pontiff and provocation to commit it are punished with the penalties laid down for attack and provocation to commit it on the person of the King. Offences and public outrages, committed directly against the person of the Pontiff by words, acts, or by the means indicated in Art. 1 of the law on the Press, are punished with the penalties laid down in Art. 19 of the same law.
Such offences fall within the scope of the public authorities and are within the competence of the Law Courts of Assize.
Discussion on religious matters is completely fire.
Art. 3. The Italian Government gives to the Sovereign Pontiff, in the territory of the Kingdom, sovereign honours and the pre-eminence in dignity which is accorded to him by Catholic sovereigns.
The Sovereign Pontiff has the right to preserve the accustomed number of attendants attached to his person and to the custody of his palaces without prejudice to the obligations and duties resulting for these attendants from the laws in force in the State.
Art. 4. The endowment of an annual income of 3,225,000 lire is reserved for the benefit of the Holy See.
With this sum, equal to that which figures in the Roman Budget under the headings: "Apostolic Palaces, Sacred College, Ecclesiastical Congregations, Secretariat of State and Diplomatic Representation Abroad," provision shall be made for the personal income of the Sovereign Pontiff and the various ecclesiastical needs of the Holy See, the usual maintenance and upkeep of the Apostolic palaces and their dependencies, the salaries, gratuities and pensions of the attendants mentioned in the preceding Article and of those attached to the Pontifical Court and for accidental expenses, such as the maintenance and upkeep of the museums and libraries pertaining to the Court and the salaries, wages and pensions of those employed there.
The aforesaid endowment shall be set down to the account of the National Debt under the form of a perpetual and inalienable income in the name of the Holy See and, during the vacancy of the Holy See, it shall continue to be paid to provide for the necessities of the Roman Church in this interval.
It shall be exempted from every kind of tax and governmental, municipal or provincial charge, and it shall not be lessened even if the Italian Government should later decide to take over the payment of expenses relating to the museums and libraries.
Art. 5. The Sovereign Pontiff, apart from the endowment laid down in the preceding Article, shall continue to enjoy the use of the Apostolic palaces of the Vatican and the Lateran, with all the buildings, gardens and landed property pertaining to them, as well as the villa of Castel Gandolfo, with all its annexes and dependencies.
The aforesaid palaces, villa and annexes, as also the museums, libraries, artistic and archaeological collections existing therein, are inalienable, exempt from every tax or charge and from expropriation for the sake of public utility.
Art. 6. During vacancies in the Pontifical See, no judicial and political authority shall apply, for any cause whatever, any hindrance or restriction to the personal liberty of the Cardinals.
The Government will ensure that the meetings of Conclaves and Oecumenical Councils are not disturbed by any exterior violence.
Art. 7. No representative of public authority or agent of public force shall, for the accomplishment of the duties of his office, enter the palaces which are the habitual residence or temporal dwelling of the Sovereign Pontiff, or in which a Conclave, or Oecumenical Council is assembled, unless with the authorization of the Sovereign Pontiff, the Conclave or the Council.
Art. 8. It is forbidden to make visits, searches or sequestrations of papers, documents, books or registers in the Pontifical offices or Congregations invested with purely spiritual attributes.
Art. 9. The Sovereign Pontiff is completely free to fulfil all the functions of his spiritual ministry and to cause all the decisions deriving from the aforesaid ministry to be affixed to the doors of basilicas and churches.
Art. 10. Clerics who, by reason of their office, participate at Rome in the publication of decisions of the spiritual authority of the Holy See, are not liable, because of these decisions, to any enquiry, investigation or prosecution by public authority.
Every foreigner holding an ecclesiastical office at Rome enjoys the personal guarantees belonging to the Italian citizens by virtue of the laws of the Kingdom.
Art. 11. Envoys of foreign Governments, accredited to His Holiness, shall enjoy in the Kingdom all the prerogatives and immunities accorded to diplomatic agents according to International Law.
Offences against them shall be punished with the penalties liable for offences against envoys of foreign Powers accredited to the Italian Government.
Envoys of His Holiness accredited to foreign Governments are assured, in the territory of the Kingdom, of the prerogatives and immunities customary according to the aforesaid International Law to facilitate their departure to the place of their mission and their return from it.
Art. 12. The Sovereign Pontiff may correspond freely with the Episcopate and with the whole Catholic world, without any interference by the Italian Government.
For this purpose, he is to have the right of establishing, in the Vatican or in his other residences, postal and telegraph offices staffed by his own chosen employees.
The Pontifical post office will be able to correspond directly under sealed mail with the exchange post offices of foreign administrations or to send its own correspondence to Italian offices. In both cases, the transport of despatches or correspondence certified by the stamp of the Pontifical office will be exempt from every tax or charge on Italian territory.
Couriers despatched in the name of the Sovereign Pontiff will be placed on the same footing as couriers of foreign Governments.
The Pontifical telegraph office will be linked with the telegraphic system of the Kingdom at the State's expense.
Telegrams transmitted by the said bureau with the certified appellation of "Pontifical" shall be received and dispatched with the privileges recognized for State telegrams, and with exemption from all taxes within the Kingdom.
The same advantages are assured to telegrams from the Sovereign Pontiff or sent by his order which, certified by the stamp of the Holy See, shall be presented at any telegraph office whatever in the Kingdom.
Telegrams addressed to the Sovereign Pontiff shall be exempt from taxes placed to the charge of the recipients.
RELATIONS OF THE STATE WITH THE CHURCH
Art. 13. In the city of Rome and in the suburban Sees, the seminaries, academies, colleges and other Catholic institutions founded for the purpose of ecclesiastical education shall continue to depend wholly on the Holy See without any interference on the part of the educational authorities of the Kingdom.
Art. 14. Every specific restriction on the exercise of the right to assemble by the members of the Catholic clergy is abolished.
Art. 15. The Government renounces the right of "Apostolic Legation" in Sicily, and throughout the whole Kingdom it renounces the right of nomination and presentation to major benefices.
Bishops shall not be required to take an oath to the King.
Major or minor benefices cannot be conferred on those who are not citizens of the Kingdom, except in the city of Rome and in its suburban Sees.
There is to be no change with respect to the collation of benefices in royal patronage.
Art. 16. The "exequatur" and royal "placet" and every other form of governmental authorization for the publication and execution of the acts of ecclesiastical authorities are abolished.
However, until otherwise provided by special law spoken of in Art. 18, the acts of those authorities which have as their object the disposal of ecclesiastical goods and the provision to major or minor benefices, except those of the city of Rome and the suburban Sees, shall remain subject to the "exequatur" and the royal "placet." Nothing is altered in the provisions of the laws relative to the creation and methods of functioning of ecclesiastical corporations and the alienation of their goods.
Art. 17. In spiritual and disciplinary matters, no objection or appeal against the acts of ecclesiastical authorities is allowed, and no implementation by public authority is granted, or recognized, to them.
The cognisance of juridical effects of the aforesaid or any other acts of these authorities, pertains to civil Courts of Law.
However, these acts are deprived of force, if they are contrary to the laws of the State or to public order, or if they injure the rights of individuals, and they are subject to legal penalties if criminal offences are committed as a result of them.
Art. 18. Arrangements shall be made by a subsequent law for the reorganization, presentation, and administration of ecclesiastical property in the Kingdom.
Art. 19. In all the matters which come within the scope of the present law, all arrangements which are contrary to its provisions are and shall remain abrogated.
Given at Turin, on the 13th day of May, 1871
(Signed) Victor Emmanuel.
" G. Lanza ( Prime Minister)
" E. Visconti-Venosta ( Minister of Foreign Affairs)
" Giovanni De Falco ( Minister of Justice)
" Quintino Sella ( Minister of Finance)
" C. Correnti ( Minister of Education)
" C. Ricotti Magnani ( Minister of War)
" Guglielmo Acton ( Minister of Marine)
" P. E. Castagnola ( Minister of Agriculture)
8. The German "Kulturkampf": Prussian Law on the
Appointment of Clergy, May 21, 1874
Original German text in Kissling, Geschichte des Kulturkampfes im Deutschen Reiche,
vol. II, p. 481
Commentary The kingdom of Prussia, constituted in 1701 (see Chap. VI, Doc. No. 5), was purely Protestant at its origin. But it absorbed subsequently large Catholic populations in its expansion eastward, at the time of the partitions of Poland, and westward, after the Napoleonic wars, when the Congress of Vienna allocated to it the Rhineland and Westphalia, so that, after these acquisitions, a third of its inhabitants were Catholic. As a result of the revolutionary year 1848, the Catholics obtained full religious freedom in the Constitution enacted in 1850 by king Frederic William IV. Fourteen years later the great rise of Prussia to predominance in Germany began under the leadership of Bismarck. The two Catholic Great Powers, Austria and France, which had influenced German destiny for centuries, were defeated in 1866 and 1870 respectively, and a German Empire with a Protestant Emperor (the king of Prussia) was proclaimed at Versailles in January 1871.
The Prussian ascendancy, resulting from these events, provoked deep disquiet among the German Catholics. The political expression of this was the great success of their new Party, which was to receive the name of "Centrum" ("Centre"), in the first general election held in the Empire in March 1871. The Party was formed in Prussia itself and its electoral success in 1871 was such that out of a total of thirty-five deputies returned by the Catholic Prussian provinces in the Rhineland, thirty belonged to the Centrum. In the Reichstag the Centrum became numerically the second Party after the governmental National-Liberals. Its programme was opposed to social conservatism (under the influence of Msgr. von Ketteler, Bishop of Mainz), favoured the particularism of various German Lands against the centralizing tendencies of the Imperial Government, and advocated full religious freedom for the Catholics all over the Empire. In all these points this programme clashed with Bismarck's views. What he particularly disapproved of, was the confessional basis of the Centrum, limited in membership, as it was, to Catholics. This implied to Bismarck the threat of a cleavage between the Catholic and Protestant parts of the Reich and, consequently, a danger to its future unity; in this respect he could not forget that it was Catholic Bavaria which had been the most reluctant among the German States to subscribe to the Hohenzollern Empire at Versailles. Under such conditions a conflict between the Chancellor and the new Catholic Party became unavoidable.
The Chancellor thought that he could take advantage of the divergencies among the Catholics concerning the doctrine of Papal infallibility, on which opinions were divided in Germany prior to the final vote of the Council of the Vatican on this subject in July 1870. When the dogma of Infallibility was established by the Council, he began to contend that the Catholic Church was no longer what she had been before, and that her faithful had henceforth two definite allegiances, one toward the State and one toward the Pope, the latter being incompatible with the former (a contention which was to be repeated, with the same emphasis, some 80 years later by the Communist totalitarians--see Doc. No. 12 in Chap. VIII). But much to his disappointment the Catholic ranks closed again in discipline after the vote of the Council (with the exception of a sect which constituted itself into the "Old Catholic" Church, but soon proved to be insignificant in spite of great State support in Germany), so that the Government was faced with a solid Catholic front, politically represented by the Centrum, when the first shots of the struggle were fired.
These shots assumed the form of two laws, valid for the whole Empire and passed by the Reichstag in the first half of 1872. The first introduced State control in all religious schools, and the second placed the Jesuits and some other Orders under such vexatious police supervision that they preferred to leave Germany altogether. The temper of public opinion all over Germany began to rise high after these measures, and Bismarck judged it expedient henceforth to centre the struggle in Prussia and her Diet instead of the allGerman forum of the Reichstag. The main task was entrusted to Adalbert Falk, an efficient lawyer and Protestant Liberal, who was nominated Prussian Minister of Worship ("Kultusminister") in 1872. He conceived a plan to subjugate the Catholic Church by a combination of four methods. "Liberal" thought was to be inculcated into the clergy by obliging them to study and pass examinations of history, philosophy and literature at State Universities; all appointments of churchmen were to be subject to the approval of State authorities; all contentious ecclesiastical matters in Prussia were to be decided in a final manner by a newly created Royal Court of Law for Ecclesiastical Affairs, so that no appeal to tribunals outside the country was to be permitted; the punitive authority of the Church was to be restricted by State law and legal facilities were to be provided for leaving the Church in order to encourage rebellion against the hierarchy, and apostasy. Four bills translating these ideas into legal provisions were submitted to the Prussian "Landtag" (Diet) and when they were discussed there the term "Kulturkampf" was coined for the first time. It appeared during this discussion that the bills were unconstitutional, being contrary to the freedom of the Churches, guaranteed in the Constitution of 1850. Another bill was therefore added, changing the Prussian Constitution accordingly, and the whole set of this legislation was passed by the "Landtag" in May 1873 (hence the name "May Laws").
The laws were applicable, in principle, to all Churches, but clearly directed against the Catholics. They met with a stubborn resistance on their part; the Catholic bishops of Prussia unanimously condemned them, made appeal for passive resistance, and the unlawful ministering of priests who disdained to ask for State approval was followed by wholesale arrests. In 1874 two further enactments were added to the "May Laws." By the first the administration of vacant bishoprics was subjected to a strict State control and it was prescribed that in case of episcopal vacancy the nomination to lower benefices passed from the bishop to those who had the right of patronage over the respective churches; this soon received a wide application as the Government brought it about that all episcopal Sees in Prussia became vacant owing either to penal condemnation or exile of the bishops. The second enactment amended the principal piece of the "May Laws," the law on the education and appointment of clergy and put it in harmony with the system of nomination to benefices by the "patrons" of churches, i.e. by laymen who had the patronage over each particular church. This law of May 21, 1874, is a particularly illustrative example of methods used in the "Kulturkampf" and its text is given below.
The law improves the governmental means of preventing recalcitrant clergy from ministering in three respects. According to the original law of 1873, the appointment of a minister without previous "placet" of the State authorities was considered as null and void. Now the present law imposes on every priest the duty to furnish proof that he has been lawfully appointed; if he can not do so, he is to be punished (Arts. 1-2). In order to ensure better the nominations to Church offices in accordance with law, the State authorities can sequestrate the property of a vacant office, if there exists only a suspicion that the office might be filled up unlawfully (Art. 3). The "patrons" of the churches are to appoint the clergy but their duties are determined strictly and if they fail to discharge them, their rights are to be transferred to committees of citizens, which the Government hoped to be able to influence and control (Arts. 4-10). And the Governors of provinces may stop any nomination by objecting to the candidate for political reasons (Art. 11).
The system did not give the expected results. The "patrons" and the committees of the faithful largely sympathized with the persecuted clergy and the growing oppression led to an ever-increasing exasperation on both sides. In the subsequent years further laws followed; all monastic Orders were banned from Prussia, the bishoprics were deprived of their revenues, and attempts were made to sequestrate all Church property. The reaction of Catholics to this was best expressed by the results of general elections; in that of 1874 the number of the Centrum's seats increased from fifty-seven to ninetyone, in that of 1878 to ninety-four, and from the election of 1881 the Centrum emerged as the strongest Party in the Reichstag with 100 deputies.
In the meantime Bismarck had been relieved of his main external fear that the two Catholic Great Powers, Austria and France, might combine their forces in a war of revenge (and find ready partisans among the Catholics inside Germany). Simultaneously, as the popular support for both Church and the Centrum went on unabated, he was realizing that he could not crush them by his legislative measures. In 1879 the Minister Falk was dismissed and feelers began to be stretched out with a view to a reconciliation with the Church. Acknowledging gradually its defeat, the Government relaxed, at the beginning of the 1880's, the anti-religious pressure; in 1886 a conciliatory law abolished the Royal Court of Law for Ecclesiastical Affairs and returned the education the clergy to the semi- naries. In the next year a second "Peace Law" restored the episcopal power in the appointments of priests to benefices and in disciplinary matters. Both were preceded by an appeasement between the Chancellor and the Papacy, which Bismarck had effected by a symbolic act in 1885, when he chose Pope Leo XIII as arbitrator in the dispute between Germany and Spain about the possession of the Caroline Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
We, William, by the grace of God King of Prussia, etc., in order to amend and complete the Law of May 11, 1873, concerning the required education of ministers and their appointments, ordain, with the consent of both Houses of the "Landtag" of Our Monarchy, the following:
Art. 1. The law of May 11, 1873, is hereby amended to the effect that any conferring of an ecclesiastical office, as well as the accepttance thereof, is also contrary to the provisions of Arts. 1-3 of that Law in the case where it has been effected without previously announcing the name of the candidate [to the "Ober-Praesident," i.e. Governor of the Province in question] as prescribed in Art. 15 of that Law, or before such announcement, or before the expiration of the period fixed in the same Article for lodging appeals. 1
Art. 2. The penalty mentioned in Art. 23 of the Law of May 11, 1873, is applicable to any minister who performs acts of ministry without being able to prove that he has been appointed, in accordance with Arts. 1-3 of the said Law, to hold the office in question or to serve as a substitute or assistant therein.
Art. 3. If a ministry is vacant, the "Ober-Praesident" is entitled to order the sequestration of its property, if
1. the vacant office has been filled up in disregard of the provisions of Art. 1-3 of the Law of May 11, 1873; or if
1 The Articles 1-3 of the Prussian Law of May 11, 1873, run as follows:
Art. 1. Only a German who has completed his academic education according to the provisions of the present Law and against whose nomination no objections have been raised on the part of the State Government, may be appointed to ecclesiastical office.
