One of Napoleon's first priorities was to re-establish good relations with the Papacy, which had fought the revolutionary Church settlement tooth and nail. Napoleon gained everything he desired in the Concordat: he appointed the bishops and archbishops of the French Church, and all bishops had to swear an oath of fidelity to the French Republic.
The government of the French Republic recognises that the Roman, Catholic and apostolic religion is the religion of the great majority of French citizens.
His Holiness likewise recognises that this same religion has derived and at this moment again expects the greatest benefit and grandeur from the establishment of Catholic worship in France and from the personal profession which the Consuls of the Republic make of it.
In consequence, after this mutual recognition, as much for the benefit of religion as for the maintenance of internal tranquillity, they have agreed on the following.
Article 1. The Catholic, apostolic and Roman religion shall be freely exercised in France. Its worship shall be public, and in conformity with the police regulations which the government shall deem necessary for the public tranquillity.
Article 2. The Holy See, in concert with the government, will make a new division of the French diocese.
Article 3. His Holiness declares to the holders of French bishoprics that he expects from them, with firm confidence, for the good of peace and unity, every sacrifice, even that of their sees.
After this exhortation, if they refuse the sacrifice demanded by the good of the Church (a refusal that His Holiness nevertheless does not expect), he will