Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

42. The general consistory may assemble only when government permission has been secured and in the presence of the prefect or subprefect. Advance information about subjects to be considered must be given to the councillor of state. . . . The assembly may not last longer than six days.

43. In the interim between one assembly and another, there shall be a directory composed of the president, the elder of the two ecclesiastical superintendents, and three laymen, of whom one shall be appointed by the First Consul. The two others shall be chosen by the general consistory.

Source: Jean B. Duvergier (ed.), Collection compléte des lois, écrets, ordonnances, réglements, avis du conseil d'état ( Paris, 1834-1907), XIII, 101-103.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

B. C. Poland, French Protestantism and the French Revolution, 1685- 1815 ( Princeton, 1957), pp. 253-279.

D. Robert, Les églises reformées en France ( 1800- 1830) ( Paris, 1961), pp. 69-132.

References for Documents 28 and 38.


41
erman Imperial Recess of 1803 (Extracts) February 25,18031

France's annexation of the left bank of the Rhine, confirmed by the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, was accomplished with the understanding that affected German territorial princes might receive compensation at the expense chiefly of ecclesiastical principalities east of the Rhine. This was basic to a fundamental reorganization of the Holy Roman Empire, formally approved by the Diet in 1803 but actually decided at Paris. One hundred and twelve states were liquidated, the principal beneficiaries being France's German allies, Bavaria, Baden, and Württemberg, and the principal victims the episcopal states (though free imperial cities and imperial knights also suffered). The three historic spiritual electorates of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne disappeared, together with the political sovereignty of some twenty-nine other bishops, and many Catholics became subject to Protestant governments. Exception was made for Napoleon's favorite, Karl Theodor von Dalberg, bishop of Regensburg, who was also given the see of Mainz and the primacy of the German church. The reorganization was accompanied by large-scale suppression of monasteries and seizure of church wealth, and ministered to the decline of Febronianism. The change marked the end of the ancient church of the Holy Roman Empire, which was itself to survive only three years more.

1. Enacted by Diet March 24; approved by emperor April 27.

-105-

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