Art. 2. The provisions of Art. 1 shall be applied irrespective of whether the office in question is to be conferred on a permanent or revocable basis, or whether only a deputy or assistant in the same is to be appointed. If there be a danger in delay, the establishment of a provisional deputyship or assistantship may be ordered, the State Government reserving its right to object (as to the suitability of the candidates).
Art. 3. The provisions of Art. 1 are also to be applied--without prejudice to the provisions of Art. 26--if another ecclesiastical office is to be conferred upon a minister who is already holding one (Art. 2), or if a revocable appointment is to be transformed into a permanent one.
2. circumstances exist, which justify the assumption that the appointment to the office will not be effected in accordance with the said provisions.
The sequestration may apply to all property which belongs to the office, including the rights of using goods, collecting the fruits thereof and obtaining services. The "Ober-Praesident" shall nominate a commissioner to sequestrate and administer the property on behalf of the office until the same be filled up in accordance with law, or until an acting deputy be named. 1 The commissioner may exercise, with full legal force, all property rights pertaining to a legal holder of the office. The expenses of management shall be defrayed from the revenues of the office.
Art. 4. If a vacancy has occurred in a Church office and an ecclesiastic has been subsequently condemned to a penalty according to Art. 23, par. 1, of the Law of May 11, 1873, or according to Art. 2 of the present Law, because of acts of unlawful ministering in that office, then the person enjoying the right of presentation (or of nomination, or proposition), derived from patronage or any other legal title, may fill up the vacancy and provide for a deputy to administer the office.
Art. 5. The person entitled to present may also name a deputy to the vacant office if an ecclesiastic is prohibited from living in the district, where the vacant office is situated, in virtue of Art. 5 of the Law of the Empire of May 4, 1874, relative to the prevention of unlawful exercise of Church offices.
Art. 6. The person entitled to present is to be officially informed of the penal sentence imposed (Art. 4) or of the decision limiting the right of sojourn (Art. 5). As regards such sentences or decisions which had been pronounced before the promulgation of the present Law, they are to be communicated to the persons entitled to present immediately after the coming into force of this Law.
Art. 7. If the person entitled to present makes use of his rights (Arts. 4-5), the provisions of the Law of May 11, 1873, shall be applied. The penalty mentioned in Art. 22, par. 1, thereof as applicable to the ecclesiastical superiors in the case of an unlawful appointment, shall be equally applicable to the said person entitled to present.
Art. 8. If the person entitled to present does not name an acting deputy to the office within two months from the date of reception of the prescribed communication (Art. 6), or if the said person does not fill up the vacancy within one year from the same date, his right
1 Any coercive measures necessary for the execution of the sequestration shall be taken by the competent administrative authorities.
shall pass over to the parish community (or the community of an affiliated church or chapel). The community enjoys the rights mentioned in Arts. 4 and 5 in all such cases where there exist no persons entitled to present. The provisions of Art. 6 shall be applied to the community accordingly. In particular the community shall be informed of the fact that the person entitled to present did not make use of his right within the period provided by law.
Art. 9. If the conditions set forth in Art. 8 are fulfilled, the "Landrat" [i.e. State official in charge of the administration of a district] or, in towns, the Burgomaster, shall convoke, on the request of at least ten male members of the community--who are of age, enjoy civic rights, and do not depend on the head of their family if he be also an elector in the same community--all the members of the community satisfying the said requirements for the purpose of selecting a deputy (to the ecclesiastical office in question) or of filling up the vacancy. The decision shall be valid if more than a half of those present approve. More detailed regulations as to the procedure shall be issued by the "Ober-Praesidents."
Art. 10. After a valid election (of the minister) has taken place, a representative is to be elected according to the provisions of Art. 9, who shall effect the handing over of the office to the elected minister. The provisions of Art. 7 will regulate the conduct and the responsibility of this representative.
Art. 11. If, in cases falling within the scope of Arts. 4-10, the competent "Ober-Praesident" does not raise any objection, or if his objections are rejected by the Court of Law, the minister is to be considered as lawfully appointed.
The original (of this Law) has been provided with Our autographed signature and with the affixed Royal Seal.
Given at Wiesbaden, on May 21, 1874.
. " Camphausen ( Vice-Premier of Prussia and
Minister of Finance-deputising for Bismarck
as Prussian Prime Minister)
" Count zu Eulenburg ( Minister of Interior)
" Leonhardt ( Minister of Justice)
" Falk ( Minister of Worship)
" Gen. von Kameke ( Minister of War)
" Achenbach ( Minister of Commerce and Public Works).
9. Pope Leo XIII: Encyclical "Immortale Dei" on the
Christian Constitution of States, November 1, 1885
Original Latin text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis ( 1883- 1887), p. 146
The immediate occasion of the issue of this Encyclical was the controversy which had been raging among French Catholics on the propriety of recognition of, and cooperation with, the Third Republic (established in 1870 and since 1876 in the hands of anticlerical Liberal elements). But behind this topical issue lay a more general and fundamental question; how far can a loyal Catholic fulfil the duties of a citizen in the modern secular, religiously "neutral" State?
Leo XIII begins by emphasizing the positive Christian view on the nature and origin of the State. Civil society is a natural necessity of Man and, hence, owes its origin to God alone. No particular form of government was prescribed by God, but those who rule must always do so with the sole object of furthering the common good of the community. Subjects, on their part, must render due obedience to legitimate authority.
Leo XIII insists on public acknowledgment of religion by the State as a logical deduction from acceptance of the premise that God is the Author of civil authority. Such acknowledgment has reference to the only true religion--the Catholic Faith, to whose charge the spiritual salvation of the souls of the individuals composing the State has been committed. Thus, the Church, the appointed vehicle of such salvation, possesses an authority which is in no way dependent on that of the State. Concord must exist between these two authorities, each being undisturbed in its own rightful sphere. In cases of dispute, a way out may be found by the agreements known as Concordats. The Pope points out the advantages demonstrated by reason and history to be inherent in such a specifically Christian political constitution.
In modern times, however, a far different conception of the State has gained ground. This is based on the idea of the unrestricted liberty of the individual and deduces the origin of the State from the concurrence of individual wills in a "social contract" to form a collectivity. The authority of God is not recognized at all, the State treats all religion as a matter of private judgment and does not believe that it is bound to show favour to any particular creed. As a consequence of this Liberal theory, the Church's autonomous authority is denied, she is driven from the field of education, and laws inimical to Christian teaching, particularly in the sphere of marriage, are passed. It seems that here Leo XIII has conditions in France particularly in mind for, at this period, the French Republic was the spearhead of the militantly secularist and anti-clerical tendency which he describes.
The Pope questions the premises as well as the practice of the secularist State. Its elimination of religion, he asserts, is bound to lead to a general decay of morals and social stability: religious indifference leads sooner or later to atheism. Furthermore, the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people puts a premium on violent revolution and every kind of defiance to governmental control. The Church can never consent to be subordinate to the State or to admit that the State has a right to be neutral in matters of religion. Leo XIII reiterates the condemnation of this kind of Liberalism which had been made by his predecessors, Gregory XVI, (in the Encyclical Mirari vos of August 15, 1832) and Pius IX (in the Syllabus Errorum of 1864, see Doc. No. 6 of this chapter).
In modern circumstances, the Pope admits it may prove useful and even inevitable for Catholics to resign themselves in practice to something less than the ideal outlined above. Thus, some States may, if necessary, tolerate religious error "for the sake of securing some great good, or of hindering some great evil." In this question, Leo XIII's approach may be compared with the moderate interpretation by Bishop Dupanloup and his "Liberal Catholic" followers of the Syllabus Errorum (see the Commentary to Doc. No. 6 of this chapter). Recently the view of Leo XIII has been endorsed by Pope Pius XII in an important pronouncement on religious toleration delivered to the Congress of Italian Catholic Jurists on December 6, 1953.
Leo XIII makes clear that the Church is not opposed to democracy in itself (i.e. to the notion that the people should participate directly in the government); nor does she wish to suppress intellectual liberty in its true sense (i.e. the use of human reason to further the cause of God and the common good of mankind). "Therefore, when it is said that the Church is jealous of modern political systems, and that she repudiates the discoveries of modern research, the charge is a ridiculous and groundless calumny." In accordance with this, Leo XIII urges Catholics not to be content with a merely negative disapproval of the Liberal State, but to take an active part in civic and national affairs, so that Christian principles may be more in evidence in political life. The Pope makes the proviso that in some places it may not be expedient for Catholics to do this. Here he is clearly referring to the new Italian State, which had forcibly taken over the Papal States in 1860-1870 and was still unrecognized by the Vatican. Leo XIII concludes by urging all Catholics to set a good example in both public and private life, to close their ranks against Rationalism and Naturalism, and to have charity towards one another when controversy arises among themselves. The bitterness of the conflicts between Ultramontane and Liberal Catholics throughout the century adds point to these exhortations.
Immortale Dei played a great part in breaking down the attitude of sterile obstruction which a section of Catholic opinion thought fit to adopt to all modern developments, whether good or bad. Its chief practical impact was felt in France, where it inaugurated the attempt of Leo XIII to reach a rapprochement with the Third Republic. This rapprochement made some headway during the 1890's, but was not permanent (see the French Law on the separation of Church and State, Doc. No. 11 of this chapter). On the other hand, the more general results of the Encyclical were durable; its statement of the principles which should govern the action of Catholics in modern political life was reiterated and expanded by later pronouncements of Leo XIII himself and subsequent Pontiffs (see the Encyclical Rerum novarum -- Doc. No. 10 of this chapter, and in Chap. VIII the Encyclicals Quadragesimo anno -- Doc. No. 2, Non abbiamo bisogno -- Doc. No. 3, Mit brennender Sorge -- Doc. No. 6, Divini Redemptoris -- Doc. No. 7, and Nos es muy -- Doc. No. 8 ).
(The following copyright English translation of the Encyclical Immortale Dei is reproduced by kind permission of the Catholic Truth Society, London.)
Encyclical Letter of Leo XIII, November 1, 1885
The Church the Great Promoter of Civilization
The Catholic Church, that imperishable handiwork of our allmerciful God, has for her immediate and natural purpose the saving of souls and securing our happiness in heaven. Yet in regard to things temporal she is the source of benefits as manifold and great as if the chief end of her existence were to ensure the prospering of our earthly life. And in truth, wherever the Church has set her foot, she has straightway changed the face of things, and has tempered the moral tone of the people with a new civilization, and with virtues before unknown. All nations which have yielded to her sway have become eminent for their culture, their sense of justice, and the glory of their high deeds.
Old Accusations against the Church
And yet a hackneyed reproach of old date is levelled against her, that the Church is opposed to the rightful aims of the civil government, and is wholly unable to afford help in spreading that welfare and progress which justly and naturally are sought after by every well-regulated State. From the very beginning Christians were harassed by slanderous accusations of this nature, and on that account were held up to hatred and execration, for being (so they were called) enemies of the empire. The Christian religion was moreover commonly charged with being the cause of the calamities that so frequently befell the State, whereas, in very truth, just punishment was being awarded to guilty nations by an avenging God. This odious calumny, with most valid reason, nerved the genius and sharpened the pen of St. Augustine, who, notably in his treatise On the City of God, set forth in so bright a light the worth of Christian wisdom in its relation to the public weal, that he seems not merely to have pleaded the cause of the Christians of his day, but to have refuted for all future times impeachments so grossly contrary to truth. The wicked proneness, however, to levy the like charges and accusations has not been lulled to rest.
New Theories as to the State contrasted with the Teaching of the Church
Many, indeed, are they who have tried to work out a plan of civil society based on doctrines other than those approved by the Catholic Church. Nay, in these latter days a novel theory of law has begun in many places to be held and to have influence, the outcome, as it is maintained, of an age arrived at full stature, and the result of progressive liberty. But though endeavours of various kinds have been ventured on, it is clear that no better mode has been devised for the building up and ruling the State than that which is the necessary growth of the teachings of the Gospel. We deem it, therefore, of the highest moment, and a strict duty of Our Apostolic office, to contrast with the lessons taught by Christ the novel theories now advanced touching the State. By this means We cherish hope that the bright shining of the truth may scatter the mists of error and doubt, so that one and all may see clearly the imperious law of life which they are bound to follow and obey.
God the Author of Society and the Source of Civil Authority
It is not difficult to determine what would be the form and character of the State were it governed according to the principles of Christian philosophy. Man's natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties. Hence it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life--be it family, social, or civil--with his fellowmen, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately supplied. But as no society can hold together unless someone be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every civilized community must have a ruling authority, and this authority no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its author. Hence it follows that all public power must proceed from God: for God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve Him, so that whoseover holds the right to govern, holds it from one sole and single source, namely God, the Sovereign Ruler of all. There is no power but from God. 1
The Duties of Rulers and Subjects
The right to rule is not necessarily, however, bound up with any special mode of government. It may take this or that form, provided only that it be of a nature to ensure the general welfare. But whatever be the nature of the government, rulers must ever bear in mind that God is the paramount Ruler of the world, and must set Him before themselves as their exemplar and law in the administration of the State. For, in things visible, God has fashioned secondary causes, in which His divine action can in some wise be discerned, eading up to the end to which the course of the world is ever tending. In like manner in civil society, God has always willed that there should be a ruling authority, and that they who are invested with it should reflect the divine power and providence in some measure over the human race.
They, therefore, who rule should rule with even-handed justice, not as masters, but rather as fathers, for the rule of God over man is most just, and is tempered always with a father's kindness. Government should moreover be administered for the well-being of the citizens, because they who govern others possess authority solely for the welfare of the State. Furthermore, the civil power must not be subservient to the advantage of any one individual, or of some few persons; inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all. But if those who are in authority rule unjustly, if they govern overbearingly of arrogantly, and if their measures prove hurtful to the people, they must remember that the Almighty will one day bring them to account, the more strictly in proportion to the sacredness of their office and pre-eminence of their dignity. The mighty shall be mightily tormented. 2 Then truly will the majesty of the law meet with the dutiful and willing homage of the people, when they are convinced that their rulers hold authority from God, and feel that it is a matter of justice and duty to obey them, and to show
1 Rom. xiii, 1.
2 Wisd. vi, 7.
them reverence and fealty, united to a love not unlike that which children show their parents. Let every soul be subject to higher powers. 1 To despise legitimate authority, in whomsoever vested, is unlawful, as a rebellion against the Divine Will; and whoever resists that, rushes wilfully to destruction. He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. 2 To cast aside obedience and by popular violence to incite to revolt, is therefore treason, not against man only, but against God.
The State bound to a Public Profession of Religion
As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, not less than individuals, owes gratitude to God, who gave it being and maintains it, and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice--not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion--it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So too is it a sin in the State not to have care for religion, as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, should hold in honour the holy Name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favour religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule: for one and all we are destined, by our birth and adoption, to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavour should be directed. Since then upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the well-being of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual
1 Rom. xiii, 1.
2 Ibid, 2.
members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with his God.
The Only True Religion
Now it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiassed mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfilment of prophecies; miracles in great number; the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles; the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate.
For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called the Church, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had received from His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you. 1 Behold I am with you, all days, even to the consummation of the world. 2 Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men might have life and have it more abundantly, 3 so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternal salvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind, unhampered by any limit of either time or place. Preach ye the Gospel to every creature. 4
Over this mighty multitude God has Himself set rulers with power to govern; and He has willed that one should be the head of all, and the chief and unerring teacher of truth, to whom He has given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. 5 Feed My lambs, feed My sheep. 6 I have Prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. 7
This society is made up of men, just as civil society is, and yet is supernatural and spiritual, on account of the end for which it was founded, and of the means by which it aims at attaining that end. Hence it is distinguished and differs from civil society; and, what is of the highest moment, it is a society chartered as of right divine, perfect in its nature and in its title, to possess in itself and by itself,
1 John xx, 21.
2 Matt. xxviii, 20.
3 John x, 10.
4 Mark xvi, 15.
5 Matt. xvi, 19.
6 John xxi, 16-17.
7 Luke xxii, 32.
through the will and loving kindness of its Founder, all needful provision for its maintenance and action. And just as the end at which the Church aims is by far the noblest of ends, so is its authority the most exalted of all authorities, nor can it be looked upon as inferior to the civil power, or in any manner dependent upon it.
The Church's Authority
In very truth Jesus Christ gave to His Apostles unrestrained authority in regard to things sacred, together with the genuine and most true power of making laws, as also with the two-fold right of judging and of punishing, which flow from that power. All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore teach ye all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. 1 And in another place, If he will not hear them, tell the Church. 2 And again, In readiness to revenge all disobedience. 3 And once more, That . . . I may not deal more severely according to the power which the Lord hath given me, unto edification and not unto destruction. 4 Hence it is the Church, and not the State, that is to be man's guide to heaven. It is to the Church that God has assigned the charge of seeing to, and legislating for, all that concerns religion; of teaching all nations; of spreading the Christian faith as widely as possible; in short, of administering freely and without hindrance, in accordance with her own judgment, all matters that fall within her competence.
