Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

I
The spiritual part of society ought to be completely freed from the interference of the political power. Accordingly:
1. Liberty of conscience and worship must be complete, of such a kind that the government does not interfere in any way, under any pretext, with the teaching, discipline, and ceremonies of religion.
2. Liberty of the press must not be shackled by any preventive measure, under whatever form this measure occurs.
3. Liberty of education must be as complete as liberty of religion, of which it is essentially part. It must be as complete as liberty of the press since, like the latter, it is part of the same liberty of ideas and the expression of opinions.
4. Liberty of intellectual, moral, and industrial associations rests on the same principles and should be sacred to the same rights.

Respecting each of these liberties, the right and duty of constitutional power consist only in repressing crimes and offenses which would materially attack either the complete and equal enjoyment of these same liberties for all or some other civil or political right of citizens.


II

Hence just as the spiritual part of society should be completely freed, constitutional power should be exerted only in the realm of material interests. And in this realm we acknowledge that it is necessary to seek a state of things in which all local affairs will be freely administered in common by those concerned, under the protection of authority -- whatever be its form -- directed thenceforth solely toward maintaining political unity and harmony between the various particular administrations, and toward providing for the general interest and defense of the state against external dangers.


III

And as society, which has justice for its basis, can make real advances only by a greater development and more extensive application of the law of justice and charity, we acknowledge that efforts should also be made immediately to elevate the minds and ameliorate the material conditions of the lower classes, in order to permit them to share more and more in social advantages.

We pledge ourselves to cooperate with all our power in the defense of these constitutional principles and the maintenance of the liberties declared above. We pledge ourselves to devote our civil and political rights to this cause, mutually promising help and assistance by all legal means and adhering with firm resolution to the present act of union. . . .

Source: L'Avenir, November 15, 1831, pp. 2-3.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

J. M. S. Allison, Church and State in the Reign of Louis Philippe ( Princeton, 1916).

G. Hourdin, Lamennais: prophète et combattant de la liberté ( Paris, 1982).

-134-

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