There was widespread agreement in the cahiers on the need for extensive reform to the Church, resulting in the Civil Constitution of the Clergy voted on 12 July 1790. There was no question of separating Church and State: the public functions of the Church were assumed to be integral to daily life, and the Assembly accepted that public revenues would support the Church financially after the abolition of the tithe. Most contentious, however, was the issue of how the clergy were to be appointed in future. To the trenchant objections from clerical deputies in the Assembly that the hierarchy of the Church was based on the principle of divine authority and on inspired appointment by superiors, other deputies retorted that this had resulted in nepotism.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF AIX: Does the ecclesiastical committee know how useful is the influence of religion on citizens? It is the brake that stops the wicked, it is encouragement for virtuous men. Religion is the seal on this declaration that provides man with his rights and his freedom; it is steadfast in its dogmas; its morals cannot change, and its doctrine will always be the same. The committee wishes to remind the clergy of the purity of the original Church. It is not bishops, successors to the apostles, it is not pastors, responsible for preaching the gospel, who can reject this method; but since the committee reminds us of our duties, it will allow us to remind it of our rights and of the sacred principles of ecclesiastical power. It must therefore be reminded of the essential authority of the Church; it is a question of the truths of religion. I will speak of them with all the confidence that befits ministers of the Lord. Jesus Christ passed on his mission to the apostles and to their successors for the salvation of the faithful; he entrusted it neither to the magistrates nor to the king; we are speaking of an order which magistrates and kings must obey. The mission that we