Now this authority, perfect in itself, and plainly meant to be unfettered, so long assailed by a philosophy that truckles to the State, the Church has never ceased to claim for herself, and openly to exercise. The Apostles themselves were the first to uphold it, when, being forbidden by the rulers of the synagogue to preach the Gospel, they courageously answered, We ought to obey God rather than men. 5 This same authority the holy Fathers of the Church were always careful to maintain by weighty arguments, according as occasion arose, and the Roman Pontiffs have never shrunk from defending it with unbending constancy. Nay more, princes and all invested with power to rule have themselves approved it, in theory alike and in practice. It cannot be called in question that in the making of treaties, in the transaction of business matters, in the sending and receiving ambassadors, and in the interchange of other kinds of official dealings, they have been wont to treat with the Church as with a supreme and legitimate power. And assuredly all ought to hold that it was not without a singular disposition of God's providence, that this power of the Church was provided with a civil sovereignty as the surest safeguard of her independence.
1 Matt. xxviii, 18, 19, 20.
2 Ibid. xviii, 17.
3 2 Cor. x, 6.
4 Ibid. xiii, 10.
5 Acts v, 29.
Contrast between the Church and State
The Almighty, therefore, has appointed the charge of the human race between two powers, the ecclesiastical and the civil, the one being set over divine, and the other over human, things. Each in its kind is supreme, each has fixed limits within which it is contained, limits which are defined by the nature and special object of the province of each, so that there is, we may say, an orbit traced out within which the action of each is brought into play by its own native right. But inasmuch as each of these two powers has authority over the same subjects, and as it might come to pass that one and the same thing--related differently, but still remaining one and the same thing--might belong to the jurisdiction and determination of both, therefore God, who foresees all things, and who is the Author of these two powers, has marked out the course each in right correlation to the other. For the powers that are, are ordained of God. 1 Were this not so, deplorable contentions and conflicts would often arise, and not infrequently men, like travellers at the meeting of two roads, would hesitate in anxiety and doubt, not knowing what course to follow. Two powers would be commanding contrary things, and it would be a dereliction of duty to disobey either of the two.
The state must recognize the Rights of the Church
But it would be most repugnant to them to deem thus of the wisdom and goodness of God. Even in physical things, albeit of a lower order, the Almighty has so combined the forces and springs of Nature with tempered action and wondrous harmony, that no one of them clashes with any other, and all of them most fitly and aptly work together for the great purpose of the universe. There must, accordingly, exist, between these two powers, a certain orderly connection, which may be compared to the union of the soul and body in man. The nature and scope of that connection can be determined only, as We have laid down, by having regard to the nature of each power, and by taking account of the relative excellence and nobleness of their purpose. One of the two has for its proximate and chief object the well-being of this mortal life; the other the everlasting joys of heaven. Whatever, therefore, in things human is of a sacred character, whatever belongs either of its own nature or by reason of the end to which it is referred, to the salvation of souls, or to the worship of God, is subject to the power and judgment of the Church. Whatever is to be ranged under the civil and political order, is rightly subject to the civil authority. Jesus Christ has Himself given command that what is Caesar's is to be rendered to Caesar, and that what belongs to God is to be rendered to God.
1 Rom. xiii, 1.
There are, nevertheless, occasions when another method of concord is available, for the sake of peace and liberty: We mean when rulers of the State and the Roman Pontiff come to an understanding touching some special matter. At such times the Church gives signal proof of her motherly love by showing the greatest possible kindliness and indulgence.
Such, then, as We have briefly pointed out, is the Christian organization of civil society: not rashly or fancifully shaped out, but educed from the highest and truest principles, confirmed by natural reason itself.
The Benefits of the Christian Teaching about the State
In such an organization of the State there is nothing that can be thought to infringe upon the dignity of rulers, and nothing unbecoming them; nay, so far from degrading the sovereign power in its due rights, it adds to its permanence and lustre. Indeed, when more fully pondered, this mutual co-ordination has a perfection in which all other forms of government are lacking, and from which excellent results would flow were the several component parts to keep their place, and duly discharge the office and work appointed respectively for each. And, without a doubt, in the constitution of the State such as we have described, divine and human things are equitably shared; the rights of citizens assured to them, and fenced round by divine, by natural, and by human law; the duties incumbent on each one being wisely marked out, and their fulfilment fittingly ensured. In their uncertain and toilsome journey towards the city made without hands, all see that they have safe guides and helpers on their way, and are conscious that others have charge to protect their persons alike and their possessions, and to obtain or preserve for them everything essential for their present life. Furthermore, domestic society acquires that firmness and solidity so needful to it, from the holiness of marriage, one and indissoluble, wherein the rights and duties of husband and wife are controlled with wise justice and equity; due honour is assured to the woman; the authority of the husband is conformed to the pattern afforded by the authority of God; the power of the father is tempered by a due regard for the dignity of the mother and her offspring; and the best possible provision is made for the guardianship, welfare, and education of the children.
In political affairs, and in all matters civil, the laws aim at securing the common good, and are not framed according to the delusive caprices and opinions of the mass of the people, but by truth and by justice; the ruling powers are invested with a sacredness more than human, and are withheld from deviating from the path of duty, and from over-stepping the bounds of rightful authority; and the obedience of citizens is rendered with a feeling of honour and dignity, since obedience is not the servitude of man to man, but submission to the will of God, exercising His sovereignty through the medium of men. Now, this being recognized as undeniable, it is felt that the high office of rulers should be held in respect; that public authority should be constantly and faithfully obeyed; that no act of sedition should be committed; and that the civic order of the commonwealth should be maintained as sacred.
So, also, as to the duties of each one towards his fellowmen, mutual forbearance, kindliness, generosity, are placed in the ascendant; the man who is at once a citizen and a Christian is not drawn aside by conflicting obligations; and, lastly, the abundant benefits with which the Christian religion, of its very nature, endows even the mortal life of man, are acquired for the community and civil society. And this to such an extent that it may be said in sober truth: "The condition of the commonwealth depends on religion with which God is worshipped: and between one and the other there exists an intimate and abiding connection." 1
St. Augustine on these Benefits
Admirably, according to his wont, does St. Augustine, in many passages, enlarge upon the potency of these advantages; but nowhere more markedly and to the point than when he addresses the Catholic Church in the following words: "Thou dost teach and train children with much tenderness, young men with much vigour, old men with much gentleness; as the age not of the body alone, but of the mind of each requires. Women thou dost subject to their husbands in chaste and faithful obedience, not for the gratifying of their lust, but for bringing forth children, and for having a share in the family concerns. Thou dost set husbands over their wives, not that they may play false to the weaker sex, but according to the requirement of sincere affection. Thou dost subject children to their parents in a kind of free service, and dost establish parents over their children with a benign rule. . . . Thou joinest together, not in society only, but in a sort of brotherhood, citizen with citizen, nation with nation, and the whole race of men, by reminding them of their common parentage. Thou teachest kings to look to the interests of their people, and dost admonish the people to be submissive to their kings. With all care dost thou teach all to whom honour is due, and affection, and reverence, and fear, consolation, and admonition, and exhortation, and discipline, and reproach, and punishment.
1 Sacr. Imp. ad Cyrillum Alexand. et Episcopos Metrop. Cfr. Labbe, Collect. Conc. , T. iii.
Thou showest that all these are not equally incumbent on all, but that charity is owing to all, and wrong-doing to none." 1 And in another place, blaming the false wisdom of certain time-serving philosophers, he observes: "Let those who say that the teaching of Christ is hurtful to the State produce such an army as the teaching of Christ orders soldiers to be; such governors of provinces; such husbands and wives; such parents and children; such masters and servants; such kings; such judges, and such payers and collectors of tribute, as Christian teaching enjoins them to be, and then let them dare to say that such teaching is hurtful to the State. Nay, rather, they must confess that this teaching, if followed, is the very mainstay of the State." 2
The Witness of History There was once a time when States were governed by the principles of Gospel teaching. Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society. Then, too, the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, established firmly in befitting dignity, flourished everywhere by the favour of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates; and Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices.
The State, constituted in this wise, bore fruits important beyond all expectation, whose remembrance is still, and always will be, in renown, witnessed to as they are by countless proofs which can never be blotted out or even obscured by any craft of any enemies. Christian Europe has subdued barbarous nations, and changed them from a savage to a civilized condition, from superstition to true worship. It victoriously rolled back the tide of Mohammedan conquest; retained the headship of civilization; stood forth in the front rank as the leader and teacher of all, in every branch of national culture; bestowed on the world the gift of true and many-sided liberty; and most wisely founded very numerous institutions for the solace of human suffering. And if we inquire how it was able to bring about so altered a condition of things, the answer is: Beyond all question, in large measure, through Religion; under whose auspices so many great undertakings were set on foot, through whose aid they were brought to completion.
A similar state of things would certainly have continued had the agreement of the two powers been lasting. More important results even might have been justly looked for, had obedience waited upon the authority, teaching, and counsels of the Church, and had this
1 De moribus Eccl. Cathol. xxx, 63.
2 Epist. 138, al. 5, ad Marcell. , ii, 15.
submission been specially marked by greater and more unswerving loyalty. For that should be regarded in the light of an ever-changeless law which Ivo of Chartres wrote to Pope Paschal II: "When kingdom and priesthood are at one, in complete accord, the world is well ruled, and the Church flourishes, and brings forth abundant fruit. But when they are at variance, not only smaller interests prosper not, but even things of greatest moment fall into deplorable decay." 1
The Origin of the New Theories
Sad it is to call to mind how the harmful and lamentable rage for innovation which rose to a climax in the sixteenth century threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountainhead, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled licence which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and boldly proclaimed as the principles and foundation of that new jurisprudence which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even with the natural law.
Their Harmful Effects
Amongst these principles the main one lays down that as all men are alike by race and nature, so in like manner all are equal in the control of their life; that each one is so far his own master as to be in no sense under the rule of any other individual; that each is free to think on every subject just as he may choose, and to do whatever he may like to do; that no man has any right to rule over other men. In a society grounded upon such maxims, all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people, and the people, being under the power of itself alone, is alone its own ruler. It does choose nevertheless some to whose charge it may commit itself, but in such wise that it makes over to them not the right so much as the business of governing, to be exercised, however, in its name. The authority of God is passed over in silence, just as if there were no God, or as if He cared nothing for human society; or as if men, whether in their individual capacity or bound together in social relations, owed nothing to God; or as if there could be a government of which the whole origin and power and authority did not reside in God Himself. Thus, as is evident, a State becomes nothing but a multitude, which is its own master and ruler. And since the populace is declared to contain within itself the spring-head of all rights and of all power,
1 Epist. 238.
it follows that the State does not consider itself bound by any kind of duty towards God. Moreover, it believes that it is not obliged to make public profession of any religion; or to inquire which of the very many religions is the only true one; or to prefer one religion to all the rest; or to show to any form of religion special favour; but, on the contrary, is bound to grant equal rights to every creed, so that public order may not be disturbed by any particular form of religious belief.
And it is a part of this theory that all questions that concern religion are to be referred to private judgment; that every one is to be free to follow whatever religion he prefers, or none at all if he disapprove of all. From this the following consequences logically flow: that the judgment of each one's conscience is independent of all law; that the most unrestrained opinions may be openly expressed as to the practice or omission of Divine Worship; and that every one has unbounded licence to think whatever he chooses and to publish abroad whatever he thinks.
Now when the State rests on foundations like those just named-and for the time being they are greatly in favour--it readily appears into what and how unrightful a position the Church is driven. For when the management of public business is in harmony with doctrines of such a kind, the Catholic religion is allowed a standing in civil society equal only, or inferior, to societies alien from it; no regard is paid to the laws of the Church, and she who, by the order and commission of Jesus Christ, has the duty of teaching all nations, finds herself forbidden to take any part in the instruction of the people. With reference to matters that are of twofold jurisdiction, they who administer the civil power lay down the law at their own will, and in matters that appertain to religion they defiantly put aside the most sacred decrees of the Church. They claim jurisdiction over the marriages of Catholics, even over the bond as well as the unity and the indissolubility of matrimony. They lay hands on the goods of the clergy, contending that the Church cannot possess property. Lastly, they treat the Church with such arrogance that, rejecting entirely her title to the nature and rights of a perfect society, they hold that she differs in no respect from other societies in the State, and for this reason possesses no right nor any legal power of action, save that which she holds by the concession and favour of the government. If in any State the Church retains her own right--and this with the approval of the civil law, owing to an agreement publicly entered into by the two powers--men forthwith begin to cry out that matters affecting the Church must be separated from those of the State.
Their object in uttering this cry is to be able to violate unpunished their plighted faith, and in all things to have unchecked control. And as the Church, unable to abandon her chiefest and most sacred duties, cannot patiently put up with this, and asks that the pledge given to her be fully and scrupulously acted up to, contentions frequently arise between the ecclesiastical and the civil power, of which the issue commonly is, that the weaker power is beaten by the one which is stronger in human resources.
Accordingly, it has become the practice and determination under this condition of public polity (now so much admired by many) either to forbid the action of the Church altogether, or to keep her in check and bondage to the State. Public enactments are in great measure framed with this design. The drawing up of laws, the administration of State affairs, the godless education of youth, the spoliation and suppression of religious orders, the overthrow of the temporal power of the Roman Pontiff, all alike aim at this one end --to paralyse the action of Christian institutions, to cramp to the utmost the freedom of the Catholic Church, and to curtail her every single prerogative.
Reason and the New Theories Now, natural reason itself proves convincingly that such concepts of the government of a State are wholly at variance with the truth. Nature itself bears witness that all power, of every kind, has its origin from God, who is its chief and most august source.
The sovereignty of the people, however, and this without any reference to God, is held to reside in the multitude, which is doubtless a doctrine exceedingly well calculated to flatter and to inflame many passions, but which lacks all reasonable proof, and all power of ensuring public safety and preserving order. Indeed, from the prevalence of this teaching, things have come to such a pass that many hold as an axiom of civil jurisprudence that seditions may be rightfully fostered. For the opinion prevails that princes are nothing more than delegates chosen to carry out the will of the people; whence it necessarily follows that all things are as changeable as the will of the people, so that risk of public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads.
To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of Divine worship, involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points, cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than Nature herself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth, may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favour and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only passport to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the licence of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth, and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the power of making laws, from the training of youth, from domestic society, is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason; even though they be not carried out in action.
To wish the Church to be subject to the civil power in the exercise of her duty is a great folly and a sheer injustice. Whenever this is the case, order is disturbed, for things natural are put above things supernatural; the many benefits which the Church, if free to act, would confer on society are either prevented or at least lessened in number; and a way is prepared for enmities and contentions between the two powers; with how evil result to both the issue of events has taught us only too frequently.
These New Theories condemned by the Church Doctrines such as these, which cannot be approved by human reason, and most seriously affect the whole civil order, Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs (well aware of what their Apostolic office
required of them) have never allowed to pass uncondenmed. Thus Gregory XVI in his Encyclical Letter Mirari vos, of date August 15th, 1832, inveighed with weighty words against the sophisms which even in his time were being publicly inculcated--namely, that no preference should be shown for any particular form of worship; that it is right for individuals to form their own personal judgments about religion; that each man's conscience is his sole and all-sufficing guide; and that it is lawful for every man to publish his own views, whatever they may be, and even to conspire against the State. On the question of the separation of the Church and State the same Pontiff writes as follows: "Nor can we hope for happier results, either for religion or for the civil government, from the wishes of those who desire that the Church be separated from the State, and the concord between the secular and ecclesiastical authority be dissolved. It is clear that these men, who yearn for a shameless liberty, live in dread of an agreement which has always been fraught with good, and advantageous alike to sacred and civil interests." To the like effect, also, as occasion presented itself, did Pius IX brand publicly many false opinions which were gaining ground, and afterwards ordered them to be condensed in summary form in order that in this sea of error Catholics might have a light which they might safely follow. 1
The Meaning of the Church's Teaching
From these pronouncements of the Popes it is evident that the origin of public power is to be sought for in God Himself, and not in the multitude, and that it is repugnant to reason to allow free scope for sedition. Again, that it is not lawful for the State, any more than for the individual, either to disregard all religious duties, or to hold in equal favour different kinds of religion; that the unrestrained freedom of thinking and of openly making known one's thoughts is not inherent in the rights of citizens, and is by no means to be reckoned worthy of favour and support. In like manner it is to be understood that the Church no less than the State itself is a society perfect in its own nature and its own right, and that those who
1 It will suffice to indicate a few of them:
Prop. xix. The Church is not a true, perfect, and wholly independent society, possessing its own unchanging rights conferred upon it by its Divine Founder; but it is for the civil power to determine what are rights of the Church, and the limits within which she may use them.
Prop. xxxix. The State, as the origin and source of all rights, enjoys a right that is unlimited.
Prop. lv. The Church must be separated from the State, and the State from the Church.
Prop. lxxix. . . . It is untrue that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power given to all of openly and publicly manifesting whatsoever opinions and thoughts, lead to the more ready corruption of the minds and morals of the people, and to the spread of the plague of religious indifference.
exercise sovereignty ought not so to act as to compel the Church to become subservient or subject to them, or to hamper her liberty in the management of her own affairs, or to despoil her in any way of the other privileges conferred upon her by Jesus Christ. In matters, however, of mixed jurisdiction, it is in the highest degree consonant to nature, as also to the designs of God, that so far from one of the powers separating itself from the other, or still less coming into conflict with it, complete harmony, such as is suited to the end for which each power exists, should be preserved between them.
