George Herbert Dryer.

History of the Christian church (Volume 5) online

. (page 7 of 50)
Online LibraryGeorge Herbert DryerHistory of the Christian church (Volume 5) → online text (page 7 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ness in adherence to what he considered duty which
no personal interests or affections could affect. When
subject to the most annoying espionage, when his
papers were seized, when threatened to be reduced to
an allowance of five cents a day, and forbidden all
communication with the world without, he never
flinched nor quailed. What the threats of Napoleon
could not effect was won by his blandishments. The
French Episcopal envoys to Savona in June, 1810,
won an assent which no rigors could have extorted.
The Concordat of 18 13 was a terrible mistake, and, if
Napoleon had been a victor at Leipzig and Waterloo,
might have been a fatal one. The vigor and resolu-

The Roman Catholic Church. 87

tion of Consalvi averted the danger, as his tact and
wisdom made him the savior of the papacy after the
overthrow of the Revolution. Pius proved the sin-
cerity of his liberal convictions by bringing in more
reforms in the administration of the Papal States than
any of his predecessors. The capital mistake of his
administration was the re-establishment of the Com-
pany of Jesus. It was not long before the sons of
Loyola took possession as masters where they had
sought admission as servants. In spite of his knitting
and crocheting, Pius VII was the most liberal and
attractive ruler among the popes of the nineteenth
century. He had reached the age of eighty-one when
he died, August 20, 1823.

A very different man was Annibale Delia Genga,
who succeeded to the papacy under the title of Leo
XII. Leo was born of a noble family of
Spoleto, August 22, 1760. In the first dec- .s*;^-!^"^.
ade of the century he served as papal
nuncio in Germany and France. While exercising
these functions he was credited with a whole train of
illegitimate children. Leo was an opponent of Con-
salvi's; but when the latter unfolded his policy, the
comprehensiveness of his grasp and the penetration
of his vision at once won the favor of the pope in hio

But Leo had no sympathy with the liberal views
of either Consalvi or his predecessor. In his first
enc3xlical he condemned religious toleration and free-
dom of conscience, and was especially bitter against
Bible Societies and the reading or exposition of the
Bible in the tongue of the people. July 2, 1826, he
said expressly : ** Every one separated from the Ro-

88 History of the Christian Church.

man Catholic Chnrch, however blameless he may
otherwise be, has already, on account of his own sin,
because he is separated from the unity of Christ, no
part in eternal life; the wrath of God hangs over
him." Leo, on entering his office, was in the sixty-
fourth year and in broken health. In his life he was
laborious and simple. He was firm and moderate in
his foreign administration ; but his restoration of the
Inquisition, his favor of the Jesuits, his meddlesome-
ness and severity, made him the most unpopular pope
for a century. In Rome he made himself universally
hated. " From prince to beggar no man was his
friend." In moral character he ranks the lowest
among the popes of the centur>^

Francesco Xavier Castiglioni, Pius VIII, who fol-
lowed Leo XII, was born in Cingoli, in Ancona, No-
vember 20, 1 761. He was made Bishop of
isLT-iSao. Montalto in 1800, and cardinal in 18 16. At
the age of sixty-eight, and infirm in health,
he was chosen pope, March 31, 1829; he died the next
year, on the 30th of November. In disposition he was
w^eak and gentle ; but he showed himself narrow and
intolerant. On his accession he solemnly cursed free-
dom of conscience, Bible Societies, and Freemasonry.
He deserves grateful memory for his endeavors to
suppress the slave-trade in Brazil. He was reputed
the most learned canonist of the Papal Court.

Bartolommeo Alberto Capellari, who came to the
tiara as Gregory XVI, was born at Belluno, Septem-
ber 18, 1765. He entered the Camaldolensian branch
of the Benedictine order. At the age of twenty-five
he was made Professor of Theolog3\ In 1801 he
became abbot of his monastery and two 3'ears later

The Roman Catholic Church. 89

general of his order. In 1825 he was created cardinal,
and elected pope February 2, 1831. Though sixty
years of age, he was vigorous in health
and energetic in his rule. He favored ^Isa^-fg^J.'*
the Jesuits in every way, and, like his pre-
decessor, denounced Bible Societies. His rule of the
States of the Church was an unbroken era of oppres-
sion. At his death more than two thousand prison-
ers were found in the papal dungeons.

Gregory was a thorough reactionist in Church
and State ; his is the most repellent figure among the
popes of the century.

Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti was born of noble
parents at Sinigaglia, May 13, 1792. In his youth he
was subject to epileptic seizures. Having
been disappointed in love, he entered the .g^^^isjs.
priesthood in 1819 at the age of twenty-
seven. Though no scholar, he was quite gentle and
devout. In 1823-182 5 he was sent on a mission to
South America. On his return, lyco XII made him a
member of the papal household. Having been made
Archbishop of Spoleto in 1829, he showed great wis-
dom in dealing with the insurgents of 1830. In 1832
he was made Bishop of Imola, and in 1839 cardinal.
He was chosen the successor of Gregory XVI, June
16, 1846. His election was hailed with joy by the en-
tire Liberal party of Italy. It was a dream of the
time, favored by such men as Gioberti, that Italy
would realize her unity under the rule of a liberal
and reforming pope. The days of Pius's attempt at
constitutional rule were soon numbered. November
24, 1848, he escaped from Rome, and took refuge at
Gaeta. The Roman Republic was formed. Garibaldi

90 History of the Christian Church.

bravely defended the papal city, but it fell before the
French attack, July i, 1849. Pius did not return to
his capital until April, 1850. For participation in this
Revolution hundreds were executed, and thirty thou-
sand were proscribed. From this time the policy of
Pius IX was guided by Cardinal Antonelli, who left a
fortune of over a million dollars at his death to an
illegitimate daughter. The misgovernment of the
Papal States was such as to shock the civilized world.

The Church in France.

The first and most famous of the Concordats,
the pattern for the rest, was the Concordat with
Napoleon in 1801. In that year Napo-
Concordats. ^^^^ ^^^ First Cousul and Supreme Dic-
tator of France. The delirium of the
Revolution had run its course. The masses of the
people were glad to sanction the usurpation whereby
the ablest military genius of modern times put an
end to the reign of violence, incompetence, and cor-
ruption, and assumed the control of the destinies of
France. The glories of the conquest of Italy were
remembered, the defeat of his Egyptian expedition
was forgotten, the laurels of Marengo now encir-
cled his brow. He, and he alone, could heal the
wounds inflicted upon the Church by the Revolu-
tion. On his part. Napoleon wished an alliance with
the Church. In all his plans for the reconstruction
of France, the civil code, the system of education, the
amnesty of the emigres, the reconciliation with the
Roman Catholic Church was easily first. It paved his
way to a social recognition by the rulers of Europe,

The Roman Catholic Church. 91

as well as aided to render stable the new order in
France itself.

Thus arose the Concordat. The chief negotiators
were, on the side of the pope, his faithful friend and
guide, to whom he owed his election, the ablest states-
man the Church of Rome produced in the nineteenth
century, Cardinal Hercules Consalvi; on the side of
Napoleon, his brother Joseph and the Abbe Bernier.
The treaty, which formed the foundation of the new
political system of the nineteenth century, is a short
one of seventeen articles. In it the Roman Catholic
religion is recognized as the religion of the great ma-
jority of the citizens of France, and the pope recog-
nizes that the re-establishment of that Church and its
worship is due to the act of the consuls of the Re-
public. This worship is allowed, provided it conforms
to the regulations of the police which the government
judges necessary for the public tranquillity. The suc-
ceeding articles treat of a new arrangement of French
dioceses whereby the Archiepiscopal Sees are reduced
from eighteen to ten, and the Episcopal Sees from
one hundred and seventeen to fifty, or of both from
one hundred and thirty-five to sixty. These, having
no real estate or endowments, were to be paid by the
State; the archbishops to receive from four to ten
thousand dollars a year, and the bishops three thou-
sand dollars, and the average for the cures was three
hundred dollars. Compared with the immense in-
come of the prelates of the old regime, or even the
income of those of the Church of England, these
salaries seem small indeed. This arrangement re-
quired the resignation, either voluntary or compul-

92 History of the Christian Church.

sory, of all the then bishops of the Church in France.
This the pope undertook to secure. The new bish-
ops, and those to fill all future vacancies, were to be
canonically instituted by the pope. But in this article
there was no time set within which the pope must in-
stitute the nominee. This omission shattered all Na-
poleon's plans for ruling the Roman Catholic Church
in France. Both bishops and cures must swear alle-
giance to the existing French government, and prom-
ise to pray for it at each service of the mass. The
churches not already sold are delivered to the proper
incumbents for the uses of public worship. The
pope on his part promises never, himself or his suc-
cessors, to meddle with the title to church property
seized and alienated by the State. On the other hand,
the French government promises to pay the salaries
of all the clergy from the cures of the parish to the
archbishops. In case the chief executive of France
should not be a Roman Catholic, then the nomination
of bishops should be arranged by a new treaty. Such
was the famous Concordat of Pius VII with Napoleon,
which regulates ecclesiastical affairs to-day as the
Code Napoleon does the law of its courts. This
treaty practically made the papacy supreme in the
Church of Rome. It crushed out the Episcopate, and
the influence of any national sentiment in the Roman
Catholic Church.

