The Concordat of 1801: A Study of the Problem of Nationalism in the Relations of Church and State

By Henry H. Walsh | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
HENRI GRÉGOIRE

(1)

ONE of the most difficult tasks that presented itself to the French representative at Rome, at the conclusion of the negotiations for the Concordat, was to bring about amicable relations between the Papacy and the former bishops of the disbanded Constitutional Church. Cacault, writing to Portalis in November, 1801, admits that the real source of the enmity was past his finding out. "I am unable," he wrote, "to understand in what the Jansenist heresy consists, and what is the difference of opinion between my old colleague in the Legislative Body, Grégoire, and the Holy Father." Like Louis XIV, who had faced a similar problem, Cacault was inclined to allow the Pope to settle a purely doctrinal question in accordance with his best judgment. Only knowing "the rules which govern the world," he pleaded that such a training did not fit him to deal with theological questions; but, since he had to withdraw from the controversy, he did not think that the last word should be left with Grégoire. "Abbé Grégoire," he wrote Portalis, "is not Pope; it is the Pope whose authority is recognized and established to decide these subtle questions."1

But he could not thus simply wash his hands of Jansenism any more than Louis XIV had been able to bring peace to his kingdom by means of a Papal bull.2 It was not entirely a theological problem that Cacault was trying to escape, but

____________________
1
Boulay, Documents, tom. iv, p. 345.
2
On the reception of the bull Unigenitus in Francevide Pastor, L. F. von , Geschichte der Päpste (Freiburg, 1930), vol. xv, pp. 170-172.

-123-

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The Concordat of 1801: A Study of the Problem of Nationalism in the Relations of Church and State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 7
  • Introduction 11
  • Chapter I - On the Eve of the Concordat 23
  • Chapter II - The Negotiations for the Concordat 39
  • Chapter III - Chateaubriand 62
  • Chapter IV - Jean-Etienne Portalis 76
  • Chapter V - Jean Siffrein Maury 100
  • Chapter VI - Henri GrÉgoire 123
  • Chapter VII - Jacques-AndrÉ Emery 146
  • Chapter VIII - Paul-ThÉrÈse-David D'Astros 178
  • Chapter IX - Joseph De Maistre 199
  • Chapter X - Conclusion 233
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 251
  • Vita 260
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