No one form of Government condemned, nor all toleration of error
This, then, is the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the constitution and government of the State. By the words and decrees just cited, if judged dispassionately, no one of the several forms of government is in itself condemned, inasmuch as none of them contains anything contrary to Catholic doctrine, and all of them are capable, if wisely and justly managed, of ensuring the welfare of the State. Neither is it blameworthy in itself, in any manner, for the people to have a share, greater or less, in the government: for at certain times, and under certain laws, such participation may not only be of benefit to the citizens, but may even be of obligation. Nor is there any reason why any one should accuse the Church of being wanting in gentleness of action or largeness of view, or of being opposed to real and lawful liberty. The Church, indeed, deems it unlawful to place various forms of Divine Worship on the same footing as the true religion, but does not, on that account, condemn those rulers who for the sake of securing some great good, or of hindering some great evil, tolerate in practice that these various forms of religion have a place in the State. And in fact the Church is wont to take earnest heed that no one shall be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, for, as St. Augustine wisely reminds us, "Man cannot believe otherwise than of his own free will."
The Church fosters Genuine Liberty and Scientific Research
In the same way the Church cannot approve of that liberty which begets a contempt of the most sacred laws of God, and casts off the obedience due to lawful authority, for this is not liberty so much as licence, and is most correctly styled by St. Augustine the "liberty of self-ruin," and the Apostle St. Peter the cloak for malice. 1 Indeed, since it is opposed to reason, it is a true slavery, for whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 2 One the other hand, that liberty is truly genuine, and to be sought after, which in regard to the individual does not allow men to be the slaves of error and of passion, the worst
1 1 Pet. ii, 16. 2 John viii, 34.
of all masters; which, too, in public administration guides the citizens in wisdom and provides for them increased means of well-being; and which, further, protects the State from foreign interference.
This honourable liberty, alone worthy of human beings, the Church approves most highly and has never slackened her endeavour to preserve, strong and unchanged, among nations. And in truth whatever in the state is of chief avail for the common welfare; whatever has been usefully established to curb the licence of rulers who are opposed to the true interests of the people, or to prevent governments from unwarrantably interfering in municipal or family affairs; whatever tends to uphold the honour, manhood, and equal rights of individual citizens;--of all these things, as the monuments of past ages bear witness, the Catholic Church has always been the originator, the promoter, or the guardian. Ever therefore consistent with herself, while on the one hand she rejects that exorbitant liberty which in individuals and in nations ends in licence or in thraldom, on the other hand, she willingly and most gladly welcomes whatever improvements the age brings forth, if these really secure the prosperity of life here below, which is as it were a stage in the journey to the life that will know no ending.
Therefore, when it is said that the Church is jealous of modern political systems, and that she repudiates the discoveries of modern research, the charge is a ridiculous and groundless calumny. Wild opinions she does repudiate, wicked and seditious projects she does condemn, and especially that habit of mind in which are seen the beginnings of a wilful departure from God. But as all truth must necessarily proceed from God, the Church recognizes in all truth that is reached by research, a trace of the divine intelligence. And as all truth in the natural order is powerless to destroy belief in the teachings of revelation, but can do much to confirm it, and as every newly discovered truth may serve to further the knowledge or the praise of God, it follows that whatsoever spreads the range of knowledge will always be willingly and even joyfully welcomed by the Church. She will always encourage and promote, as she does in other branches of knowledge, all study occupied with the investigation of nature. In these pursuits, should the human intellect discover anything not known before, the Church makes no opposition. She never objects to search being made for things that minister to the refinements and comforts of life. So far indeed from opposing these she is now, as she ever has been, hostile alone to indolence and sloth, and earnestly wishes that the talents of men may bear more and more abundant fruit by cultivation and exercise. Moreover she gives encouragement to every kind of art and handicraft, and through her influence, directing all strivings after progress towards virtue and salvation, she labours to prevent man's intellect and industry from turning him away from God and from heavenly things.
All this, though so reasonable and full of counsel, finds little favour nowadays, when States not only refuse to conform to the rules of Christian wisdom, but seem even anxious to recede from them further on each successive day. Nevertheless, since truth when brought to light is wont, of its own nature, to spread itself far and wide, and gradually take possession of the minds of men, We, moved by the great and holy duty of Our Apostolic mission to all nations, speak, as We are bound to do, with freedom. Our eyes are not closed to the spirit of the times. We repudiate not the assured and useful improvements of our age, but devoutly wish affairs of state to take a safer course than they are now taking, and to rest on a more firm foundation without injury to the true freedom of the people. For the best parent and guardian of liberty amongst men is truth. The truth shall make you free. 1
Duties of Catholics in Private and Public Life
If in the difficult time in which our lot is cast, Catholics will give ear to Us, as it behoves them to do, they will readily see what are the duties of each one in matters of opinion as well as action. As regards opinion, whatever the Roman Pontiffs have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach, must be held with a firm grasp of mind, and so often as occasion requires, must be openly professed.
Especially with reference to the so-called "liberties" which are so greatly coveted in these days, all must stand by the judgment of the Apostolic See, and have the same mind. Let no man be deceived by the outward appearance of these liberties, but let each one reflect whence these have had their origin, and by what efforts they are everywhere upheld and promoted. Experience has made us well acquainted with their results to the state, since everywhere they have borne fruits which the good and wise bitterly deplore. If there really exist anywhere, or if we in imagination conceive, a state, waging wanton and tyrannical war against Christianity, and if we compare with it the modern form of government just described, this latter may seem the more endurable of the two. Yet, undoubtedly, the principles on which such a government is grounded are, as We have said, of a nature which no one can approve.
Secondly, action may relate to private and domestic matters, or to matters public. As to private affairs, the first duty is to conform life and conduct to the Gospel precepts, and to refuse to shrink from this duty when Christian virtue demands some sacrifice difficult to make. All, moreover, are bound to love the Church as their common
1 John viii, 32.
mother, to obey her laws, promote her honour, defend her rights, and to endeavour to make her respected and loved by those over whom they have authority. It is also of great moment to the public welfare to take a prudent part in the business of municipal administration, and to endeavour above all to introduce effectual measures, so that, as becomes a Christian people, public provision may be made for the instruction of youth in religion and true morality. Upon these things the well-being of every state greatly depends.
Furthermore, it is in general fitting and salutary that Catholics should extend their efforts beyond this restricted sphere, and give their attention to national politics. We say in general, because these Our precepts are addressed to all nations. However, it may in some places be true that, for most urgent and just reasons, it is by no means expedient for Catholics to engage in public affairs or to take an active part in politics. Nevertheless, as We have laid down, to take no share in public matters would be equally as wrong (We speak in general) as not to have concern for, or not to bestow labour upon, the common good. And this all the more because Catholics are admonished, by the very doctrines which they profess, to be upright and faithful in the discharge of duty; while if they hold aloof, men whose principles offer but small guarantee for the welfare of the State will the more readily seize the reins of government. This would tend also to the injury of the Christian religion, forasmuch as those would come into power who are badly disposed towards the Church, and those who are willing to befriend her would be deprived of all influence.
Example of the Early Christians to be followed
It follows therefore clearly that Catholics have just reasons for taking part in the conduct of public affairs. For in so doing they assume not the responsibility of approving what is blameworthy in the actual methods of government, but seek to turn these very methods, so far as is possible, to the genuine and true public good, and to use their best endeavours at the same time to infuse as it were into all the veins of the State the healthy sap and blood of Christian wisdom and virtue. The morals and ambitions of the heathens differed widely from those of the Gospel, yet Christians were to be seen living undefiled everywhere in the midst of pagan superstition, and, while always true to themselves, coming to the front boldly wherever an opening was presented. Models of loyalty to their rulers, submissive, so far as was permitted, to the sovereign power, they shed around them on every side a halo of sanctity; they strove to be helpful to their brethren, and to attract others to the wisdom of Jesus Christ, yet were bravely ready to withdraw from public life, nay, even to lay down their life, if they could not without loss of virtue retain honours, dignities, and offices. For this reason Christian ways and manners speedily found their way not only into private houses but into the camp, the Senate, and even into the imperial palaces. "We are but of yesterday," wrote Tertullian, "yet we swarm in all your institutions, we crowd your cities, islands, villages, towns, assemblies, the army itself, your wards and corporations, the palace, the senate, and the law courts." So that the Christian faith, when once it became lawful to make public profession of the Gospel, appeared in most of the cities of Europe, not like an infant crying in its cradle, but already grown up and full of vigour.
In these our days it is well to revive these examples of our forefathers. First and foremost it is the duty of all Catholics worthy of the name and wishful to be known as most loving children of the Church, to reject without swerving whatever is inconsistent with so fair a title; to make use of popular institutions, so far as can honestly be done, for the advancement of truth and righteousness; to strive that liberty of action shall not transgress the bounds marked out by nature and the law of God; to endeavour to bring back all civil society to the pattern and form of Christianity which We have described. It is barely possible to lay down any fixed method by which such purposes are to be attained, because the means adopted must suit places and times widely differing from one another. Nevertheless, above all things, unity of aim must be preserved, and similarity must be sought after in all plans of action. Both these objects will be carried into effect without fail, if all will follow the guidance of the Apostolic See as their rule of life, and obey the bishops whom the Holy Ghost has placed to rule the Church of God. 1 The defence of Catholicism, indeed, necessarily demands that in the profession of doctrines taught by the Church all shall be of one mind and all steadfast in believing; and care must be taken never to connive, in any way, at false opinions, never to withstand them less strenuously than truth allows. In mere matters of opinion it is permissible to discuss things with moderation, with a desire to searching into the truth, without unjust suspicion or angry recriminations.
No Truckling with Naturalism or Rationalism
Hence, lest concord be broken by rash charges, let this be understood by all, that the integrity of Catholic faith cannot be reconciled with opinions verging on Naturalism, or Rationalism, the essence of which is utterly to sterilize Christianity, and to install in society the supremacy of man to the exclusion of God. Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private and another in public,
1 Acts xx, 28.
respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it: for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue.
Warning against Bitterness in Controvers among Catholics
But in matters merely political, as for instance the best form of government, and this or that system of administration, a difference of opinion is lawful. Those, therefore, whose piety is in other respects known, and whose minds are ready to accept in all obedience the decrees of the Apostolic See, cannot in justice be accounted as bad men because they disagree as to the subjects We have mentioned; and still graver wrong will be done them, if--as We have more than once perceived with regret--they are accused of violating, or of wavering in, the Catholic faith.
Let this be well borne in mind by all who are in the habit of publishing their opinions, and above all by journalists. In the endeavour to secure interests of the highest order there is no room for intestine strife or party rivalries, since all should aim with one mind and purpose to make safe that which is the common object of all-the maintenance of Religion and of the State.
If, therefore, there have hitherto been dissensions, let them henceforth be gladly buried in oblivion. If rash or injurious acts have been committed, whoever may have been at fault, let mutual charity make amends, and let the past be redeemed by a special submission of all to the Apostolic See.
In this way Catholics will attain two most excellent results: they will become helpers to the Church in preserving and propagating Christian wisdom; and they will confer the greatest benefit on civil society, the safety of which is exceedingly imperilled by evil teachings and bad passions.
This, Venerable Brethren, is what We have thought it Our duty to expound to all nations of the Catholic world touching the Christian constitution of States and the duties of individual citizens.
10. Pope Leo XIII. Encyclical "Rerum novarum" on the Condition of the Working Classes, May 15, 1891 Original Latin text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, ( 1890-1891), p. 177
The comprehensive pronouncement contained in this Encyclical was the consummation of years of investigation by Catholic indivi- duals and organizations in various Western European countries of the problems raised by the new urban industrial civilization. Among the pioneers in this direction may be mentioned Bishop Ketteler of Mainz, Dr. Hitze (a leading member of the German Catholic Centre Party), Cardinal Mermillod, Bishop of Lausanne and Geneva, and a French layman, the Comte de Mun. Leo XIII had in earlier days, as Nuncio to Belgium in the 1840's, observed a developing industrial society at first-hand and retained his appreciation of the necessity for an active Christian sociology. As Pontiff he encouraged the study of the new problems, particularly by his patronage of the "Union Catholique d'études économiques et sociales," which met annually at Fribourg, Switzerland, under Mermillod's presidency, from 1885 onwards. In 1881, Cardinal Mermillod had been placed by the Pope in charge of a commission of theologians who were to investigate the social question, and the findings of this body and those of the "Union" were to form the practical basis for the principles formulated in Rerum novarum.
The Encyclical leaves it in no doubt that the root cause of the prevalent social unrest is the abuse of an unrestricted Capitalism, the counterpart in economic affairs of the individualist Liberalism, condemned by Leo XIII in other Encyclicals (e.g. in the Encyclical Immortale Dei, Doc. No. 9 of this chapter). The first part of the Encyclical Rerum novarum is devoted to pointing out the theoretical and practical fallacies in the pseudo-solution offered by Socialism. The community of goods and abolition of private property demanded by true Socialism is declared by the Pope to be incompatible with traditional Christian teaching, which regards private property as one of Man's natural rights, ensuring, as it does, the permanency of possession which is an essential pre-requisite for the rational development of the earth's resources.
The exact method of delimiting such private property is left to the twofold operation of individual initiative, on the one hand, and to the laws of various lands on the other. Here, Pope Leo lays down the ideal of striking a just balance between the claims of the individual and those of collective society--an ideal which is to be continually reasserted in the teaching of Catholic sociology.
The Encyclical displays equal concern for the safeguarding of the rights of the primary social unit, the family. The Pope warns against the danger of subordinating the family to the State, although he concedes that in cases of extreme hardship or abuse, the State may intervene in the affairs of the family. But otherwise State interference with parental authority is a flagrant usurpation and Socialism, by advocating such interference as a logical outcome of its collectivist view of society, is acting contrary to natural justice.
The Pope then outlines the general principles which must govern any Catholic approach to the social problem. Inequalities are inevitable in human society; indeed they are desirable, for without them the necessary division of functions essential in any social community could not exist. In this contention, Leo XIII (who encouraged the revival of the direct study of the "Angelic Doctor") closely follows the viewpoint of St. Thomas Aquinas. Man will never be perfectly exempt from suffering and, hence, the Socialists are to be condemned when they advocate the practice of "class war" to achieve a perfectly classless society. Instead, the Pope puts forward the ideal of a harmonious co-operation between the two equally essential forces of Capital and Labour. Both have their rights and duties. The worker must practise honesty and moderation; the employer must be mindful of justice and must respect the dignity of his employees as men and Christians. If this is kept in mind, the rich will perceive the truth that the wealth which they rightfully possess must be used for the good of their fellows. The Church itself sets an example in this direction by using much of its resources for charitable purposes.
Leo XIII approves action by the State where this is necessary for the safeguarding of the spiritual and material interests of the working classes, on whose labour the very existence of the State itself depends. By this emphasis, the Pope brought true Christian social principles to the attention of the large number of Catholic bourgeoisie who had tended to adopt the Liberal conception of laissezfaire as a guide to economic conduct. In particular, the Pope calls for State action to safeguard the rights of private property against revolutionary agitation, to obviate the causes of strikes, to give the worker full opportunity to fulfil his spiritual duties, and to regulate hours and conditions of work with a view to preventing "sweated" labour, particularly in the case of women and children (this at a time when, among Western European countries, only England and Germany had finally abolished juvenile labour). The Pope points out that the employment of women and children in factories tends towards the undermining of the family and deprives them of their natural social environment.
The most striking pronouncement of the Encyclical was on the subject of the "living wage," the demand for which was to become another of the formative principles of Catholic social policy (see the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno, Doc. No. 2 in Chap. VIII). The Pope condemns the idea that the minimum wage must be regulated entirely by the free consent of workers and employers, for he rightly perceives that such consent is often, on the worker's side, purely formal; the temporary circumstances of the labour market often force him to agree to a wage which does not provide even for the necessities of life for himself and his family. Leo XIII brands as unjust any wage which is insufficient for the support of "a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner." The pressure of socalled economic laws must not be allowed to stand in the way of the provision of such a wage. The wage should also be high enough to give an opportunity to the thrifty worker to become himself a property-owner. Catholic teaching, in conformity with its belief in the natural right of every individual to private property, wishes to extend the benefits of ownership as widely as possible; such extension, believes Leo XIII, would lend stability to the social order and remove many of the present causes of discontent. The State must not hinder this beneficial extension of ownership by levying excessive taxation.
Another means of safeguarding working-class interests is the formation of associations for that purpose. Such associations arise from a natural social impulse and are, therefore, "real societies." In this pronouncement he is once more well ahead of contemporary thought; many States had not yet acknowledged Trade Unions as corporate bodies in the sight of the law. (In Britain and the United States, for example, final recognition of their legal status did not come until the twentieth century.) The Pope defends the formation of such associations on the ground that it is a natural right of men to combine with each other for legitimate purposes; if the purposes in question are in accord with natural justice, the State has no right to forbid such associations. Here again, Leo XIII is profoundly Thomist; by his reassertion of the medieval ideal of the political community as a communitas communitatum ("community of communities"), he registers a firm protest against the growing tendency to exalt the State to a position of omnipotence, a tendency which was to reach its climax in our own century. (See the next chapter.) In particular, the Pope condemns the suppression of religious associations recently carried out by certain anti-clerical European Governments. (For a specimen of such enactments, see the Law of Separation of Church and State in France, Doc. No. 11 in this chapter.)