What was the loss to Pope Pius, and what his
gain? Pius acknowledged the Revolution and its
results. In spite of all after-claims as to the aid ren-
dered by the papacy to the cause of legitimacy — the
ancient rights and rulers who had been overthrown
by the Revolution — the pope allowed the Revo-

The Roman Catholic Church. 93

lutionary government and its militar}^ usurper to
restore the Roman Catholic Church in France,

and to name each of its sixty prelates.
^°'po*V'^ Fius also acknowledged the alienation of

the immense property of the Church in
France, and pledged that neither he nor his suc-
cessors would ever interfere with it. There was
no demand for the persecution or annoyance of
Christians who did not belong to the Roman Catholic
Church; on the other hand, the fullest right of the
State to regulate the internal aflfairs of the Church is

Pius VII obtained the re-establishment of the
Roman Catholic worship in forty thousand com-
munes in France. He obtained the com-
plete submission or overthrow of the con- "'"popg. *
stitutional clergy, who were making a most
dangerous schism in the Church of France, and pav-
ing the w^ay for national Roman Catholic Churches.
He received the payment by the State of all salaries
of the clergy, small though they were, and the right
of the faithful to found and endow Churches. But,
more than all, he secured the right and usage, which
in the nineteenth cenlury the Roman Curia has
sought to raise to a universal precedent and custom,
that all matters relating to the Roman Catholic
Church, except doctrine, shall be arranged between
the pope and the executives of the different govern-
ments without reference to the claims or desires of
the clergy or the Episcopate. All legislative power
is in the hands of the pope ; even the initiation of it
by the local Episcopate is most rarely allowed. For
any efiScient action upon or regulation of the Church

94 History of the Christian Church.

life, the Councils, diocesan or national, are almost
non-existent. The Church of Rome used to consist
of the clergy. The clergy no longer have any regu-
lar or constitutional voice.

The Concordat was signed after a most disreputa-
ble attempt on the part of Napoleon to change its
terms without the knowledge of the papal
^'xrticfe^!''^ negotiators, in July, 1800, and confirmed
the next month by the pope. The resigna-
tion or deposition of the French bishops, and the
other arrangements on the part of the pope for the
fulfillment of the Concordat, delayed its proclamation
until the next April. Napoleon eagerly awaited the
termination of the affair. When at last the Concordat
was proclaimed as the supreme law governing the
Church of France, it was found to be accompanied by
more than seventy Organic Articles regulating the
entire internal administration of the Roman Catholic
Church in France. This was a most disagreeable sur-
prise to the pope, and he refused his assent to them.
Nevertheless they, with the Concordat, received the
assent of the legislative body, and were henceforth a
part of the statute law of the country. With a few
minor alterations, such they have remained until this
day. The Roman Catholic Church in France has for
more than one hundred years been governed by the
Concordat and the Organic Articles.

Except in its foreign relations and in the institu-
tions of bishops, no Evangelical State Church has
ever been more entirely in the control of the govern-
ment than has the Roman Catholic Church in France
for the last century. This worked very well while
the Church practically controlled the government, as

The Roman Catholic Church. 95

under the Bourbons, 18 15-1830; or was preponderant
in influence, as under Louis Philippe, 1830- 1848; or
had things her own way, as under I^ouis Napoleon,
1 848-1 870. But with the advent of the RepubHc,
which came into the hands of Republicans in 1877,
the scene changed. For the last twenty-five years
the government of France has been largely hostile to
the Roman Catholic Church, and the control of the
Church by the State has been most vigorously as-
serted. The Organic Articles, and legislation based
upon them, has struck hard the Roman Catholic
Church, especially as respects the orders or congrega-
tions and its work in education, and the activity of
ecclesiastics in the elections.

The arrangement on which the Roman Catholic
Church was to rest in the nineteenth century was the
work of Consalvi. He also favored Pius VII pj^^ ^„
going to Paris to crown Napoleon in 1804. and
This the pope did, and also secured the mar- '^«p«'«*>"-
riage of Josephine anew to Napoleon with Roman Cath-
olic rites. , In return, Pius expected that Napoleon
would restore to him Romagna and the Legations, and
thus round out the States of the Church to their for-
mer boundaries. This request the emperor declined,
postponing its consideration. Deeply disappointed
and grieved, the pope returned to Rome; but worse
was to follow. Rome, alwa3^s hospitable, became a
head-center where gathered all who hated or spoke ill
of Napoleon. As an independent sovereign the pope
could scarcely banish men for ill will or even bitter
speech. Napoleon disliked the ability and integrity
of Consalvi, and practically demanded his dismissal
from the office of Papal Secretary of State, which he