Leo XIII warns against the danger of control of workers' associations by elements indifferent or hostile to Christianity. He favours, therefore, the formation of specifically Catholic Trade Unions and working-class organizations. This solution was in fact adopted in Catholic countries like France, Italy and Belgium (the latter being also the place of origin of the famous "Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne" or "Young Christian Workers" organization). The Pope then outlines the general spiritual and practical principles which must underlie such Christian associations. The Encyclical concludes with an appeal to Christian charity as the force which must motivate the actions of all Catholics in the social question.
The importance of Rerum novarum was great for its own time and lasting for the future. It did not originate modern Catholic sociological study and teaching; but it raised it to a position of prominence in the Church's general teaching and gave it the stamp of official support and encouragement. Rerum novarum was responsible for the revival of a "social conscience" among a Catholic laity which had unconsciously fallen under the sway of the secularist values of the age; it made clear that Socialism was not the only solution for the abuses of an unrestricted Capitalism. The subsequent development of Catholic social theory and industrial and economic organizations would have been impossible without this Encyclical. To an age accustomed to separating economics from ethics, the Encyclical came as a useful corrective. To-day many of the ideas enunciated in it, in the sphere of State legislation on social matters, have become generally accepted commonplaces. This fact itself best demonstrates the debt owed by subsequent decades to the pioneering achievement of Rerum novarum.
(The following copyright English translation is reproduced by kind permission of the Catholic Truth Society, London.)
May 15, 1891
1. That the spirit of revolutionary change, which has long been disturbing the nations of the world, should have passed beyond the sphere of politics and made its influence felt in the cognate sphere of practical economics is not surprising. The elements of the conflict now raging are unmistakable, in the vast expansion of industrial pursuits and the marvellous discoveries of science; in the changed relations between masters and workmen; in the enormous fortunes of some few individuals, and the utter poverty of the masses; in the increased self-reliance and closer mutual combination of the working classes; as also, finally, in the prevailing moral degeneracy. The momentous gravity of the state of things now obtaining fills every mind with painful apprehension; wise men are discussing it; practical men are proposing schemes; popular meetings, legislatures, and rulers of nations are all busied with it--and actually there is no question which has taken a deeper hold on the public mind.
Therefore, Venerable Brethren, as on former occasions when it seemed opportune to refute false teaching, We have addressed you in the interests of the Church and of the common weal, and have issued Letters bearing on "Political Power," "Human Liberty," "The Christian Constitution of the State," and like matters, so have
We thought it expedient now to speak on the Condition of the Working Classes. It is a subject on which We have already touched more than once, incidentally. But in the present Letter, the responsibility of the Apostolic office urges Us to treat the question of set purpose and in detail, in order that no misapprehension may exist as to the principles which truth and justice dictate for its settlement. The discussion is not easy, nor is it void of danger. It is no easy matter to define the relative rights and mutual duties of the rich and of the poor, of Capital and of Labour. And the danger lies in this, that crafty agitators are intent on making use of these differences of opinion to pervert men's judgments and to stir up the people to revolt.
Causes of Social Problem
2. In any case we clearly see, and on this there is general agreement, that some opportune remedy must be found quickly for the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class: for the ancient working-men's guilds were abolished in the last century, and no other protective organization took their place. Public institutions and the laws set aside the ancient religion. Hence by degrees it has come to pass that working-men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hard-heartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with the like injustice, still practised by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labour and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the labouring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.
The Socialist Solution
3. To remedy these wrongs the Socialists, working on the poor man's envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies. They hold that by thus transferring property from private individuals to the community, the present mischievous state of things will be set to rights, inasmuch as each citizen will then get his fair share of whatever there is to enjoy. But their contentions are so clearly powerless to end the controversy that were they carried into effect the working-man himself would be among the first to suffer. They are moreover emphatically unjust, for they would rob the lawful possessor, distort the function of the State, and create utter confusion in the community.
The Worker would Suffer
4. It is surely undeniable that, when a man engages in remunerative labour, the impelling reason and motive of his work is to obtain property, and thereafter to hold it as his very own. If one man hires out to another his strength or skill, he does so for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for maintenance and education; he therefore expressly intends to acquire a right full and real, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of such remuneration, just as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and, for greater security, invests his savings in land, the land, in such case, is only his wages under another form; and, consequently, a workingman's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his full disposal as are the wages he receives for his labour. But it is precisely in such power of disposal that ownership obtains, whether the propetty consist of land or chattels. Socialists, therefore, by endeavouring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community at large, strike at the interests of every wage-earner, since they would deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and, thereby of all hope and possibility of increasing his resources and of bettering his condition in life.
The Right to own Private Property a Natural Right
5. What is of far greater moment, however, is the fact that the remedy they propose is manifestly against justice. For every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own. This is one of the chief points of distinction between man and the animal creation, for the brute has no power of self-direction, but is governed by two main instincts, which keep his powers on the alert, impel him to develop them in a fitting manner, and stimulate and determine him to action without any power of choice. One of these instincts is selfpreservation, the other the propagation of the species. Both can attain their purpose by means of things which lie within range; beyond their verge the brute creation cannot go, for they are moved to action by their senses only, and in the special direction which these suggest. But with man it is wholly different. He possesses, on the one hand, the full perfection of the animal being, and hence enjoys, at least as much as the rest of the animal kind, the fruition of things material. But animal nature, however perfect, is far from representing the human being in its completeness, and is in truth but humanity's humble handmaid, made to serve and to obey. It is the mind, or reason, which is the predominant element in us who are human creatures; it is this which renders a human being human, and distinguishes him essentially from the brute. And on this very account--that man alone among the animal creation is endowed with reason--it must be within his right to possess things not merely for temporary and momentary use, as other living things do, but to have and to hold them in stable and permanent possession; he must have not only things that perish in the use, but those also which, though they have been reduced into use, continue for further use in after time.
The Right to Private Propero proved from the Nature of Man
6. This becomes still more clearly evident if man's nature be considered a little more deeply. For man, fathoming by his faculty of reason matters without number, linking the future with the present, and being master of his own acts, guides his ways under the eternal law and the power of God, whose Providence governs all things. Wherefore it is in his power to exercise his choice not only as to matters that regard his present welfare, but also about those which he deems may be for his advantage in time yet to come. Hence man not only should possess the fruits of the earth, but also the very soil, inasmuch as from the produce of the earth he has to lay by provision for the future. Man's needs do not die out, but for ever recur; although satisfied to-day, they demand fresh supplies for to-morrow. Nature accordingly must have given to man a source that is stable and remaining always with him from which he might look to draw continual supplies. And this stable condition of things he finds solely in the earth and its fruits. There is no need to bring in the State. Man precedes the State, and possesses, prior to the formation of any State, the right of providing for the sustenance of his body.
In what Sense God has given the Earth to All
7. The fact that God has given the earth for the use and enjoyment of the whole human race can in no way be a bar to the owning of private property. For God has granted the earth to mankind in general, not in the sense that all without distinction can deal with it as they like, but rather that no part of it was assigned to any one in particular, and that the limits of private possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry, and by the laws of individual races. Moreover, the earth, even though apportioned among private owners, ceases not thereby to minister to the needs of all, inasmuch as there is no one who does not sustain life from what the land produces. Those who do not possess the soil, contribute their labour; hence it may truly be said that all human subsistence is derived either from labour on one's own land, or from some toil, some calling which is paid for either in the produce of the land itself, or in that which is exchanged for what the land brings forth.
Here, again, we have further proof that private ownership is in accordance with the law of nature. Truly, that which is required for the preservation of life, and for life's well-being, is produced in great abundance from the soil, but not until man has brought it into cultivation and expended upon it his solicitude and skill. Now, when man thus turns the activity of his mind and the strength of his body towards procuring the fruits of nature, by such act he makes his own that portion of nature's field which he cultivates--that portion on which he leaves, as it were, the impress of his individuality; and it cannot but be just that he should possess that portion as his very own, and have a right to hold it without any one being justified in violating that right.
Refutation of False Opinions
8. So strong and convincing are these arguments, that it seems amazing that some should now be setting up anew certain obsolete opinions in opposition to what is here laid down. They assert that it is right for private persons to have the use of the soil and its various fruits, but that it is unjust for any one to possess outright either the land on which he has built, or the estate which he has brought under cultivation. But those who deny these rights do not perceive that they are defrauding man of what his own labour has produced. For the soil which is tilled and cultivated with toil and skill utterly changes its condition; it was wild before, now it is fruitful; was barren, but now brings forth in abundance. That which has thus altered and improved the land becomes so truly part of itself as to be in great measure indistinguishable and inseparable from it. Is it just that the fruit of a man's own sweat and labour should be possessed and enjoyed by any one else? As effects follow their cause, so is it just and right that the results of labour should belong to those who have bestowed their labour.
Private Property in accord with the Natural and Divine Law
With reason, then, the common opinion of mankind, little affected by the few dissentients who have contended for the opposite view, has found in the careful study of nature, and in the laws of nature, the foundations of the division of property, and the practice of all ages has consecrated the principle of private ownership, as being pre-eminently in conformity with human nature, and as conducing in the most unmistakable manner to the peace and tranquillity of human existence. The same principle is confirmed and enforced by the civil laws--laws which, so long as they are just, derive from the law of nature their binding force. The authority of the Divine Law adds its sanction, forbidding us in severest terms even to covet that which is another's: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife; nor his house, nor his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his. 1
The Family a True Society
9. The rights here spoken of, belonging to each individual man, are seen in much stronger light when considered in relation to man's social and domestic obligations. In choosing a state of life, it is indisputable that all are at full liberty to follow the counsel of Jesus Christ as to observing virginity, or to bind themselves by the marriage tie. No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God's authority from the beginning: Increase and multiply. 2 Hence we have the family; the "society" of a man's house--a society very small, one must admit, but none the less a true society, and one older than any State. Consequently it has rights and duties peculiar to itself which are quite independent of the State.
The Right to Private Property proved from the Family
That right to property, therefore, which has been proved to belong naturally to individual persons, must in like wise belong to a man in his capacity of head of a family; nay, that right is all the more valid in proportion as human personality in the life of the family takes various forms.
10. For it is a most sacred law of nature that a father should provide food and all necessaries for those whom he has begotten; and, similarly, it is natural that he should wish that his children, who carry on, so to speak, and continue his personality, should be by him provided with all that is needful to enable them to keep themselves decently from want and misery amid the uncertainties of this mortal life. Now in no other way can a father effect this except by the ownership of productive property, which he can transmit to his children by inheritance. A family, no less than a State, is, as We have said, a true society, governed by an authority peculiar to itself, that is to say, by the authority of the father. Provided, therefore, the limits which are prescribed by the very purposes for which it exists be not transgressed, the family has at least equal rights with the State in the choice and pursuit of the things needful to its preservation and its just liberty.
1 Deut. v, 21.
2 Gen. i, 28. The Rights of the Family
We say, at least equal rights; for inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature. If the citizens of a State--in other words the families--on entering into association and fellowship, were to experience at the hands of the State hindrance instead of help, and were to find their rights attacked instead of being upheld, that association (viz., the State) would rightly be an object of detestation, rather than of desire.
The Duty of the State towards the Family
11. The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household, is a great and pernicious error. True, if a family finds itself in exceeding distress, utterly deprived of the counsel of friends, and without any prospect of extricating itself, it is right that extreme necessity be met by public aid, since each family is a part of the commonwealth. In like manner, if within the precincts of the household there occur grave disturbance of mutual rights, public authority should intervene to force each party to yield to the other its proper due; for this is not to deprive citizens of their rights, but justly and properly to safeguard and strengthen them. But the rulers of the State must go no further: here nature bids them stop. Paternal authority can be neither abolished nor absorbed by the State; for it has the same source as human life itself. "The child belongs to the father," and is, as it were, the continuation of the father's personality; and speaking strictly, the child takes its place in civil society, not of its own right, but in its quality as member of the family in which it is born. And for the very reason that "the child belongs to the father," it is, as St. Thomas of Aquinas says, "before it attains the use of free will, under the power and the charge of its parents." 1 The Socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and break into pieces the stability of all family life.
Undue State Interference Mischievous
12. And not only is such interference unjust, but it is quite certain to harass and worry all classes of citizens, and subject them to odious and intolerable bondage. It would throw open the door to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his
1 St. Thomas, Summa Theol. , 2a-2æ, Q. x, art. 12.
talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation.
Hence it is clear that the main tenet of Socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. This being established, we proceed to show where the remedy sought for must be found.
No Practical Solution without Religion and the Church
13. We approach the subject with confidence, and in the exercise of the rights which manifestly appertain to Us, for no practical solution of this question will be found apart from the intervention of Religion and of the Church. It is We who are the chief guardian of Religion and the chief dispenser of what pertains to the Church: and by keeping silence we would seem to neglect the duty incumbent on us. Doubtless this most serious question demands the attention and the efforts of others besides ourselves--to wit, of the rulers of States, of employers of labour, of the wealthy, aye, of the working classes themselves, for whom We are pleading. But We affirm without hesitation that all the striving of men will be vain if they leave out the Church. It is the Church that insists, on the authority of the Gospel, upon those teachings whereby the conflict can be brought to an end, or rendered, at least, far less bitter; the Church uses her efforts not only to enlighten the mind, but to direct by her precepts the life and conduct of each and all; the Church improves and betters the condition of the working-man by means of numerous organizations; does her best to enlist the services of all classes in discussing and endeavouring to further, in the most practical way, the interests of the working classes; and considers that for this purpose recourse should be had, in due measure and degree, to the intervention of the law and of State authority.
Inequalities are inevitable
14. It must be first of all recognized that the condition of things inherent in human affairs must be borne with, for it is impossible to reduce civil society to one dead level. Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain. There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such inequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition. As regards bodily labour, even had man never fallen from the state of innocence, he would not have remained wholly unoccupied; but that which would then have been his free choice and his delight, became afterwards compulsory, and the painful expiation for his disobedience. Cursed be the earth in thy work; in thy labour thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life. 1
To Suffer and Endure is the lot of Man
In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently--who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment--they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is--and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as we have said, for the solace to its troubles.
Class War Wrong. Duties of Working-man and Employer
15. The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration, is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view, that the direct contrary is the truth. Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: Capital cannot do without Labour, nor Labour without Capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order; while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity. Now, in preventing such strife as this, and in uprooting it, the efficacy of Christian institutions is marvellous and manifold.
16. First of all, there is no intermediary more powerful than
1 Gen. iii, 17.
Religion (whereof the Church is the interpreter and guardian) in drawing the rich and the working class together, by reminding each of its duties to the other, and especially of the obligations of justice. Thus Religion teaches the labourer and the artisan to carry out honestly and fairly all equitable agreements freely entered into; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss. Religion teaches the wealthy owner and the employer that their work-people are not to be accounted their bondsmen; that in every man they must respect his dignity and worth as a man and as a Christian; that labour for wages is not a thing to be ashamed of, if we lend ear to right reason and to Christian philosophy, but is to a man's credit, enabling him to earn his living in an honourable way; and that it is shameful and inhuman to treat men like chattels to make money by, or to look upon them merely as so much muscle or physical strength. Again the Church teaches that, in dealing with the working man religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings. Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work-people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex or age.
17. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless before deciding whether wages are fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labour should be mindful of this--that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one's profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine. To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. Behold, the hire of the labourers . . . which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 1 Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen's earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the labouring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred.
Were these precepts carefully obeyed and followed out, would
1 James v, 4.
they not be sufficient of themselves to keep under all strife and all its causes?
The Church teaches the True Value of Things
18. But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death. Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery. The great truth which we learn from Nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which Religion rests as on its foundation--that when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding-place. As for riches and other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them--so far as eternal happiness is concerned--it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit: and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follows in the blood-stained footprints of his Saviour. If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. 1 Christ's labours and sufferings, accepted of His own free will, have marvellously sweetened all suffering and all labour. And not only by His example, but by His grace and by the hope held forth of everlasting recompense, has He made pain and grief more easy to endure; for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory. 2
The Right Use of Money. Almsgiving
Therefore those whom fortune favours are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; 3 that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ--threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of Our Lord 4 --and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess.
1 II Tim. ii, 12.
2 II Cor. iv, 17.
3 Matt. xix, 23, 24.
4 Luke vi, 24, 25.
19. The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one which the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money, and another to have a right to use money as one wills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man; and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas of Aquin, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence." 1 But if the question be asked, How must one's possessions be used? the Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the Apostle saith, Command the rich of this world . . . to offer with no stint, to apportion largely." 2 True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life; "for no one ought to live other than becomingly." 3 But when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. Of that which remaineth, give alms. 4 It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity--a duty not enforced by human law. But the laws and judgments of men must yield place to the laws and judgments of Christ the true God, who in many ways urges on His followers the practice of almsgiving -- It is more blessed to give than to receive ; 5 and who will count a kindness done or refused to the poor as done or refused to Himself-- As long as you did it to one of My least brethren you did it to Me. 6 To sum up then what has been said: Whoever has received from the Divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's Providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," says St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility thereof with his neighbour." 7
1 2a-2æ, Q. lxvi, art. 2.
2 Ibid, Q. lxvi, art. 2.
3 Ibid. Q. xxxii, art. 6.
4 Luke xi, 41.
5 Acts xx, 35.
6 Matt. xxv, 40.
7 St. Gregory the Great, Hom. ix in Evangel. n. 7.
Poverty and Work not Things to be ashamed of
20. As for those who possess not the gifts of fortune, they are taught by the Church that in God's sight poverty is no disgrace, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in earning their bread by labour. This is enforced by what we see in Christ Himself, who, whereas He was rich, for our sakes became poor ; 1 and who, being the Son of God, and God Himself, chose to seem and to be considered the son of a carpenter--nay, did not disdain to spend a great part of His life as a carpenter Himself. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? 2
The True Worth of Man
From contemplation of this Divine model, it is more easy to understand that the true worth and nobility of man lie in his moral qualities, that is, in virtue; that virtue is moreover the common inheritance of men, equally within the reach of high and low, rich and poor; and that virtue, and virtue alone, wherever found, will be followed by the rewards of everlasting happiness. Nay, God Himself seems to incline rather to those who suffer misfortune; for Jesus Christ calls the poor "blessed"; 3 He lovingly invites those in labour and grief to come to Him for solace; 4 and He displays the tenderest charity towards the lowly and the oppressed. These reflections cannot fail to keep down the pride of the well-to-do, and to give heart to the unfortunate; to move the former to be generous and the latter to be moderate in their desires. Thus the separation which pride would set up tends to disappear, nor will it be difficult to make rich and poor join hands in friendly concord.
21. But, if Christian precepts prevail, the respective classes will not only be united in the bonds of friendship, but also in those of brotherly love. For they will understand and feel that all men are children of the same common Father, who is God; that all have alike the same last end, which is God Himself, who alone can make either men or angels absolutely and perfectly happy; that each and all are redeemed and made sons of God, by Jesus Christ, the first-born among many brethren ; that the blessings of nature and the gifts of grace belong to the whole human race in common, and that from none except the unworthy is withheld the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven. If sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and co-heirs with Christ. 5
Such is the scheme of duties and of rights which is shown forth to the world by the Gospel. Would it not seem that, were Society penetrated with ideas like these, strife must quickly cease?
1 II Cor. viii, 9.
2 Mark vi, 3.
3 Matt. v, 3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit."
4 Ibid. xi, 28: "Come to Me all you that labour and are burdened and I will refresh you."
5 Rom. viii, 17.
The Social Action of the Church
22. But the Church, not content with pointing out the remedy, also applies it. For the Church does her utmost to teach and to train men, and to educate them; and by the intermediary of her bishops and clergy diffuses her salutary teachings far and wide. She strives to influence the mind and the heart so that all may willingly yield themselves to be formed and guided by the commandments of God. It is precisely in this fundamental and momentous matter, on which everything depends, that the Church possesses a power peculiarly her own. The agencies which she employs are given to her by Jesus Christ Himself for the very purpose of reaching the hearts of men, and derive their efficiency from God. They alone can reach the innermost heart and conscience, and bring men to act from a motive of duty, to control their passions and appetites, to love God and their fellow-men with a love that is outstanding and of the highest degree and to break down courageously every barrier which blocks the way to virtue.
The Witness of History
On this subject we need but recall for one moment the examples recorded in history. Of these facts there cannot be any shadow of doubt: for instance, that civil society was renovated in every part by the teachings of Christianity; that in the strength of that renewal the human race was lifted up to better things--nay, that it was brought back from death to life, and to so excellent a life that nothing more perfect had been known before, or will come to be known in the ages that have yet to be. Of this beneficent transformation, Jesus Christ was at once the first Cause and the final End; as from Him all came, so to Him was all to be brought back. For when the human race, by the light of the Gospel message, came to know the grand mystery of the Incarnation of the Word and the redemption of man, at once the life of Jesus Christ, God and Man, pervaded every race and nation, and interpenetrated them with His faith, His precepts, and His laws. And if Society is to be healed now, in no other way can it be healed save by a return to Christian life and Christian institutions. When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang; for the purpose and perfection of an association is to aim at and to attain that for which it is formed; and its efforts should be put in motion and inspired by the end and object which originally gave it being. Hence to fall away from its primal constitution implies disease: to go back to it, recovery. And this may be asserted with utmost truth both of the State in general and of that body of its citizens--by far the great majority--who get their living by their labour.
The Church not concerned with the Soul alone
23. Neither must it be supposed that the solicitude of the Church is so preoccupied with the spiritual concerns of her children as to neglect their temporal and earthly interests. Her desire is that the poor, for example, should rise above poverty and wretchedness, and better their condition in life; and for this she makes a strong endeavour. By the very fact that she calls men to virtue and forms them to its practice, she promotes this in no slight degree. Christian morality, when adequately and completely practised, leads of itself to temporal prosperity, for it merits the blessing of that God who is the source of all blessings; it powerfully restrains the greed of possession and the thirst for pleasure--twin plagues, which too often make a man who is void of self-restraint miserable in the midst of abundance; 1 it makes men supply for the lack of means through economy, teaching them to be content with frugal living, and further, keeping them out of the reach of those vices which devour not small incomes merely, but large fortunes, and dissipate many a goodly inheritance.
The Church's Care of the Poor
24. The Church, moreover, intervenes directly in behalf of the poor, by setting on foot and maintaining many associations which she knows to be efficient for the relief of poverty. Herein again she has always succeeded so well as to have even extorted the praise of her enemies. Such was the ardour of brotherly love among the earliest Christians that numbers of those who were in better circumstances despoiled themselves of their possessions in order to relieve their brethren; whence neither was there any one needy among them. 2 To the order of deacons, instituted in that very intent, was committed by the Apostles the charge of the daily doles; and the Apostle Paul, though burdened with the solicitude of all the churches, hesitated not to undertake laborious journeys in order to carry the alms of the faithful to the poorer Christians. Tertullian calls these contributions, given voluntarily by Christians in their assemblies, deposits of piety; because, to cite his own words, they were employed "in feeding the needy, in burying them, in the support of youths and maidens destitute of means and deprived of their parents, in the care of the aged, and the relief of the shipwrecked." 3
Thus by degrees came into existence the patrimony which the Church has guarded with religious care as the inheritance of the poor. Nay, to spare them the shame of begging, the common Mother of rich and poor has exerted herself to gather together funds for the
1 The desire of money is the root of all evils.-- I Tim. vi, 10.
2 Acts iv, 34.
3 Apologia Secunda, xxxix.
support of the needy. The Church has aroused everywhere the heroism of charity, and has established congregations of religious and many other useful institutions for help and mercy, so that hardly any kind of suffering could exist which was not afforded relief. At the present day there are many who, like the heathen of old, seek to blame and condemn the Church for such eminent charity. They would substitute in its stead a system of relief organized by the State. But no human expedients will ever make up for the devotedness and self-sacrifice of Christian charity. Charity, as a virtue, pertains to the Church; for virtue it is not, unless it be drawn from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ; and whosoever turns his back on the Church cannot be near to Christ.
25. It cannot, however, be doubted that to attain the purpose we are treating of, not only the Church, but all human agencies must concur. All who are concerned in the matter should be of one mind and according to their ability act together. It is with this, as with the Providence that governs the world; the results of causes do not usually take place save where all the causes co-operate.
It is sufficient, therefore, to inquire what part the State should play in the work of remedy and relief.
The Social Action of the State
By the State we here understand, not the particular form of government prevailing in this or that nation, but the State as rightly apprehended; that is to say, any government conformable in its institutions to right reason and natural law, and to those dictates of the Divine wisdom which we have expounded in the Encyclical on "The Christian Constitution of the State."
26. The foremost duty, therefore, of the rulers of the State should be to make sure that the laws and institutions, the general character and administration of the commonwealth, shall be such as of themselves to realize public well-being and private prosperity. This is the proper scope of wise statesmanship and is the work of the heads of the State. Now a State chiefly prospers and thrives through moral rule, well-regulated family life, respect for religion and justice, the moderation and fair imposing of public taxes, the progress of the arts and of trade, the abundant yield of the land-through everything, in fact, which makes the citizens better and happier. Hereby, then, it lies in the power of a ruler to benefit every class in the State, and amongst the rest to promote to the utmost the interests of the poor; and this in virtue of his office, and without being open to suspicion of undue interference--since it is the province of the State to consult the common good. And the more that is done for the benefit of the working classes by the general laws of the country, the less need will there be to seek for special means to relieve them.
The Interests of All to be Safeguarded
27. There is another and deeper consideration which must not be lost sight of. As regards the State, the interests of all, whether high or low, are equal. The working classes are by nature members of the State equally with the rich: they are real living parts which make up through the family the body of the State; and it need hardly be said that they are in every State very largely in the majority. It would be irrational to neglect one portion of the citizens and favour another; and therefore the public administration must duly and solicitously provide for the welfare and the comfort of the working classes; otherwise that law of justice will be violated which ordains that each man shall have his due. To cite the wise words of St. Thomas of Aquin: "As the part and the whole are in a certain sense identical, so that what belongs to the whole in a sense belongs to the part." 1 Among the many and grave duties of rulers who would do their best for the people, the first and chief is to act with strict justice--with that justice which is called by the Schoolmen distributive --towards each and every class alike.
The Duty of the State towards the Working Class
But although all citizens, without exception, can and ought to contribute to that common good in which individuals share so advantageously to themselves, yet it should not be supposed that all can contribute in the like way and to the same extent. No matter what changes may occur in forms of government, there will ever be differences and inequalities of condition in the State. Society cannot exist or be conceived of without them. Some there must be who devote themselves to the work of the commonwealth, who make the laws or administer justice, or whose advice and authority govern the nation in times of peace, and defend it in war. Such men clearly occupy the foremost place in the State, and should be held in highest estimation, for their work concerns most nearly and effectively the general interests of the community. Those who labour at a trade or calling do not promote the general welfare in such measure as this; but they benefit the nation, if less directly, in a most important manner. We have insisted, it is true, that, since the end of Society is to make men better, the chief good that Society can possess is Virtue. Nevertheless, it is the business of all well-constituted States to see to the provision of those material and external helps the use of
1 2a-2æ, Q. lxi, art. 1 ad 2.
which is necessary to virtuous action. 1 Now for the provision of such commodities, the labour of the working class--the exercise of their skill, and the employment of their strength in the cultivation of the land and the workshops of trade--is especially responsible and quite indispensable. Indeed, their co-operation is in this respect so important that it may be truly said that it is only by the labour of working-men that States grow rich. Justice, therefore, demands that the interests of the working classes should be carefully watched over by the administration, so that they who contribute so largely to the advantage of the community may themselves share in the benefits which they create--that being housed, clothed, and bodily fit, they may find their life less hard and more endurable. It follows that whatever shall appear to prove conducive to the well-being of those who work should obtain favourable consideration. There is no danger that solicitude of this kind will be harmful to any interest: on the contrary, it will be to the advantage of all; for it cannot but be good for the commonwealth to shield from misery those on whom it so largely depends for the things that it needs.
28. We have said that the State must not absorb the individual or the family; both should be allowed free and untrammelled action so far as is consistent with the common good and the interests of others. Rulers should, nevertheless, anxiously safeguard the community and all its members; the community, because the conservation thereof is so emphatically the business of the supreme power, that the safety of the commonwealth is not only the first law, but it is a government's whole reason of existence; and the members, because both philosophy and the Gospel concur in laying down that the object of the government of the State should be, not the advantage of the ruler, but the benefit of those over whom he is placed. As the power to rule comes from God, and is, as it were, a participation in His, the highest of all sovereignties, it should be exercised as the power of God is exercised--with a fatherly solicitude which not only guides the whole, but reaches also to details.
When the State should interfere
Whenever the general interest or any particular class suffers, or is threatened with harm, which can in no other way be met or prevented, the public authority must step in to deal with it.
29. Now, it is to the interest of the State, as well as of the individual, that peace and good order should be maintained; that family life should be carried on in accordance with God's laws and those of nature; that Religion should be reverenced and obeyed; that a high standard of morality should prevail, both in public and private life;
1 St. Thomas, De regimine principum, i, 15.
that justice should be held sacred and that no one should injure another with impunity; that the members of the commonwealth should grow up to man's estate strong and robust, and capable, if need be, of guarding and defending their country. If by a strike, or other combination of workmen, there should be imminent danger of disturbance to the public peace; or if circumstances were such as that among the working class the ties of family life were relaxed; if Religion were found to suffer through the workers not having time and opportunity afforded them to practise its duties; if in workshops and factories there were danger to morals through the mixing of the sexes or from other harmful occasions of evil; or if employers laid burdens upon their workmen which were unjust, or degraded them with conditions repugnant to their dignity as human beings; finally, if health were endangered by excessive labour, or by work unsuited to sex or age--in such cases, there can be no question but that, within certain limits, it would be right to invoke the aid and authority of the law. The limits must be determined by the nature of the occasion which calls for the law's interference--the principle being that the law must not undertake more, nor proceed further, than is required for the remedy of the evil or the removal of the mischief.
The Poor have a Special Claim on the State
Rights must be religiously respected wherever they exist; and it is the duty of the public authority to prevent and to punish injury, and to protect every one in the possession of his own. Still, when there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badlyoff have a claim to especial consideration. The richer class have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State. And it is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong to that class, should be specially cared for and protected by the Government.
Property to be Safeguarded
30. Here, however, it is expedient to bring under special notice certain matters of moment. The chief thing is the duty of safeguarding private property by legal enactment and protection. Most of all it is essential, where the passion of greed is so strong, to keep the people within the line of duty; for if all may justly strive to better their condition, neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another, or, under the futile and shallow pretext of equality, to lay violent hands on other people's possessions. Most true it is that by far the larger part of the workers prefer to better themselves by honest labour rather than by doing any wrong to others. But there are not a few who are imbued with evil principles and eager for revolutionary change, whose main purpose is to stir up disorder and incite their fellows to acts of violence. The authority of the State should intervene to put restraint upon such firebrands, to save the working classes from being led astray by their manœuvres, and to protect lawful owners from spoliation.
Strikes, their Causes and Effects
31. When work-people have recourse to a strike, it is frequently because the hours of labour are too long, or the work too hard, or because they consider their wages insufficient. The grave inconvenience of this not uncommon occurrence should be obviated by public remedial measures; for such paralysing of labour not only affects the masters and their work-people alike, but is extremely injurious to trade and to the general interests of the public; moreover, on such occasions, violence and disorder are generally not far distant, and thus it frequently happens that the public peace is imperilled. The laws should forestall and prevent such troubles from arising; they should lend their influence and authority to the removal in good time of the causes which lead to conflicts between employers and employed.
The Spiritual Interests of the Working-man to be Safeguarded
32. The working-man too has interests in which he should be protected by the State; and first of all, there are the interests of his soul. Life on earth, however good and desirable in itself, is not the final purpose for which man is created; it is only the way and the means to that attainment of truth and that love of goodness in which the full life of the soul consists. It is the soul which is made after the image and likeness of God; it is in the soul that the sovereignty resides in virtue whereof man is commanded to rule the creatures below him and to use all the earth and the ocean for his profit and advantage. Fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. 1 In this respect all men are equal; there is here no difference between rich and poor, master and servant, ruler and ruled, for the same is Lord over all. 2 No man may with impunity outrage that human dignity which God Himself treats with great reverence, nor stand in the way of that higher life which is the preparation of the eternal life of heaven. Nay, more; no man has in this matter power over
1 Gen. 1, 28.
2 Rom. x, 12.
himself. To consent to any treatment which is calculated to defeat the end and purpose of his being is beyond his right; he cannot give up his soul to servitude; for it is not man's own rights which are here in question, but the rights of God, the most sacred and inviolable of rights.
From this follows the obligation of the cessation from work and labour on Sundays and certain holy days. The rest from labour is not to be understood as mere giving way to idleness; much less must it be an occasion for spending money and for vicious indulgence, as many would have it to be; but it should be rest from labour, hallowed by religion. Rest (combined with religious observances) disposes man to forget for a while the business of his everyday life, to turn his thoughts to things heavenly, and to the worship which he so strictly owes to the Eternal Godhead. It is this, above all, which is the reason and motive of Sunday rest; a rest sanctioned by God's great law of the Ancient Covenant-- Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day, 1 and taught to the world by His own mysterious "rest" after the creation of man: He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 2
The State and the Regulation of Work
33. If We turn now to things external and material, the first thing of all to secure is to save unfortunate working people from the cruelty of men of greed, who use human beings as mere instruments for money-making. It is neither just nor human so to grind men down with excessive labour as to stupefy their minds and wear out their bodies. Man's powers, like his general nature, are limited, and beyond these limits he cannot go. His strength is developed and increased by use and exercise, but only on condition of due intermission and proper rest. Daily labour, therefore, should be so regulated as not to be protracted over longer hours than strength admits. How many and how long the intervals of rest should be, must depend on the nature of the work, on circumstances of time and place, and on health and strength of the workman. Those who work in mines and quarries, and extract coal, stone and metals from the bowels of the earth, should have shorter hours in proportion as their labour is more severe and trying to health. Then, again, the season of the year should be taken into account; for not unfrequently a kind of labour is easy at one time which at another is intolerable or exceedingly difficult. Finally, work which is quite suitable for a strong man cannot rightly be required from a woman or a child. And, in regard to children, great care should be taken not to place them in workshops and factories until their bodies and minds are sufficiently
1 Exod. xx, 8.
2 Gen. ii, 2.
developed. For just as very rough weather destroys the buds of spring, so does too early an experience of life's hard toil blight the young promise of a child's faculties, and render any true education impossible. Women, again, are not suited for certain occupations; a woman is by nature fitted for home-work, and it is that which is best adapted at once to preserve her modesty and to promote the good bringing-up of children and the well-being of the family. As a general principle it may be laid down that a workman ought to have leisure and rest proportionate to the wear and tear of his strength; for waste of strength must be repaired by cessation from hard work.