96 History of the Christian Church.

had held since the election of the pope. He there-
fore resigned, June 17, 1807. The emperor demanded
of the pope that he annul the marriage of his brother
Jerome with Miss Paterson, of Baltimore. This the
pope rightly refused to do, though he strove to make
his refusal as inoffensive as possible, 1805-1807. Na-
poleon had already violated the neutrality of the Papal
States in marching troops across them when he de-
manded that English ships should not be allowed to
enter the harbor of Ancona, and the banishment of
English, Russians, Swedes, and Sardinians from the
Papal States. This was to treat with hostility powers
with which Pius was in friendly relations, and Pius
again declined to comply with the emperor's wish. In
the fall of 1808, Pius yielded to these demands, but
the emperor, January 10, 1809, ordered Rome to be
taken possession of by the French troops ; the States
of the Church were proclaimed as united to the French
Empire, and the Papal Government to have ceased,
June 9, 1809.

The pope then launched the thunderbolt which
had been long in preparation. On the morning of June
I ith, the Bull excommunicating Napoleon, though not
directly by name, with all the lengthened and terrible
cursings of the Middle Ages, was found affixed to the
churches of St. Peters, St. Maria Maggiore, and the
Lateran. On July 6, 1809, the pope was arrested in
his palace on the Quirinal, and immediately removed
under French escort, first to the Chartreuse at Flor-
ence ; then he was taken to France, arriving at Ales-
sandria July 15th, and at Grenoble at the end of the
month. From thence he was transferred to Valence
and Avignon. The reception of the pope was so en-

The Roman Catholic Church. 97

thusiastic that the prisoner soon was removed from
French soil to Savona, a few miles west of Genoa,
August 20, 1809, which became his residence for the
next three years.

At Savona he was in charge of a French agent of
the State police. December 18, 18 10, the pope refused
to accept the emperor's appointment of Cardinal
Maury as Archbishop of Paris. January, 181 1, the
expenses of the papal household were cut down to
five cents a day for each person. At one time the
papers of the pope were searched, and even his brevi-
ary was taken away. He was forbidden intercourse
with any Church or subject of the Empire, but soon
these rigors were relaxed.

The emperor felt that something must now be done
to fill the vacant French bishoprics, amounting, by this
time, June, 181 1, to twenty-seven. Violence having
failed to shake the pope, milder measures were ta-
ken. Three French Bishops, and Mannay, Bishop
of Treves, were sent by the emperor to Savona in the
greatest secrecy to secure some accommodations with
the pope. The officer in charge of the pope did not
scruple to bribe the pope's physician to work on his
feelings, and so make him more pliant. The envoys
arrived May 9th, and May iSth had so worked on the
pope, then weak and ill, that he assented to a paper
he had dictated to and corrected with them. The
effect of the paper was to agree to institute all imperial
nominees to ecclesiastical positions in France and Italy
who have been kept in waiting, and also to agree in the
future to institute all persons so nominated within a
term of six months. Pius signed nothing except a
letter commendatory of the bishops; but that did not

98 History of the Christian Church.

alter the obligation, which was not observed as to
the future. On the other hand, all was done under
duress and in a way that shames the oppressor far
more than the oppressed.

Twenty-six cardinals had been invited to attend the
marriage of Marie Louise to Napoleon. They attended
the civil marriage, April i, 1810. Thirteen cardinals,
led by Cardinal Consalvi, would not attend the relig-
ion sceremony the next day. They were all banished
from the court, and strictly confined to different cities,
w^here they could not consult with each other for the
next three years. Finally Napoleon determined to
call a National Council, and such a body of French
prelates convened at Notre Dame, June 17, 181 1. To
the surprise and chagrin of the emperor their first act,
in which they were led by the uncle of Napoleon,
Cardinal Fesch, was to take an oath of obedience to
the pope. The emperor endeavored to intimidate the
Council and to carry his end, but in vain. After the
arrest and imprisonment of three prelates, leaders of
the opposition, had failed to secure a majority for his
measures, which were the same as those dictated by
Pius VII and afterwards rejected by him. Napoleon
felt compelled to dissolve the Council, July 12, 181 1.

Napoleon being about to set out on his Russian
campaign, ordered the pope to be brought from Savona
to Fontainebleau, where he arrived June 20, 18 12. He
was very hospitably entertained in the old royal
chateau at that place, and did not see his imperial
oppressor until after the disastrous and terrible end
of that campaign, begun with such arrogance and

The Roman Catholic Church. 99

In January, after Napoleon's return to Paris, he
began to make approaches to the pope. He made his
first visit January 19th, and was assiduous
in his attentions. After several interviews, concordat
Pius was persuaded to sign the Concordat

Online LibraryGeorge Herbert DryerHistory of the Christian church (Volume 5) → online text (page 7 of 50)