In all agreements between masters and work-people there is always the condition expressed or understood that there should be allowed proper rest for soul and body. To agree in any other sense would be against what is right and just; for it can never be just or right to require on the one side, or to promise on the other, the giving up of those duties which a man owes to his God and to himself.
The Living Wage
34. We now approach a subject of great importance, and one in respect of which, if extremes are to be avoided, right notions are absolutely necessary. Wages, as we are told, are regulated by free consent, and therefore the employer, when he pays what was agreed upon, has done his part and seemingly is not called upon to do anything beyond. The only way, it is said, in which injustice might occur would be if the master refused to pay the whole of the wages, or if the workman should not complete the work undertaken; in such cases the State should intervene, to see that each obtains his due: but not under any other circumstances.
To this kind of argument a fair-minded man will not easily or entirely assent: it is not complete, for there are important considerations which it leaves out of account altogether. To labour is to exert oneself for the sake of procuring what is necessary for the various purposes of life, and chief of all for self-preservation. In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread. 1 Hence a man's labour necessarily bears two notes or characters. First of all, it is personal, inasmuch as the force which acts is bound up with the personality and is the exclusive property of him who acts, and, further, was given to him for his advantage. Secondly, man's labour is necessary ; for without the result of labour a man cannot live; and self-preservation is a law of nature, which it is wrong to disobey. Now, were we to consider labour merely in so far as it is personal, doubtless it would be within the workman's right to accept any rate of wages whatsoever; for in
1 Gen. iii, 19.
the same way as he is free to work or not, so is he free to accept a small wage or even none at all. But our conclusion must be very different if together with the personal element in a man's work we consider the fact that work is also necessary for him to live: these two aspects of his work are separable in thought, but not in reality. The preservation of life is the bounden duty of one and all, and to be wanting therein is a crime. It necessarily follows that each one has a natural right to procure what is required in order to live; and the poor can procure that in no other way than by what they can earn through their work.
A Just Wage
Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and wellbehaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accepts harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice. In these and similar questions, however--such as, for example, the hours of labour in different trades, the sanitary precautions to be observed in factories and workshops, etc.--in order to supersede undue interference on the part of the State, especially as circumstances, times and localities differ so widely, it is advisable that recourse be had to Societies or Boards such as We shall mention presently, or to some other mode of safeguarding the interests of the wage-earners; the State being appealed to, should circumstances require, for its sanction and protection.
Owning Property to be encouraged
35. If a workman's wages be sufficient to enable him comfortably to support himself, his wife, and his children, he will find it easy, if he be a sensible man, to practise thrift; and he will not fail, by cutting down expenses, to put by some little savings and thus secure a modest source of income. Nature itself would urge him to this. We have seen that this great labour question cannot be solved save by assuming as a principle that private ownership must be held sacred and inviolable. The law, therefore, should favour ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many as possible of the people to become owners.
The Good Results of Ownership
Many excellent results will follow from this; and first of all, property will certainly become more equitably divided. For the result
of civil change and revolution has been to divide society into two widely differing castes. On the one side there is the party which holds power because it holds wealth; which has in its grasp the whole of labour and trade; which manipulates for its own benefit and its own purposes all the sources of supply, and which is even represented in the councils of the State itself. On the other side there is the needy and powerless multitude, sick and sore in spirit and ever ready for disturbance. If working people can be encouraged to look forward to obtaining a share in the land, the consequence will be that the gulf between vast wealth and sheer poverty will be bridged over, and the respective classes will be brought nearer to one another. A further consequence will result in the greater abundance of the fruits of the earth. Men always work harder and more readily when they work on that which belongs to them; nay, they learn to love the very soil that yields in response to the labour of their hands, not only food to eat, but an abundance of good things for themselves and those that are dear to them. That such a spirit of willing labour would add to the produce of the earth and to the wealth of the community is self-evident. And a third advantage would spring from this: men would cling to the country in which they were born; for no one would exchange his country for a foreign land if his own afforded him the means of living a decent and happy life. These three important benefits, however, can be reckoned on only provided that a man's means be not drained and exhausted by excessive taxation. The right to possess private property is derived from nature, not from man; and the State has the right to control its use in the interests of the public good alone, but by no means to absorb it altogether. The State would therefore be unjust and cruel if under the name of taxation it were to deprive the private owner of more than is fair.
The Benefit of Helpful Organizations
36. In the last place--employers and workmen may of themselves effect much in the matter We are treating, by means of such associations and organizations as afford opportune aid to those who are in distress, and which draw the two classes more closely together. Among these may be enumerated societies for mutual help; various benevolent foundations established by private persons to provide for the workman, and for his widow or his orphans, in case of sudden calamity, in sickness, and in the event of death; and institutions for the welfare of boys and girls, young people and those more advanced in years.
The most important of all are Working-men's Unions; for these virtually include all the rest. History attests what excellent results were brought about by the Artificers' Guilds of olden times. They were the means of affording not only many advantages to the workmen, but in no small degree of promoting the advancement of art, as numerous monuments remain to bear witness. Such Unions should be suited to the requirements of this our age--an age of wider education, of different habits, and of far more numerous requirements in daily life. It is gratifying to know that there are actually in existence not a few associations of this nature, consisting either of workmen alone, or of workmen and employers together; but it were greatly to be desired that they should become more numerous and more efficient. We have spoken of them more than once; yet it will be well to explain here how notably they are needed, to show that they exist of their own right, and what should be their organization and their mode of action.
37. The consciousness of his own weakness urges man to call in aid from without. We read in the pages of Holy Writ: It is better that two should be together than one; for they have the advantage of their society. If one fall he shall be supported by the other, Woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth he hath none to lift him up. 1 And further: A brother that is helped by his brother is like a strong city. 2 It is this natural impulse which binds men together in civil society; and it is likewise this which leads them to join together in associations which are, it is true, lesser and not independent societies, but, nevertheless, real societies.
The Right to form Associations
These lesser societies and the society which constitutes the State differ in many respects, because their immediate purpose and aim is different. Civil society exists for the common good, and hence is concerned with the interests of all in general, albeit with individual interests also in their due place and degree. It is therefore called a public society, because by its agency, as St. Thomas of Aquin says, "Men establish relations in common with one another in the setting up of a commonwealth." 3 But societies which are formed in the bosom of the State are styled private, and rightly so, since their immediate purpose is the private advantage of the associates. "Now a private society," says St. Thomas again, "is one which is formed for the purpose of carrying out private objects; as when two or three enter into partnership with the view of trading in common." 4
38. Private societies, then, although they exist within the State, and are severally part of the State, cannot nevertheless be absolutely, and as such, prohibited by the State. For to enter into a "society" of
1 Eccles. iv, 9, 10.
2 Prov. xviii, 19.
3 Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem, ii.
this kind is the natural right of man; and the State is bound to protect natural rights, not to destroy them; and if it forbids its citizens to form associations, it contradicts the very principle of its own existence; for both they and it exist in virtue of the like principle, namely, the natural tendency of man to dwell in society.
There are occasions, doubtless, when it is fitting that the law should intervene to prevent associations; as when men join together for purposes which are evidently bad, unlawful, or dangerous to the State. In such cases public authority may justly forbid the formation of associations, and may dissolve them if they already exist. But every precaution should be taken not to violate the rights of individuals and not to impose unreasonable regulations under pretence of public benefit. For laws only bind when they are in accordance with right reason, and hence with the eternal law of God. 1
The Rights of Associations in the Church
39. And here we are reminded of the confraternities, societies, and religious orders which have arisen by the Church's authority and the piety of Christian men. The annals of every nation down to our own days bear witness to what they have accomplished for the human race. It is indisputable that on grounds of reason alone such associations, being perfectly blameless in their objects, possess the sanction of the law of nature. In their religious aspect, they claim rightly to be responsible to the Church alone. The rulers of the State accordingly have no rights over them, nor can they claim any share in their control; on the contrary, it is the duty of the State to respect and cherish them, and, if need be, to defend them from attack. It is notorious that a very different course has been followed, more especially in our own times. In many places the State authorities have laid violent hands on these communities, and committed manifold injustice against them; they have placed them under control of the civil law, taken away their rights as corporate bodies, and despoiled them of their property. In such property the Church had her rights, each member of the body had his or her rights, and there were also the rights of those who had founded or endowed these communities for a definite purpose, and, furthermore, of those for whose benefit and assistance they had their being. Therefore We cannot refrain from complaining of such spoliation as unjust and fraught with evil results; and with all the more reason do We complain because,
1 "Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason: and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence," -- St. Thomas, Summa Theol.
1a-2æ, Q. xciii, art. 3, ad. 2.
at the very time when the law proclaims that association is free to all, We see that Catholic societies, however peaceful and useful, are hampered in every way, whereas the utmost liberty is conceded to individuals whose purposes are at once hurtful to Religion and dangerous to the State.
Dangers of Some Associations
40. Associations of every kind, and especially those of workingmen, are now far more common than heretofore. As regards many of these there is no need at present to inquire whence they spring, and what are their objects or the means they employ. There is a good deal of evidence, however, which goes to prove that many of these societies are in the hands of secret leaders, and are managed on principles ill-according with Christianity and the public wellbeing; and that they do their utmost to get within their grasp the whole field of labour, and force working-men either to join them or to starve. Under these circumstances Christian working-men must do one of two things: either join associations in which their religion will be exposed to peril, or form associations among themselves-unite their forces and shake off courageously the yoke of so unrighteous and intolerable an oppression. No one who does not wish to expose man's chief good to extreme risk will for a moment hesitate to say that the second alternative should by all means be adopted.
Catholic Action praised
41. Those Catholics are worthy of all praise--and they are not a few--who, understanding what the times require, have striven, by various undertakings and endeavours, to better the condition of the working-class by rightful means. They have taken up the cause of the working-man, and have spared no efforts to better the condition both of families and individuals; to infuse a spirit of equity into the mutual relations of employers and employed; to keep before the eyes of both classes the precepts of duty and the laws of the Gospel-that Gospel which, by inculcating self-restraint, keeps men within the bounds of moderation, and tends to establish harmony among the divergent interests and the various classes which compose the State. It is with such ends in view that we see men of eminence meeting together for discussion, for the promotion of concerted action, and for practical work. Others, again, strive to unite working-men of various grades into associations, help them with their advice and means, and enable them to obtain fitting and profitable employment. The bishops, on their part, bestow their ready goodwill and support; and with their approval and guidance many members of the clergy, both secular and regular, labour assiduously in behalf of the spiritual and mental interests of the members of such associations. And there are not wanting Catholics blessed with affluence, who have, as it were, cast in their lot with the wageearners, and who have spent large sums in founding and widely spreading benefit and insurance societies, by means of which the working-man may without difficulty acquire through his labour not only many present advantages, but also the certainty of honourable support in days to come. How greatly such manifold and earnest activity has benefited the community at large is too well known to require Us to dwell upon it. We find therein grounds for most cheering hope in the future, provided always that the associations We have described continue to grow and spread, and are well and wisely administered. The State should watch over these societies of citizens banded together in accordance with their rights; but it should not thrust itself into their peculiar concerns and their organization; for things move and live by the spirit inspiring them, and may be killed by the rough grasp of a hand from without.
The Marks of a Good Association
42. In order that an association may be carried on with unity of purpose and harmony of action, its administration and government should be firm and wise. All such societies, being free to exist, have the further right to adopt such rules and organization as may best conduce to the attainment of their respective objects. We do not judge it possible to enter into minute particulars touching the subject of organization: this must depend on national character, on practice and experience, on the nature and aim of the work to be done, on the scope of the various trades and employments, and on other circumstances of fact and of time: all of which should be carefully considered.
Duties of Associations
To sum up, then, We may lay it down as a general and lasting law, that working-men's associations should be so organized and governed as to furnish the best and most suitable means for attaining what is aimed at, that is to say, for helping each individual member to better his condition to the utmost in body, soul, and property. It is clear that they must pay special and chief attention to the duties of religion and morality, and that social betterment should have this chiefly in view; otherwise they would lose wholly their special character, and end by becoming little better than those societies which take no account whatever of Religion. What advantage can it be to a working-man to obtain by means of a society material well-being, if he endangers his soul for lack of spiritual food? What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? 1 This, as Our Lord teaches, is the mark or character that distinguishes the Christian from the heathen. After all these things do the heathen seek. . . . Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice: and all these things shall be added unto you. 2 Let our associations, then, look first and before all things to God; let religious instruction have therein the foremost place, each one being carefully taught what is his duty to God, what he has to believe, what to hope for, and how he is to work out his salvation: and let all be warned and strengthened with special care against wrong principles and false teaching. Let the working-man be urged and led to the worship of God, to the earnest practice of religion, and, among other things, to the keeping holy of Sundays and holy days. Let him learn to reverence and love holy Church, the common mother of us all; and hence to obey the precepts of the Church, and to frequent the Sacraments, since they are the means ordained by God for obtaining forgiveness of sin and for leading a holy life.
Activities of Associations
43. The foundations of the organization being thus laid in religion, We next proceed to make clear the relations of the members one to another, in order that they may live together in concord and go forward prosperously and with good results. The offices and charges of the society should be apportioned for the good of the society itself, and in such mode that difference in degree or standing should not interfere with unanimity and goodwill. It is most important that office-bearers be appointed with due prudence and discretion, and each one's charge carefully mapped out, in order that no members may suffer harm. The common funds must be administered with strict honesty, in such a way that a member may receive assistance in proportion to his necessities. The rights and duties of the employers, as compared with the rights and duties of the employed, ought to be the subject of careful consideration. Should it happen that either a master or a workman believes himself injured, nothing would be more desirable than that a committee should be appointed, composed of reliable and capable members of the association, whose duty would be, conformably with the rules of the association, to settle the dispute. Among the several purposes of a society, one should be to try to arrange for a continuous supply of work at all times and seasons; as well as to create a fund out of which the members may be effectually helped in their needs, not only in the cases of accident, but also in sickness, old age, and distress.
1 Matt. xvi, 26. 2 Ibid. vi, 32, 33.
Such rules and regulations, if willingly obeyed by all, will sufficiently ensure the well-being of the less well-to-do; whilst such mutual associations among Catholics are certain to be productive in no small degree of prosperity to the State. It is not rash to conjecture the future from the past. Age gives way to age, but the events of one century are wonderfully like those of another; for they are directed by the Providence of God, who overrules the course of history in accordance with His purposes in creating the race of man. We are told that it was cast as a reproach on the Christians in the early ages of the Church that the greater number among them had to live by begging or by labour. Yet, destitute though they were of wealth and influence, they ended by winning over to their side the favour of the rich and the good-will of the powerful. They showed themselves industrious, hard-working, assiduous, and peaceful, ruled by justice, and, above all, bound together in brotherly love. In presence of such mode of life and such example, prejudice gave way, the tongue of malevolence was silenced, and the lying legends of ancient superstition little by little yielded to Christian truth.
44. At the time being, the condition of the working-classes is the pressing question of the hour; and nothing can be of higher interest to all classes of the State than that it should be rightly and reasonably settled. But it will be easy for Christian working-men to solve it aright if they will form associations, choose wise guides, and follow on the path which with so much advantage to themselves and the common-weal was trodden by their fathers before them. Prejudice, it is true, is mighty, and so is the greed of money; but if the sense of what is just and rightful be not deliberately stifled, their fellowcitizens are sure to be won over to a kindly feeling towards men whom they see to be in earnest as regards their work and who prefer so unmistakably right dealing to mere lucre, and the sacredness of duty to every other consideration.
Advantages to lax or lapsed Catholic Workers
And further great advantage would result from the state of things We are describing; there Would exist so much more ground for hope, and likelihood even, of recalling to a sense of their duty those working-men who have either given up their faith altogether, or whose lives are at variance with its precepts. Such men feel in most cases that they have been fooled by empty promises and deceived by false pretexts. They cannot but perceive that their grasping employers too often treat them with great inhumanity and hardly care for them outside the profit their labour brings; and if they belong to any union, it is probably one in which there exists, instead of charity and love, that intestine strife which ever accompanies poverty when unresigned and unsustained by religion. Broken in spirit and worn down in body, how many of them would gladly free themselves from such galling bondage! But human respect, or the dread of starvation, makes them tremble to take the step. To such as these, Catholic associations are of incalculable service, by helping them out of their difficulties, inviting them to companionship and receiving the returning wanderers to a haven where they may securely find repose.
Summary and Conclusion
45. We have now laid before you, Venerable Brethren, both who are the persons and what are the means whereby this most arduous question must be solved. Every one should put his hand to the work which falls to his share, and that at once and straightway, lest the evil which is already so great become through delay absolutely beyond remedy. Those who rule the State should avail themselves of the laws and institutions of the country; masters and wealthy owners must be mindful of their duty; the working class, whose interests are at stake, should make every lawful and proper effort; and since Religion alone, as We said at the beginning, can avail to destroy the evil at its root, all men should rest persuaded that the main thing needful is to return to real Christianity, apart from which all the plans and devices of the wisest will prove of little avail.
In regard to the Church, her co-operation will never be found lacking, be the time or the occasion what it may; and she will intervene with all the greater effect in proportion as her liberty of action is the more unfettered. Let this be carefully taken to heart by those whose office it is to safeguard the public welfare. Every minister of holy religion must bring to the struggle the full energy of his mind and all his power of endurance. Moved by your authority, Venerable Brethren, and quickened by your example, they should never cease to urge upon men of every class, upon the high-placed as well as the lowly, the Gospel doctrines of Christian life; by every means in their power they must strive to secure the good of the people; and above all must earnestly cherish in themselves, and try to arouse in others, charity, the mistress and the queen of virtues. For the happy results we all long for must be chiefly brought about by the plenteous outpouring of charity; of that true Christian charity which is the fulfilling of the whole Gospel law, which is always ready to sacrifice itself for others' sake, and is man's surest antidote against worldly pride and immoderate love of self; that charity whose office is described and whose Godlike features are outlined by the Apostle St. Paul in these words: Charity is patient, is kind, . . . seeketh not her own, . . . suffereth all things, . . . endureth all things. 1
II. Separation of Church and State in France: Law of
December 9, 1905
Original French text in Debidour, "L'Église catholique et l'ètat en France sous la Troisième République ( 1870- 0916)" Vol. II, p. 577
The Separation Law marked the final undermining of the relationship between Church and State in France, which had been set up by the Concordat of 1801 between Napoleon I and the Papacy (see Doc. No. 2 of this Chapter). The series of Liberal anti-clerical governments which ruled the French Republic from 1876 onwards were in a continual state of tension with the Church, particularly in the sphere of education, where the claims of both institutions clashed with particular sharpness. Despite the efforts of Pope Leo XIII to free the French Church from exclusive connection with the Conservative and Royalist political Right Wing (see his Encyclical Immortale Dei, Doc. No. 9 of this Chapter), a large body of Catholics preserved an attitude of intransigeance towards the Republican régime; this attitude, in its turn, intensified the hostility of the Republican Parties towards the Church, and the first decade of the twentieth century witnessed a recrudescence of anti-clerical legislation.
The initial step in this direction was the passing of the Law of Associations in 1901, a measure primarily directed against the religious congregations, which this Law subjected to various stringent requirements of government authorization and control. Several Orders (notably the Jesuits and the Assumptionists) were expelled from the country. In 1902 a still more anti-clerical Government came to power--the Cabinet of Émile Combes, an ex-seminarist, for whom anti-clericalism was itself almost a religion. Next year the death of Leo XIII led to the election of a new Pontiff, Pius X, who was less disposed to consider a compromise, particularly after the annoyance felt at the Vatican as a result of a state visit of President Loubet of France to King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (still unrecognized by the Papacy) in 1904. Republican circles in France were already calling for the abrogation of the century-old Concordat; but it was left to Rouvier, Combes's successor as Prime Minister, to carry through a Separation Law in 1905. The Law in
1 I Cor. xiii, 4-7.
its final form was primarily the work of Aristide Briand, to whom fell the task of piloting the bill through the Chamber of Deputies.
The first Section lays down the principle of complete rejection of the idea of an established Church, proclaiming complete liberty of conscience and dissociation of the State from giving financial support to any religious body. The other Sections are concerned with detailed provisions for the new state of affairs, which recognition of these principles will bring about.
Section II deals with methods of meeting the financial consequences caused by the withdrawal of State aid for the upkeep of churches and their ministers. It places the responsibility for their future upkeep on local associations formed for the purpose (Art. 4); such associations shall be held responsible for the assets and debts of the religious body which they administer (Art. 6). Legal problems arising from the transfer of such property are to be settled by administrative authorities (Art. 8), which also have the power of assigning to other purposes ecclesiastical goods for the administration of which no association has been formed (Art. 9). Art. II provides for a scheme of pensions for ministers of religion and their families. Section III turns to arrangements for ecclesiastical buildings and the movable and immovable property contained in them. Church buildings are, it is declared, the property of the State (Art. 13), but may be placed at the disposal of the religious associations mentioned in Section II. Similar arrangements are made for the residences of ecclesiastical persons, seminaries and cemeteries (Arts. 14 and 15, the latter Article dealing with special arrangements for the "départements" of Savoy, Upper Savoy and the Maritime Alps, which had come under French rule only in 1859). Arts. 16 and 17 provide for the preservation of objects of artistic or historical interest in such buildings. Section IV contains rules for the constitution of the religious associations. The associations are to have final financial control over expenditure for religious purposes (Art. 19) and may establish "unions having a central administration or direction" (Art. 20), this being the Law's method of recognizing the existence of a body such as the Catholic Church. The rest of the Section deals with provisions for the investment of religious funds and the taxation of religious property.
Even religious ceremonies themselves are to come within the purview of the State (Section V). Religious associations must make an annual declaration before their assemblies can be regarded as legal (Art. 25). The exclusion of religious bodies from political activity is attempted (Arts. 26, 28, 29, 34-36), while religious instruction for children is debarred from public schools (Art. 30).
Coercion of its members by an association is forbidden (Art. 31)--a thrust at the Catholic Church's alleged intolerance.
A final Section (VI) of miscellaneous arrangements includes confirmation of the exemption of clerical students from military service (Art. 39), and a declaration that clerics are to be ineligible for election to municipal councils (Art. 40). Art. 44 abrogates all previous religious legislation; it is important to note that this affects not only the Catholic Church, but Protestant and Jewish bodies also.
The most important and controversial portions of the Law are those Articles which enact the transfer of practical administration of the Church into the hands of the "associations." These associations would be preponderantly composed of laymen and each such parish group would be left to its own initiative (from the point of view of the Civil Law) to form links with other similar groups. Thus, in theory if not in practice, the Church as a corporate body would dissolve into a federation of autonomous local units, over which the clergy would have only a tenuous control. Such was the view taken by Pope Pius X in his Encyclical Vehementer nos ( February 11, 1906), in which he categorically rejected the Law as being "contrary to the constitution on which the Church was founded by Jesus Christ." Not only is the Law, the Pontiff contends, an offence against the Christian conception of society (by its attempt to sever the public life of the State from any connection with religion), but by its unilateral rejection of the 1801 Concordat (an agreement between two sovereign Powers) it has also violated International Law. Moreover, he points out that the Law does not even consistently obey the principle of complete separation between Church and State, on which it is ostensibly based; by a series of vexatious restrictions and by its proposed subtraction of Church life from ecclesiastical authority by means of the "associations," it plainly intends to subject the Church to the control of a non-religious State.
The Pope's condemnation of the Law made the scheme impossible. No associations were formed and no declarations asking for permission to worship were made by the Catholics. Had the Government insisted on pressing its rights under the Law, a serious situation would have resulted and the Church would have been confronted with coercive persecution. But the State shrank from pushing matters to this extreme position and contented itself with cutting off all the financial assistance which the Concordat of 1801 had provided. Henceforth, relations between Church and State in France were to be based on the paradox that the Catholic Church, by far the largest religious body in the country, had no legal standing. Its buildings were theoretically State property; the Church might at a moment's notice be ejected from use of its centuries-old traditional places of worship, such as Notre Dame of Paris or the Cathedral of Chartres. Its priests received no public assistance and were liable, despite their clerical status, to military conscription. Yet it is this legal anomaly which has continued to provide the framework for the French Church's contact with the State until the present time. Its most remarkable feature is the fact that the French Church, although reduced to poverty and without any State subsidy, has been able to run an extensive network of schools of all degrees, tolerated by the anti-clerical Governments; they even include some foundations of high academic status, like the "Institut Catholique" of Paris.
After the First World War the relations between the French Republic and the Holy See improved, particularly as a result of the restoration of mutual diplomatic relations and of the Papal condemnation of the "Action Française," a Monarchist movement with authoritarian tendencies. In the course of the century, the royalist feelings of the French Catholics became gradually extinct; however, the anti-clerical tradition of the Republic persists, largely under the pressure of the Marxist political Parties, preventing serious modifications of the Church's position in the State.
Art. 1. The Republic assures liberty of conscience. It guarantees the free exercise of religious worship, but with the restrictions enacted below in the interest of public order.
Art. 2. The Republic does not recognize any salary or subsidy to any religious body. As a result, starting from 1st January following the promulgation of the present law, all expenses relating to the practice of religious worship shall be struck off the budgets of the State, the "départements" and the communes. There can, however, be included in the said budgets expenses relative to charitable organizations and those for the purpose of assuring the free exercise of religious worship in public establishments, such as high schools, colleges, schools, hospitals, asylums and prisons.
Public establishments for religious worship are suppressed, with modifying conditions laid down in Art. 3.
ALLOCATION OF PROPERTY AND PENSIONS
Art. 3. Establishments whose suppression is decreed by Art. 2 shall continue provisionally to function in conformity with the arrangements now governing them, until the allocation of their goods to the associations, provided for by Section IV and at latest until the expiration of the periods fixed below. After the promulgation of the present law, the agents of the administration of property shall proceed to the descriptive and assessory inventory of: i. movable and immovable goods of the said foundations. ii. goods of the State, the "départements" and the communes of which the same foundations have the use.
This double inventory shall be drawn up in collaboration with the legal representatives of the ecclesiastical establishment; who, in any case, shall be duly summoned by a notification made in administrative form.
The agents entrusted with the inventory shall have the right of procuring the communication of all legal instruments and documents necessary for the proceedings.
Art. 4. During the period of a year dating from the promulgation of the present law, the movable and immovable goods of clergy-houses, buildings, meeting places, assembly rooms and other public religious establishments--shall be transferred, with all the duties and obligations which rest on them and with due respect for the special purposes for which they are destined, by the legal representatives of these establishments to associations which, in conformity with the rules of the general organization of the religion of which they intend to ensure the practice, shall be legally formed, according to the requirements of Art. 19, for the practice of this religion in the old delimitations of the said establishments.
Art. 5. Those goods within the scope of the preceding Article, which have come from the State and which are not linked to a pious foundation created subsequently to the law of Germinal 18 of the year X, shall be returned to the State.
No disposal of goods shall be made by ecclesiastical establishments until a month after the promulgation of the ruling of the public administration provided for in Art. 43. Failing this, the nullity of such disposal can be claimed before the civil Law Courts by every interested party or by the public ministry.
In case of alienation by the religious association of movable or immovable property forming part of the endowment of such a public establishment, the amount resulting from the sale should be invested in registered shares under the conditions provided for in paragraph 2 of art. 22.
The acquirer of the alienated goods shall be personally responsible for the regularity of this process.
Goods claimed by the State, the "départements" or the communes shall not be alienated, transformed or modified until a decision on the claim has been reached by the competent legal authorities.
Art. 6. The associations disposing of the goods of suppressed ecclesiastical establishments shall be provisionally responsible for the assets as well as the debts of these establishments, according to the arrangements of the 3rd paragraph of the present Article; so long as they are not freed from this responsibility, they shall have the right to the enjoyment of the goods productive of revenues which should be returned to the State by virtue of Art. 5.
The total revenue of the said goods remains subject to the payment of the balance of the customary and legal debts of the suppressed public establishment, when no religious association competent to receive the resources of this establishment shall be formed.
Annual payments from sums borrowed for expenses, relating to religious buildings, shall be borne by the associations in proportion to the time during which they shall have the use of these buildings by application of the arrangements of Section III.
In the case where the State, the "départements," or the communes shall resume possession of the buildings of which they are proprietors, they shall be responsible for debts regularly contracted and relating to the said buildings.
Art. 7. The movable or immovable goods assigned to a charitable purpose or to any purpose other than the practice of religious worship shall be transferred, by the legal representatives of ecclesiastical establishments, to public services or foundations or for a public use whose purpose is in conformity with that of the said goods. This transfer should be approved by the Prefect of the "département" in which the ecclesiastical foundation is situated. In case of nonapproval, the case shall be decided by a decree issued by the Council of State ("Conseil d'État", i.e. the Supreme Court of Administration).
Any legal proceedings for restoration or re-possession should be instituted within a period of six months, dating from the day when the prefectorial order or decree approving the transfer shall have been published in the Journal Officiel. Legal proceedings may only be instituted in the case of gifts or bequests and only by the donors and their heirs in the direct line.
Art. 8. If an ecclesiastical establishment fails, within the period fixed by Art. 4, to effect the transfers prescribed above, the matter shall be dealt with by decree.
On the expiration of the said period, the goods to be transferred shall be placed in sequestration pending their transfer.
In the case where the goods transferred, by virtue of Art. 4 and of par. 1 of the present Article, shall be either immediately or later claimed by several associations formed for the practice of the same religion, the transfer which shall have been made by the representatives of the establishment or by decree may be contested by litigation before the Council of State ("Conseil d' État"), by litigation, which shall give sentence after taking into account all the circumstances of the case.
The appeal should be brought before the Council of State within the space of one year from the date of the decree or from the notification made to the prefectorial authority, by the legal representatives of the public establishment of the religious body about the transfer effected by them. This notification should be made within the period of one month.
The transfer can, subsequently, be contested in case of a schism in the association in possession of the property or of the creation of a new association as a consequence of a modification in the territory of the ecclesiastical delimitation, or in the case where the association which has received the transfer is no longer capable of fulfilling its object.
Art. 9. If there be no association to receive the goods of a public establishment of religious worship, these goods shall be transferred by decree to communal establishments for relief or charity, situated in the territorial limits of the ecclesiastical delimitation concerned.
In case of the dissolution of an association, the goods which shall have been assigned to it in virtue of Arts. 4 and 8 shall be transferred, by a decree made in the Council of State ("Conseil d'État"), either to similar associations in the same district or neighbourhood or, if such do not exist, in the nearby district, or to the establishments mentioned in par. 1 of the present Article.
All proceedings for restoration or recovery of possession should be commenced within a period of six months dating from the day when the decree shall have been published in the Journal Officiel. The proceedings may only be instituted in the case of gifts or bequests and only by the donors and their heirs in the direct line.
Art. 10. The allocations of property envisaged in the preceding Articles shall not permit of any appropriation for the profit of the Treasury.
Art. 11. The ministers of religion who, after the promulgation of the present Law, shall be more than sixty years of age and who shall have, during at least thirty years, carried out ecclesiastical duties remunerated by the State, shall receive an annual pension and allowance equivalent to three-quarters of their salary.
Those who shall be more than forty-five years of age and who shall have, during at least twenty years, carried out ecclesiastical duties remunerated by the State, shall receive an annual pension and allowance equal to one-half of their salary.
The pensions allowed by the two preceding paragraphs may not exceed 1,500 francs.
In case of the decease of the holders, these pensions shall be payable to the value of half of their amount to the benefit of the widow and orphans, who are minors, left by the deceased, and to the value of one-quarter to the benefit of his widow without children who are minors. When the orphans attain their majority, the pension shall completely cease.
The ministers of religious bodies at present paid by the State, who shall not be included in the above provisions, shall receive, during four years beginning from the abolition of the budget for religious bodies, an allowance equal to the whole of their salary for the first year, to two-thirds of it for the second, to half for the third and to a third for the fourth.
In communes of less than 1,000 inhabitants and for ministers of religious bodies who shall continue to carry out their duties there, the duration of each of the four periods indicated above shall be doubled.
"Départements" and communes shall be able, under the same conditions as the State, to grant to ministers of religious bodies at present paid by them, pensions or allowances awarded on the same basis and for an equal period of time.
Exception is made of rights acquired in the matter of pensions by application of previous legislation, as well as of assistance granted to former ministers of different religious bodies or to their family.
The pensions mentioned in the two first paragraphs of the present Article cannot be held simultaneously with any other pension or any other allowance awarded, for whatever reason, by the State, the "départements" or the communes.
The law of June 27, 1885, regarding the personnel of the suppressed faculties of Catholic theology, is applicable to the professors in charge of courses, lecturers and students of faculties of Protestant theology.
The pensions and allowances mentioned above shall be forfeited, paid, or not paid, in the same conditions as civil pensions. They shall cease fully in case of condemnation for one of the offences mentioned in Arts. 34 and 35 of the present law.
The right to obtain or to enjoy a pension or allowance shall be suspended by circumstances leading to the loss of French citizenship; such suspension will last as long as the lack of citizenship persists.
Claims for a pension should, under penalty of disallowance, be submitted within the period of one year from the promulgation of the present law.
[ Continue to Ch.VI - Section II ]